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Volunteer Foster Home

Become a foster

We believe dogs do their best work when they are kept in a warm, loving environment, which means each of our dogs goes home with a foster every night and we do not use kennels. We are flexible to suit your schedule.  We provide the training and you provide a safe and loving home.

Early Alert Canines partners with Canine Companions and other service dog organizations to acquire dogs for our program. They are typically two years old when they arrive and are all fully trained.


The dogs learn the scent work and alerting necessary to become a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD). We are a small organization, and often have several dogs in a holding pattern before classes. In order to place more people with the life-changing and life-saving care of a Diabetic Alert Dog, we are in constant need of more fosters! 

Types of fosters

Short term fosters generally live within 15 miles of the facility and drop the dog off at our training facility daily when we are open (M-Th 10am-3pm). This can be weekend only, weekday only, or some combination of the two.

Long term fosters can be for a week or a few months! Long term fosters work on keeping the dog's service skills sharp. They do not have to be local, as long as they are willing to transport dogs to/from the facility as needed. This could be before a dog begins its training or after a dog is ready for placement waiting for class. 

Transitional Fosters are households where at least one person has type 1 diabetes and is willing to take a dog for 6-8 weeks.  This vital step in our training process, requires logging of blood sugars and dog alerts to track progress Before our dogs are placed with their partner, they go through three to four transitional homes where they must meet certain alerting standards. If a dog isn't alerting, they need to come back to the facility for more work before they can be placed! Transitional fosters help the dogs gain comfort and confidence in alerting in different situations and with different people to make sure they're ready to be placed.

General Requirements

  • Attend a foster training course, generally held on a Saturday, at our training facility in Concord.

  • Transport dogs to/from our facility in Concord on a regular basis (depending on the type of foster, this can be daily, weekly, monthly, or even every 6-8 weeks).

  • Follow EAC rules and guidelines.

  • Groom dogs when they aren't at the facility regularly.

  • A maximum of two pet dogs in the house, at the discretion of our training staff. Dogs must be friendly and well socialized.

  • A maximum of two friendly cats in the house.

  • Willing to love a dog as if it were your own, knowing it will soon be handed on to save the life of a deserving person.

Are you ready to foster a future life-saver?
Email us at,
or call (925) 349-5190.

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