Help out our community by fostering a pet

Help out our community by fostering a pet
Just a few of the many pets currently at the Martinez facility. Clockwise from left: Sally (A0998960), 3 years old tricolor Siberian Husky mix, has been at the facility since Feb. 24, 2023. Female gray shorthair cat (A1006409), 2 years old, has been at the facility since July 21, 2023. Ashley (A1005721), 15 weeks old, has been at the Martinez facility since July 11, 2023.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (July 28, 2023) — After the Fourth of July, Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) sees an influx of animals every year. To help our furry friends, I’d like to invite you to consider becoming a foster home with CCAS.

You can foster for as little as five days. The best perk is that if you decide you want to adopt your foster, you get the first opportunity.

The animal shelter can be an overstimulating environment for our four-legged constituents. Welcoming one into your home allows them time to decompress and bring out their personalities. CCAS will provide training, information, supplies, food, medicine (if needed) and resources in the event your animal gets sick.

To be eligible for the Dog Foster Program or the Cat/Kitten Foster Program, individuals must be Contra Costa County residents and 18 years old or older. Since the goal of our foster program is to find forever homes for these animals, a potential adopter may want to meet your animal, so volunteers must have a form of transportation to bring the animal to the shelter within 24 hours.

Finding the best match

CCAS does its best to match the appropriate animal with each foster home. The application process covers things like your experience, breeds you may prefer, type of housing, current pets, etc. If you have a specific animal in mind, be sure to mention that when you register.

All dogs going to foster homes will be vaccinated and microchipped. Dogs of all sizes and ages are considered for the foster program.

Kitten foster responsibilities vary depending on the age group. Unweaned kittens need to be bottle-fed every two hours, while older kittens who eat solid foods may need cuddles and socialization as they grow big enough to be made available for adoption.

While fostering an animal, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the joys of having a furry companion. This will allow you the chance to share insights with CCAS on what that animal’s needs might be.

Foster programs are a great way to help our community and to explore future pet ownership. If you are interested in fostering, visit for more information or to apply.

Ken Carlson is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to Carlson at or call his office at 925-655-2350.