Our foster homes mean a lot to any rescue group. All too often we are notified of dogs who need rescue from shelters or are owner turn-ins. Due to the vast amount of dogs we are requested to take in, often times our personal home and our foster homes are full. This means we have to double up on dogs in our home or our foster homes, which sometimes makes it hard. Therefore, we are always looking for new foster homes that would like to help out.
To be a foster home you would have to fill out an application, have reference checks done and have a home visit. We must do this to make sure our foster homes are in a safe environment for our dogs. If you are volunteering to be a foster home because you know a member, you will work with that member. If you are interested in fostering, but are volunteering without knowing a member, once approved, we'll introduce you by email to those in your state and you'll be guided by one of them.
Should everything be approved and you say you're ready to foster, you may be approached to foster a dog for us. Your responsibilities will be to feed and care for the dog as if it were your own, work with the dog if there are any training issues, and, if the member isn't close to you where they can take the dog to the vet, you will be asked to take the dog to the vet to complete our required health exam. Our preference is the member close to you and who is working with you takes the dog to the vet, but sometimes distance or time constraints don't allow for this and we need to have the foster home help out. You will be given complete instructions on what to do so don't worry.
Fostering can be emotional and challenging and will impact you as well as your family. Your family has to be onboard with this and you will want to be sure that any other dog or cat in your household will be receptive. Please make sure you let the member who you are working with what you can and cannot have as a foster in your home. For example, if you have a cat or other pets, make sure you tell your representative you cannot have a dog that is small animal aggressive (dachshunds can be obsessed with small animals and because they have a high prey drive, may be too interested in small animals, such as rabbits, rodents or birds) or cannot have a dog that is known to be cat aggressive. We do not want your personal pets to be at risk and this must be made clear when you discuss what type of foster dog you can handle. If you can only have a female to foster, make that perfectly clear. Whatever your requirements are, they will be respected. If you have small children, please make sure they are never unattended with any dog. We do not know the temperament of a dog coming in to foster care, therefore, you must take extreme caution until you feel the dog is okay to be with children or other pets. The important part of fostering is for the foster home to tell us about this dog. This helps us place the dog in the home that best suits them.
On the emotional level, many times a foster home becomes very much attached to their foster dog and wishes to keep them. Notify the member immediately and tell them you would like to adopt the dog. You will have to fill out an application and sign a contract. Keep in mind though, the foster dog is being campaigned and may have a family who wants them, so, the sooner you tell the member you're working with, the greater the chance you can adopt the dog yourself. There is nothing shameful about failing as a first time foster home. It happens all of the time! We just hope we don't lose you as a foster home!
If you have any questions on fostering, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.