Foster Information - Last Hope K9 Rescue
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Foster Information

Fostering a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences.


Ever wanted to foster a dog? LHK9 doesn’t have a physical shelter and is completely reliant on our foster families – we would cease to exist without them. We are only able to pull as many dogs as we have foster homes for and we are constantly looking to welcome new foster families into our rescue. As a Massachusetts-based organization, we are approved to have foster homes in Massachusetts and transport an average of 25 – 30 dogs from Arkansas to New England almost every week.

Fostering with LHK9:

After being pulled by one of our southern rescue partners, our dogs go to an Arkansas foster home where they receive love and any necessary veterinary care needed, including vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery. Each dog must obtain an official health clearance then is scheduled for transport from Arkansas to New England.

Dogs arriving in the state of Massachusetts must first complete a mandatory 48-hour quarantine stay at an isolation facility approved by the Department of Agriculture. At the end of the 48-hours, each dog is examined by a USDA licensed vet and receives a second health clearance before being released to his/her foster family. This is where you come in.

Our foster families pick up their pre-selected dog at quarantine (transport assistance is available) and bring them home until they are adopted. LHK9 pays for all medical expenses that might be needed while the dog is in foster care. Donated supplies such as crates, food, toys, etc. may be available at times for our foster families. Every dog is different and takes a unique time to find their furever home.

With the help of our amazing foster families, LHK9 has saved over 12,000 dogs since 2012! But we can’t do it without you. Fostering a dog is not a lifetime commitment, it’s a commitment to save a life.

The Process to Become an Approved Foster

Infographic showing the process of applying to become a foster with Last Hope K9 Rescue


As an approved adopter, you are also approved to foster. If you are interested, please complete a Recheck Form and someone from our team will follow up with you.

Requirements for Last Hope K9 Rescue Foster Families

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must live in Massachusetts
  • Ability to provide a safe, temporary home with food, water, and basic supplies to a dog awaiting adoption (fenced yard not required)
  • Ability to act in a professional manner that reflects Last Hope’s values
Large brown and white dog sits on leash with a Last Hope K9 Rescue volunteer

We are especially in need of homes for:


  • Large breed adult dogs including shepherd, pit bull, and hound mixes
  • Dogs that require slow introductions to other dogs and/or people
  • Dogs that would do best in a home without other dogs, cats, and/or kids
  • Dogs that require training (with guidance provided by our training team and/or training partners)

As a foster for with Last Hope K9 Rescue, we provide you with just about everything you need to take care of your foster dog.

Last Hope K9 Rescue volunteers with dogs on leashes at transport in Arkansas

Items provided to our foster families include:

  • Monthly preventatives and all medical expenses for dogs in our foster program
  • Supplies donated to the rescue (food, crates, etc. are often available but not guaranteed)
  • Support from fellow fosters, volunteers, and experienced coordinator teams
  • Vast knowledge library about all rescue-related topics
  • Endless puppy kisses!

There are many foster-based rescues in the area and we appreciate your interest in fostering for us! We have a few basic expectations of our foster families that you should be aware of. 

We expect the following from our foster families:

  • Compliance with all current and new policies and procedures
  • Adherence to all rules and regulations as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture
  • Comfort with social media and interest in learning basic dog care and training to help our foster dogs be their best self
  • Watch, assess, and communicate about your foster dog’s behaviors, health, and overall wellbeing
  • Frequent communication with fellow volunteers and the rescue’s respective coordinator teams (medical, training, foster, adoptions, etc.) via email and other online platforms
  • Openness to work alongside the rescue’s teams responsible for coordinating medical care, potential adoption matches, training decisions, and more, with the understanding that all final decisions are made by Last Hope and their respective coordinator teams
  • Help with foster dog-related transport needs is available but not guaranteed. Flexibility and willingness to facilitate meet and greets with potential adopters, attend adoption events, travel and/or collaborate with others in the community to pick up and administer preventatives, transport dog to-and-from vet appointments, events, etc. (access to a car is strongly encouraged but not required
    • The quarantine facilitate we currently partner with is located in Westport, MA so all dogs arriving in MA will need to be picked up at this facility
Last Hope K9 Rescue volunteer kneeling down and embracing a large brown and white dog


As an organization, we do not encourage “foster fails” (where a foster adopts his/her foster dog) and we do not offer “foster to adopt” programs for the majority of our dogs (with the exception being medical and specific behavioral cases.) We understand that many foster families fall in love with the foster dogs in their care and may end up wanting to adopt, but we try very hard to be fair to our pool of approved adopters hoping to bring one of these dogs home. Many of our foster families have adopted or would like to eventually adopt a dog with LHK9, which is absolutely allowed and encouraged! We simply ask that you do not choose to foster a dog that you are interested in potentially adopting.

Graphic icon of a hand holding a heart

Benefits of Fostering a Dog

Increase Adoptability

Increase the dog’s chance of being adopted. By fostering a dog, you are the link between them and a potential home. If you foster a dog, you have the ability to transform that shelter dog into one that anyone would be lucky to adopt.

Learn Its Personality

Your daily interactions with your foster dog will help LHK9 learn about his/her unique personality as well as any behavioral issues. It’s difficult to know much about a dog when he/she is living in a stressful shelter environment. Knowing all about the dog will help us find the perfect FURever home!

Socialize Your Own Dog

You will learn to appreciate your dog’s good behavior. Or maybe you’ll realize the foster dog is better behaved than your own dog! Your dog can be an amazing teacher for your foster dog, teaching him/her how to acclimate to life in a home. It’s a great way to work on socialization with your own dog!

Help Save Lives

LHK9 is almost always at capacity and we cannot take in more dogs until additional foster homes open up. By taking a foster dog into your home, you actually save two lives: the life of your foster dog and the life of the dog that takes his/her place in the shelter.

Chance to Live in a Home

Fostering a dog gives it a chance to live in a home rather than a shelter. Dogs can get stressed in shelter conditions; they are noisy and provide limited one-on-one interaction. With time, dogs can develop pent-up energy, frustration, aggression, or boredom.

Feel Good and Connect with your Community

Fostering a dog is a way to give back to your community and makes you feel good! If you love animals, there is nothing more rewarding than helping homeless dogs.

Experience Dog Ownership without All the Costs

If you can’t afford a dog of your own just yet, consider donating your time by fostering! LHK9 has donations we can provide to foster families and cover any vet bills that may arise. We also have trainers, vet techs, and experienced fosters to offer advice.

Interested in Becoming a Foster with LHK9? Please fill out a foster application.

If you have any questions, please email