Dogs and cats rescued from the streets, municipal shelters, or from abusive or neglectful situations must be safely, temporarily housed until a permanent home can be found. We cannot exist as rescuers without the support and commitment of our foster families. Without you, these animals would literally have no hope of a loving, permanent home. In many cases, you will be the first time they have been allowed indoors, or the first time they have had enough to eat. You are their first step to trusting again. A foster family puts the long-term needs of the animal first. The day your foster dog or cat is adopted is a combination of sadness and joy. You may miss them, but you have made the difference between their life and death.
When you decide to foster, you will be responsible for the day-to-day care of the rescue dog placed with you. We will provide food and will be responsible for any necessary medical care. You will be responsible for housing, feeding, administering monthly heartworm and flea preventative, administering any medications, and will be asked to make every attempt at housebreaking, leash training, crate training, and socialization where it is needed. Our animals are placed in foster homes after proper vaccinations (distemper, parvovirus, rabies and bordetella/kennel cough), a heartworm test and a fecal test. We will provide a crate of proper size for your use at night and whenever you are not around to supervise. New rescue dogs never be left alone with your own dogs without supervision. Your new foster needs a safe environment, including a secure fence, no doors left open, etc.
Our job (and yours) is to shape these animals into ones we can successfully place. This takes time and effort. Animals are in foster homes for anywhere from two weeks to a several months. Animals are rarely in rescue for less than two weeks, and an average length of stay is six weeks to two months. Dogs and cats that need a great deal of basic training and socialization, or perhaps have physical disabilities may take longer.
Before you make the decision to foster, ask yourself and all other members of the household, if they are fully committed to the idea.
- Do you have pets of your own that would not do well with the addition of a foster animal to the family?
- If you have pets of your own, do they get along with other dogs and cats?
- Are they spayed and/or neutered?
- Are they up to date on all their vaccinations, heartworm tested, and on a monthly preventative?
- Are you committed to this and willing to accept the added expense of your time?