Volunteer Opportunities

General Requirements

Please email FOCAS for information about volunteering. You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer with the animals at the shelter.


Foster Program

The Bergen County Animal Shelter is desperately in need of foster homes for babies and animals with special medical needs. Space at the shelter is limited and with the number of animals living there, the risk of them picking up an airborne virus is great.

For this reason, the shelter has developed the foster program. Volunteers provide a home for kittens and puppies until they reach the age when they are ready for adoption, or a calm and safe environment for animals recovering from surgery. The shelter provides the veterinary care, food and other supplies. You provide the time and love.


Benefits of Fostering

Fostering is one of our most rewarding programs, but also one of the hardest and most emotional. It is difficult to give up your fosters for adoption (most foster parents wind up keeping at least one) and especially hard when you lose a baby to disease. This is not a program for someone wanting to "test drive" a kitten or puppy.


Foster Categories

  • Homes for kittens or puppies old enough to eat on their own that are waiting to be neutered. This is typically a 2-3 week commitment. You need not be home during the day, and these babies are typically healthy, needing only feeding, clean-up and play.

  • Homes for special litters that are eating on their own, but needing additional medical treatment. This is typically a six week commitment.

  • Homes for mothers with litters. The mother does most of the work, but this is a longer commitment.

    Homes for babies who need to be nursed. You must be home during the day. These are the hardest to raise and the most time consuming, as they need to be fed every four hours.

  • Homes for animals with special medical needs. Your commitment will vary - mostly the animal will need a safe and comfortable environment to help with recovery from surgery; administering of medication may be required.


More Information

For more information, contact the shelter, or stop by during adoption hours and ask to speak with Bernadette Mullen.

Contact Us

Deborah Yankow


Animal Shelter & Adoption Center: 201-229-4600

Animal Control Phone: 201-229-4616


 Bergen County Department of Health Services

One Bergen County Plaza  • 4th Floor • Hackensack, NJ 07601-7076

Phone: 201-634-2600 • Fax: 201-336-6086

Health & Safety Hotline: 201-225-7000