While funding is obviously critical to our rescue efforts, the real heroes are our foster homes.  Without a place to stay until they find their forever home Elder Paws is unable to pull senior dogs off the "red list" from high kill shelters.  We continue to get a steady stream of calls daily from kill shelters reaching out to us regarding saving senior dogs at their facility that have very little time left before they are euthanized.  


Fostering means the difference between life and death for a homeless senior shelter dog.  There is no financial obligation to you.  We cover all expenses related to the foster dog, you simply supply the love and affection.  Many people have never fostered a senior dog as they are misinformed or have preconceived ideas of what fostering a senior dog means.  They have no idea of the joy and the blessing that fostering an old soul can provide.  Many people think that all senior dogs are sick and dying.  Nothing could be further from the truth in most cases.  Please take a look at the testimonials below of those who have experienced fostering senior dogs.  I hope their statements will enlighten you and inspire you to experience senior dog fostering for yourself.


If you have a small space on a couch or chair for a senior dog to hang out while waiting for a forever home please contact us.  There is a foster application at the bottom of this page.  Fill it out and either return it to us by email at or by regular mail at Elder Paws, 4673 W Vassar Ave, Fresno, CA 93722.

Fostering Statements


I prefer the older dogs to puppies any day- it's much easier to integrate them into a household, their routine is already established, they are ready to "be" dogs- very little extra work other than TLC. I'd open my (dog) door in a heartbeat to fostering a senior!! Ultra Rhody Donahue



My family and I fostered a senior Pomeranian a few months ago. After only a few days, we became foster failures. She is an amazing addition to our family and we are so happy to have given her a second chance at life. She quickly made herself at home and got along with all our other animals. We hope to be able to foster again once we have a little more room in our home .  Justine Caldera 



I have a senior foster. He was heavy heartworm positive, tiny, under 5 pounds, a chunk out of his ear, not neutered. Bad teeth, you name it. He is neutered, healthy and we adore him! Because we are doing the slow method to treat heart worms, he has been with us a year already. I am crazy about this little fella, and I can't imagine life without him! He is amazing, funny, loving, loyal, and why anyone would balk at fostering a senior defeats me. Paula Theobald Coulter



I luuuuuuv my senior fosters!!! They are soooo grateful and appreciative of the unconditional luv and attention ! They are precious to me and always will be. They come into our pack with no agenda but to just belong to a caring family! Seniors rock!!!!! Dont miss out on the opportunity and blessing to hav luving eyes look at you as to say "thank you" for still seeing my value and worth! It doesnt get much better than that folks!  Wendy Coulter 



I fostered a senior dog who I ended up adopting.  There is something very special and endearing about senior pets. I would definitely foster/adopt again!  Rachel Nelken



Fostering a senior is extremely rewarding, watching them go from depressed at being dropped off to happy eating healthy and living life again for many years, in most cases, is wonderful.  I love being a part of giving them the life they deserve.  Cheri A. Glankler



I am a foster for our local county animal shelter. I never thought I would foster, I was fine with others doing that part. But as time went on I realized the need for foster families. We are a pug and pit bull family. So when a 14 year old pug came into the shelter because her owner was very ill and in the hospital, I knew I was needed. The pug, I named her munchkin, had only one eye, was flea infested and her back end would give out sometimes when she walked.  I took her home in hopes that the owner would get her back. That did not happen. The owners family moved the owner across the country without a concern for the dog. Munchkin thrived in our home with our other pugs and a couple feisty pit bull pups we were fostering at the time. She was full of life and always reminded us when dinner time came around with several silly barks. I didn't think munchkin would live but 6 more months. But she prove me wrong. She lasted another 2 years. She went to the shelter with me every Saturday that I volunteered. Oh sure some people laughed at her because she was not the prettiest girl in the world to them. But she was beautiful to me. She succumbed to congestive heart failure early one morning 3 years ago. My other dogs alerted me when she had passed. As little as she was, she made a huge impact on my life. Because of her I have such a heart for the senior dogs that people say are "just too old". Munchkin proved she wasn't too old to be loved. My dream is to have a senior rescue such as yours.  I know the pain of losing them but I also know the joy in making their last days, weeks or years the best that they deserve.  Tanalyn Pfeil



No experience is better. Foster if you can't adopt - it will heal your spirit and keep you walking and laughing!  Judy Sharp



Fostering a senior dog is bittersweet - bittersweet in the fact that this dog was given up by the people whom it considered family for many, many years, but it has also been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.



My senior came into my home as a scared and panicked dog, who paced through the house nonstop, searching for the family who had abandoned her. She was in a new home, with new people, as well as new animals; I could only imagine the confusion that accompanied all of this. To my surprise, about two days after she arrived at my home, she walked up to me, looked me in the eyes and gave a little whine. In the days following that whine was an amazing display of trust and love. Despite the abandonment, confusion and betrayal that she endured, her beautiful little soul still had an abundance of love that she needed to give. I saw her transform from a sad and scared dog, to a loving and playful (might I also add PERFECT) companion in a matter of days! 



I cannot fathom why anybody would give up such a perfect dog, but the sad reality is that this happens everyday, in every city across the world. The only reason that she, and the other lucky seniors, are alive and thriving is because a foster stepped up and made a commitment to love and care for them. 


Fostering my senior was a wonderful experience; she was fully house trained and already knew a couple of simple commands. I didn't need to worry about puppy training pads, or crate training or even teaching her basic manners. She never chewed up my favorite shoes, as any puppy most definitely would have done, and I never needed to worry about her getting into mischief while my back was turned. She was perfect in every way, and I can't wait to do this all over again!  Stephanie Strulin

I used to be extrememly intimidated by senior dogs. I thought because of their advanced age that they would be more work, or would require more from me than I was willing to give. After fostering a delightful little senior poodle, I realized my fears were ridiculous. Whether they are still spry, or have reached their quiet golden years, these seniors dogs are well worth the time and effort to save. Fostering is a vital part of that saving equation, and I’m so glad I gave it a shot.  Erica Horn

Foster Application