Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter

Great Friends Found Here. Visit UPAWS

UPAWS Foster Pet Program

Are you interested in embarking on a life-changing journey by becoming a UPAWS foster parent to a pet?

A volunteer foster pet parent assists UPAWS pets by providing in home care. The goal of the Foster Parent Volunteer is to help animals outside of the shelter environment who for example need a break from the shelter kennels, are underage, ill, injured, or under-socialized so that they may become healthy, adoptable animals or are for adoption already.

Foster parents provide a clean, safe, loving environment for the animals in their homes. Our goal is to care for as many pets as possible in order to make them available for adoption. With the help of our dedicated volunteers, we’re able to save lives and find loving homes for pets in need.

UPAWS also offer unique opportunities for more experienced foster volunteers and those  who wish to have more hands on fostering, through our Adoption Ambassador Program.

Learn More About Pet Foster Program

Your goal is to help animals outside of the shelter environment who need a break from the shelter, underage, ill, or under-socialized so that they may become healthy, adoptable animals or are for adoption already.

UPAWS will give you all of the supplies needed to care for foster animals. This includes food, litter, and medical care.


The staff sends out an email whenever the shelter has animals in need of a foster home. When we have emergencies (bottle baby kittens, emergency cases etc.), we will call. You are welcome to check with us.

You will take shelter animals who need a break, underage, ill, injured, or under-socialized animals to your home until the animal is deemed ready to be put up for adoption at the shelter or are for adoption already.

Foster parents must fill out a Foster Application and be approved. You must have the time and ability to work with your foster animal(s). Your own pets should be spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated. It is ideal if you have a room or space in your home where the foster animals can be “isolated” from your own pets when necessary.

Varies depending on the animal. Average stay is two weeks but can vary.

18 to volunteer, families may assist.

     OR Download and print: Foster Application

Why become a foster parent?

  • Reduces the amount of time an animal spends at UPAWS.
  • Allows UPAWS to have open kennels for other animals in need.
  • You’ll help UPAWS get a better understanding of the animal and his needs.
  • Helps a pet become more adoptable and increases the chance of a successful adoption .
  • Makes a big difference for one animal in need.
  • It’s fun and rewarding!

Which animals need fostering?

  • Kittens and puppies who are too young to be spayed or neutered and adopted out into permanent homes. When the animals are eight weeks old and weigh at least two pounds, they can be spayed or neutered and made available for adoption.
  • Cats or dogs who are nursing a litter of kittens or puppies.
  • Cats or dogs who are being treated for injuries or illnesses.
  • Cats, dogs and small critters that need a break from the shelter environment.
  • Dogs that will be more adoptable with increased one-on-one attention and exercise.
  • Cats that are nervous at the shelter, but blossom in a home environment.
  • Horses and other large animals.

This is just an example of why most of our animals are placed in foster care. But UPAWS will consider placing any animal in a foster home! We love foster homes and enjoy watching our homeless furry friends relax in a loving foster home until they find the forever one.

Questions? Please contact info@upaws.org or 906-475-6661 for more information.






Contact Us

Phone: (906) 475-6661
Fax: (906) 475-6669
Email: info@upaws.org

Office Hours

Mon-Wed: 12pm to 4pm
Thursday: 12pm to 6:30pm
Friday-Sunday: 12pm-4pm


815 South State Highway M553
Gwinn, MI 49841
View Map

Subscribe to our