The bridge to creating a positive and inclusive animal foster community.


FOSPICE: Assisting end-of-life shelter dogs in finding “forever foster” placements, supporting the dog & caretaker throughout their journey on a one-on-one basis, and finding peace for the dogs in their final months. A program developed and run by Foster Dogs, Inc., in collaboration with individual rescue organizations for each participating dog.

Brett. Photo: Marshall Boprey

Meet Our #Fospice Dogs:

All About Fospice

We started our Fospice program in 2013, and have sponsored 38 dogs as of September 2017. Fospice dogs come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny (5 lbs) to huge (120 lbs); breeds have included: Pit Bull, Maltese, Bichon, Shepherd, Shar Pei, Beagle, Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Labrador Retriever. We welcome Fospice friends of all shapes and sizes!

Kayla and Jillian in Coney Island. Photo: Stacey Axelrod

As of Fall 2017, we have donated over $14,000 directly to other nonprofit organizations to support the special Fospice dogs in our program. With increased funding, we can save many more Fospice dogs from shelters, and allow for more animal rescue organizations to rescue these dogs despite their less-“adoptable” status.

DONATE on our GoFundMe page to directly support Fospice.


Max with Laura and Aubree, Photo: Stacey Axelrod @nycpetphotographer

2 dolly fospice

Dolly, from Social Tees Animal Rescue

We donate products and materials to each dog in our Fospice program, at no cost to the dog’s “forever foster” caretaker. These products typically include: dog bed, food, medication, watercolor portrait, photo shoot, toys, and leash.

As of August 2017, we’ve worked with 17 nonprofit rescue organizations, and hope to work with these groups again, in addition to many more groups around the country.

The majority of dogs in our program are elderly, though we have sponsored three young dogs who have inoperable / terminal conditions and have a poor prognosis.

View our many beautiful Fospice articles on our website

Matrix, In Our Hands Rescue. Photo: Marshall Boprey

Foster + Hospice = Fospice!

With innumerable sick and elderly dogs we see in animal shelters, wouldn’t it be useful to have a program that took them out of the shelter environment and placed them in “forever foster” homes for their final days/months? Too many old and sick dogs die in shelters around the country; how about we make the world a slightly better place and provide care and comfort to a dog in need.

Taz Fospice

Taz and Madhumita, Photo: Samantha Cheirif

What is Fospice, and how does it compare to “Hospice”?

Fospice uses the human hospice idea, and makes it work for dogs. “The word ‘hospice’ comes from the Latin word hospes: meaning to host a guest or stranger” (Via Amitabha Hospice Service). Our fospice recipient must be elderly (at a natural old age, according to their breed/size), and/or terminally ill. Foster Dogs will search for a foster home for the dog in need, and will sponsor the dog’s basic needs for the remainder of their life. The concept of end-of-life care remains; the level of care varies with each dog.

Beau Fospice Stacey Axelrod

Beau and Maya, Photo: Stacey Axelrod

We were inspired by the ASPCA’s fospice program:

The reasons for sending animals to foster are varied. Sometimes shelters receive animals that are not medically healthy enough for adoption, but still have the right to live out their golden years in loving homes and with proper medical treatment. For these pets, the ASPCA supports finding homes that are part foster, part hospice—or “fospice.” Are you ready to open your heart and home to a fospice animal? – ASPCA

Tera and family. Photo: Marshall Boprey

By using the ASPCA’s program as a starting point, we were able make this program our own. In addition to vet care and daily needs, our Fospice recipients will receive a one-on-one professional photo shoot, as a keepsake for their foster parents. We will provide the dog with a brand new bed, leash, tasty treats, grooming, and whatever toys they could possibly want. While we are not a large organization, we want to make a difference where we can; and this is one aspect of rescue where we can make a real impact. [Also see: Operation Foster Bound, Canines in the Classroom, and Foster Manual]

Gina Fospice

Gina and her Fospice family, Photo: Jenn Hix Rosen

Which dogs can qualify for Fospice?

We search for very elderly dogs or terminally ill dogs who fit one of the following criteria: In the care of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit rescue group / At an animal shelter / At risk of being surrendered by their owners. Typically, our Fospice dogs have received a negative prognosis from a veterinarian who said that he or she has fewer than six months to live. 


Daisy, Photo: Lisa Burger, deeogee

Want to apply to be a Fospice caretaker?

Complete our Foster Roster application, and make a note in your entry that you are applying for FOSPICE.

Fospice sponsorship includes:

Finding a “Forever Foster” Home:

Donation to Dog’s Rescue Group:

Dog Bed Donation from Harry Barker:

Custom Painted Portrait

2015-2017 work by Amanda Moeckel, My Animal Art

BarkBox Subscription (6 months):

Professional Photo Shoot:

Handmade “Rescue Leash” from Found My Animal:

All of these corporate sponsors are based in New York City, as we love partnering with awesome local businesses. After all, we’re all in this together! The companies above have all donated their support to Fospice to save more elderly and terminally ill shelter dogs. Our funding goes straight towards a donation to the rescue group, and support of the Fospice caretaker’s needs for their particular dog.

We hope to sponsor many more dogs in years to come. Please consider donating to this special program.

Richie Bear Fospice

Richie Bear & Mellissa, Photo: Dorie Herman @chloekardoggian

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