New Volunteer and Foster FAQs

We are thrilled to have you as a new volunteer or foster! You probably have a lot of questions and this page should be a great resource to answer as many a possible. If you have additional specific questions or concerns, you’re welcome to email us at

FAQs for New Fosters

What do I do when I arrive to pick up my dog?

Check in at the main table, which can be identified by the bright red Dog Star tablecloths. The volunteer at the table will confirm your assignment and direct you to where your dog is located. Usually, they will be in our facility, on the Bark Bus, or coming with a foster.

How do I get an “adopt me” bandana for my dog?

The main table at each event has a bin of these. A volunteer should put one on each dog to help folks know they’re adoptable. If a dog gets adopted they can get a green Dog Star Alumni bandana.

Why are the gray folders so important to bring to each event?

These folders contain all the information we have on a dog’s medical and life history. If there is an interested potential adopter, the screener uses this to discuss everything we know about the dog with them. Without this folder, there is a chance we may miss an issue/detail that would be important to the dog’s success in their new home.

How do I get supplies for my dog?

Each event has a Foster Lead who will help to get you food, bedding, toys, or a crate to bring home. Please let your foster coordinator know if there are supplies you suspect you need ahead of time, especially if we will be at an offsite event. This will help to streamline the process of getting you what you need.

How do I communicate updates about my dog once they’re at my home?

Please stay in close touch with your foster coordinator so we know more about your dog. House trained? Tell us! Not a fan of cats? Tell us! The more we know about the dog the better our screening team can find the perfect match.

How do I share new photos and videos of my dog?

Email with fresh photos and videos. If you have an iPhone use Portrait mode outdoors for the best results.

FAQs for New Adoption Event Volunteers

When do I find out the dog I am handling?

You will receive an email the Thursday before the event regarding your role at the event. Please make sure you check your spam folder if you do not receive. Note that should the dog you’re assigned to get adopted prior to the event, a volunteer will let you know when you arrive and assign you a different dog or role.

How do I find out more information about the dog I am handling?

Our website – – has a bio written up about every adoptable dog. Please review this closely to learn as much about the dog as we know. Event attendees will ask you about the dog’s age, whether they are good with other dogs/kids, activity level, personality and other questions so this is a great resource for you to be prepared ahead of time. Please note the longer a dog is with us, the more accurate we are with our bios, so we may not know too much about our newest arrivals. If you notice that your assigned dog is not on the website, please reach out for information. When dogs are scheduled for a meet and greet with an adopter, we temporarily take down their profile so that other adopters can focus on dogs that are not on hold.

What do I do when I arrive at an event?

All of our events have a main table that is setup about 30 minutes before an adoption event. There you will find helpful volunteers who can let you know where to go, direct you to the dog you are handling, and answer any questions you may have.

What should I wear?

Our adoption events are almost always outdoors so please dress appropriately for the weather. Wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, and closed toe, comfortable shoes like sneakers.

When/how do I get a red volunteer shirt?

Volunteers are provided with a red volunteer shirt. These are available at our headquarters so please ask for one when you arrive for an adoption event. If you are volunteering at an event not at our headquarters remember to ask for one when you arrive at a headquarters event next time.

What are best practices for handling a dog?

We have a guidebook, approved by our Behavior team that answers many FAQs. Please read this before you attend an adoption event.

If I want to order more Dog Star Apparel online how do I do that?

We have a selection of items online for volunteers here. We also have seasonal items available which we will notify folks about typically through social media. You are also welcome to visit Vincent Sport Shop in Simsbury CT to get something custom done with our logo which they have.

How does it work if someone is interested in a dog I’m handling?

If someone is interested in adopting the dog you are handling, they will need to scan our event QR code and fill out the event’s interest survey. A member of the Screening team will review their interest and determine where the family is in the application process. A Screener will then follow up with the family about next steps at the event either in person, by phone or text message during the event. The family should wait with you and the dog while this process occurs.

  • Pre-qualified: Pre-qualified means that we have determined the family is eligible to adopt a dog from us. This doesn’t mean that they have been matched with a specific dog. Pre-qualified applicant still need to complete an interview when they’re interested in a specific dog, which a Screener will facilitate.
  • Application is still being processed: They may have submitted an application prior to coming to the event but we may not have been able to finish the pre-qualification process.
  • Not yet submitted an application: Some people are early into the process or new to us so the first step is that they need to submit an adoption on our website. They can do this at the event on their phone. Sometimes we have resources available to begin reviewing that application but it’s not guaranteed.
How do I get supplies for my dog?

If you need treats, poop bags, or something else, the main table keeps a supply of these items for handlers. You can pick these up when you check-in, or navigate to the table throughout the event.