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This article was written for the Best Friends Animal Society of Northwest Arkansas. They have a wonderful program and were looking for a way to communicate their foster program to the public.

Let’s start with this: Adoption can be scary. What happens if you realize you aren’t ready for a dog or cat? This question can dissuade many people from the process. But there are still many dogs and cats that need a good home. Therefore, is there another option?

There sure is! This is where a great foster care program comes into play.

Think of the various reasons to foster:

I’m Trying to Decide

This is a big question for many people. With families and busy schedules, it can often be difficult to decide whether adding a dog or cat to your life is a good idea. Many people are worried that they will commit to this decision and end up regretting it. Nobody wants that.

This is where a foster program comes in. You can speak with a foster representative and explain your thoughts and concerns. Do not feel that these are invalid. In fact, the more the program knows about your situation, the better it can serve everyone. Also, remember that they want to put animals in good homes. They want everything to work out just as much as you.

When the program understands your situation, you will be given a list of possible animals that fit you and your family. You will be matched with an animal and bring it home. Often, the foster program will provide you with everything you need for the animal’s stay. This includes food, medication, crates, and even toys! They will also discuss a suitable length of stay.

What happens if you realize it isn’t working out? That’s okay. The foster program is only meant to be temporary. If you have any questions or concerns, immediately contact the program and schedule a time to drop the animal off at a specified location. No problem!

But what if the best happens? When you connect with a dog or cat and decide you want them in your life, you get to graduate to a full-on pet parent! You will talk with the foster program, fill out paperwork, and that lucky dog or cat will become a permanent part of your family.

I Just Want to Help

Some people know they do not want to adopt. Their goal is to give dogs and cats time outside of an adoption facility where they can relax and play. The primary reason for this role is to get animals out of cages and rooms where they may be cooped up with other cats and dogs. This can be stressful and the less stress, the better.

In this situation, the foster program will often have you on a list of potential foster parents. This means that you have asked to be notified when certain animals are available. This can be any of the following:

  • Older cats

  • Older dogs

  • Animals with special needs

  • Dogs with nursing puppies

  • Cats with nursing kittens

  • Infant kittens that need feedings

  • Puppies that need feedings

  • Dogs that require socialization

You can be a great help to any of these wonderful animals. Also, if you’re not sure how best to help them, you’ll be trained! The need for great foster parents, even temporary ones, is great. And your dedication is even greater.

Regardless of your reason, dogs and cats need your help. They want love, attention, and a cozy place to feel at home.

If you’ve never had a cat boop your face or a dog snuggle beside you, it may be time to feel the love.

The Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Northwest Arkansas is prepared to partner you with the right animal at the right time (and for all the right reasons). To learn more, visit our website at or give us a call at 479-310-8569.

Even better, visit our Bentonville location at:

210 Prairie Lane Suite #6

Bentonville, AR 72712

Open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.


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