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ALIVE Rescue is primarily a volunteer-run, foster-based animal rescue.


Fostering is when individuals provide an adoptable pet a temporary home while they wait for their forever home. Fostering an animal significantly improves the welfare of homeless pets. Fosters also receive support from ALIVE Rescue, i.e., we pay for everything you need to take care of the animal.

Fostering is so rewarding and has a major impact on the animals at ALIVE. Don't believe us? Check out some stories from current and former ALIVE Rescue foster parents, below.

Stories // Foster



The process begins with a foster application.


Once your application has been reviewed, you'll receive an e-mail connecting you to a Foster Coordinator who will walk you through the approval process and be with you every step of the way.


We'll contact your veterinarian (of both current and previous animals, if you have any) as well as your landlord to make sure everyone is on the same page.


Your Foster Coordinator will call to explain our program to you, answer any questions you may have, and get to know you and your animals (if you have any) in order to help us match you with successful fosters in the future.


We will contact the personal references listed on your application. It is always helpful to give them a heads-up that you have applied and that someone will be contacting them in the next week or so to chat for a few minutes.


The final step in our process is the home visit! This is when your Foster Coordinator will come to your home, meet all residents (both human and animal), continue the conversation about fostering and answer any remaining questions you may have.


Once all of these steps have been completed, you will receive a welcome e-mail with all of the necessary information to get you started. Sometimes the entire process takes a couple of weeks. As an almost 100% volunteer-run organization, we do our best to move as quickly as possible. We know you're excited and truly appreciate your interest in ALIVE Rescue. You're saving lives.

Our Process
What We Provide

Submit your

application today >

I love ALIVE's foster program because...

I got to bond with my foster and get her to come out of her shell... she learned to be a dog again. 


Aside from savings lives, one of the best parts about fostering is that it is totally free! ALIVE Rescue covers all financial obligations associated with caring for a foster animal.

When caring for a foster animal from ALIVE we provide:

  • Supplies — Food, leash/collar/harness, bowls, crate, toys, blankets, treats, puppy pads, IQ toys, thunder shirts, coats, booties, etc.

  • Medical care — All vet appointments, medications, and any necessary medical care is fully covered by ALIVE.

  • Training — We have an amazing network of trainers who are always willing to help assist our fosters in learning and working with their foster animals​.

  • Temporary coverage when you are out of town — If you ever need to go out of town while caring for a foster animal, all you need to do is contact your Foster Coordinator as soon as your know your travel dates and our team will handle the rest!

  • Transport — We have an amazing transport network always ready and willing to help drive our animals to and from appointments, home visits, events, etc. We know that many of our fosters do not have cars, so we are here to help.

ISO Fostering


Any dog that ALIVE pulls from Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC), Chicago's main open-admission shelter, needs to be isolated from other animals for 2–3 weeks. This ensures they do not infect other pets with anything contagious they may have contracted from inside the shelter.

ISO fosters are homes where there are no other animals. ALIVE provides all medical care and guidance for your ISO foster animal, you provide a home and love to help work them through their ISO period. 

CACC serves the 2.5+ million people in Chicago and takes in roughly 15,000 animals per year. The facility has less than 500 spaces for homeless pets. Given these odds, CACC has an impressive save rate compared to many municipal shelters in the U.S., but there is always room for improvement. CACC is not yet no-kill, meaning unfortunately sometimes the shelter still has to kill for space.


ISO fosters allow us to pull more animals directly from CACC to help prevent killing, which is why fosters' life-saving efforts are crucial to ALIVE's mission.

If you or anyone you know does not have any other animals and is interested in fostering please help spread the word and encourage them to apply to foster with ALIVE. Short- or long-term, anything helps!

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