Being a foster family with Animal Care Sanctuary (ACS) means a few different things:

  1. You are helping the individual you are fostering. You may have been asked to take this animal in because of their health, to help them with behavioral issues that are more difficult to manage in the sanctuary, because the sanctuary was too stressful for them, or because the sanctuary did not have enough space. Whatever the specific reason, you are giving this animal a second chance at life.
  2. You are giving another animal the space at the sanctuary that your foster was occupying. While the benefits to your foster are too many to count, you are also providing another animal with the opportunity for a second chance by freeing up the space in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is then able to direct time and resources to more animals in order to help a greater number of them.
  3. You are given the opportunity to love and rehabilitate an animal in order to get them into their forever home. This can be a highly rewarding experience as you watch the animal overcome behavior and health issues in order to become their happiest, healthiest selves. By advertising for the animal through social media posts and taking them in public with adoption materials, you can help to find them their forever home and get them to a happy ending.
  4. You receive the love of an animal in need. Not only are you able to help this animal, but the animal will help you. You may be sad when the anial transitions into their forever home, but you will be fulfilled from helping these animals in need but their happiness and the love they give to you while they are in your care will make up for all of that.

We at ACS hope to increase our efforts and expand our reach to even more animals. You can help us to achieve this goal by joining our foster network and taking in an animal in need. If you are interested, fill out an application on our website ( contact our Foster Care Coordinator at

Animal Care Sanctuary’s (ACS) alternative housing program pairs dogs with behavioral difficulties that may decrease their adoptability, with college-level pre-veterinary or animal science interns in onsite housing. 

Since the inception of the internship program in 2014, ACS has hosted 33 interns from well-known universities across the United States.  ACS intern alumni have attended New York University, Purdue, Notre Dame, Penn State University as well as students from two of the top veterinary schools: Cornell University and the University of Minnesota. 

Behavior issues in dogs are common in the shelter environment, and resolving the issue often requires consistent training with the guidance of a trainer or behaviorist.  Since we have a low number of foster families, utilizing interns was the best solution! 

Within a homelike environment, with their dedicated person (intern), dogs undergo individually tailored behavior-modification training regimes.  The intent is to decrease their stress while increasing their behavior modification training to prepare for adoption.  According to Emily Watson of Animal Wellness magazine, “Combined with quality care, positive training programs for shelter dogs can help increase adoption rates and ensure successful integration into forever homes.”

Dogs in this program typically had a very long length of stay (three years being the longest) and a limited chance of being adopted due to challenging behaviors ranging from fear of strangers to dog aggression.   After spending three months in a homelike environment with round the clock training they were an adoption success.   To date, the program has a 96 percent success rate, with 27 of its 28 dogs now in new homes. 

Although, some of the dogs in the program have been quite challenging, having an alternative housing dog remains one of the highlights of this internship.   Zoe P. from Unity College says that “I loved the idea of getting to spend individual time with a specific dog at the sanctuary to help with training and increase their potential for adoption.  Cooper improved so much by the time he was adopted.  Even just living in the home with me helped him gain trust and confidence in himself to meet new people.”

Interns actively market their Alternative Housing dogs to ensure adoption is a priority.  Interns act as their dogs’ ambassador when showing them to potential adopters.  Interns then serve help the dog transition into its new home by providing their forever family with advice on how to continue their training for a long lasting relationship built on trust resulting in a forever home. 



353 Sanctuary Hill Ln,
East Smithfield, PA 18817


East Smithfield, PA 18817


(570) 596-2200 - Option 2

Fax: 570-596-2222


ACS needs your help to save more lives!
Together we can make a difference.


Dog rehoming and behavioral questions
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570-596-2200 Choose Extension 403
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Animal Care Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization — contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. The official registration and financial information of Animal Care Sanctuary may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free within Pennsylvania, (800) 732-0999.
Registration does not imply endorsement.

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