If you’re here to help the animals, you’re in the right place.

As a foster-based nonprofit animal rescue, we work tirelessly to connect animals in need with loving families. Because while these furry companions may have had a rough start, their story is far from over. In fact, their best chapters are yet to be written. And our expansive community —  consisting of fosters, donors, volunteers, adopters, and staff members — is dedicated to telling the best story we can. Together.


Opening your home to serve as a temporary family for an animal in need makes you a hero. It’s the definition of life changing (and life saving!) work, for both the people and the pets involved. We’re always in need of new foster homes, especially in a post-pandemic world rampant with pet overpopulation.

When you foster through our organization, we cover all expenses and provide everything you need to succeed. Plus, you choose who, when, and how often you bring a pet into your home ⁠— meaning you get to foster on your own terms with no obligations.

All foster animals are taken care of prior to adoption at our Princeton, MN office ⁠— right in your backyard! Providing care to our rescue pets and placing them in loving homes are both passions of ours, but we need your help to do it.

To get started, fill out a foster application. We’ll contact you soon to get all the details we need to send you on your way to superhero status.


By adopting from Ruff Start, you’re making the world a better place for both pets and people – as well as growing your family dynamic in one of the most fulfilling and heartwarming ways possible.

To get started, take a look at our adorable adoptables. Once you spot a pet that gives you heart palpitations, an adoption application is the best way to indicate your interest in them.

Not finding the purrfect match after a quick browse? Don’t worry, we’d love to work with you to find a companion that checks all your boxes. Fill out that application, friend.

Words of Purrraise

Wondering if adopting or fostering would be a good fit for you? Check out these testimonials from our fosters and adopters. They’re the heart and soul of our organization, and they know better than anyone what it’s like to be in your shoes.

“I can’t say enough about how welcoming, helpful, and understanding all the RSR employees, volunteers, and members are. It’s such a well-run and organized program.”⁠

⁠— Melissa L., Ruff Start Foster

“I had always thought that I would rather find a dog on Craigslist then go through the hassle of adoption through a rescue. [Using] Ruff Start Rescue was a breeze! … I’m so grateful [it was] a smooth process and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future.”

⁠— Grace G., Ruff Start Adopter

“To anyone considering fostering, I’d tell them you don’t need to be an animal expert. You don’t need to have a large fenced-in yard or be the perfect pet parent. All you really need is patience and love to show these animals until they find their [new] homes.”

⁠— Morgen O., Ruff Start Foster

Ready to make the world a better place?

Whether you join us to find the community you’ve been missing or to become a real-life superhero, we’re here for you every step of the way. Changing the world might seem a bit intimidating, but it’s truly as simple as signing up.

Ruff Start Rescue