Frequently Asked Questions about fostering
What do I have to pay for?
Nothing! You provide the love and safety, and we will provide everything else! We'll loan you a crate, leash, etc., and give you the food and arrange for veterinary care if needed.
What if I want to help by buying toys, food, or other supplies?
Great! We'll talk more about all those things before you get started. Donations to your foster dog are often tax deductible.
How long will my foster dog be here?
It's impossible to predict. By law, dogs must stay in our care for the first 2-5 days but as a rescue our Board policy requires they are in foster care for one week. After that first week, we allow approved adopters to visit and potentially adopt at that time. Dogs have been with us from a few days to a few months, sometimes more. It's a fact of life ; 0 )
What if I want to adopt my foster dog?
If the dog is not already committed to an adopter (we will let you know when placing the dog with you), then you may have the first option. We typically ask foster families for a decision in 1 - 2 weeks to be fair to the dog and any potential adopters. At that time, we will ask for the adoption fee and will transfer paperwork and ownership to you.
What if my foster dog is not working out?
We do our best to facilitate a good match, but we don't always have complete information. This is especially true if the dog does not have any experience in a home or family. There is always an adjustment period while you are figuring each other out, and we will help in any way we can. After that period, if there are still concerns, we will move the dog, but please understand that it can take a few days. Our primary goal is to keep everyone, including the dog, safe. We also don't want them bouncing from home to home - there have already been so many adjustments in their lives!
Do you expect me to train the dog?
We don't expect you to be Cesar or Victoria, but your assessment of the dog is important to us. For some, this is the first experience in a home or with a family. House training is often a part of fostering; for some dogs it's just a refresher and they pick up quickly. Some take a little longer, and puppies are, of course, going to take the longest. Even an adult dog who was previously housebroken will sometimes have accidents in a new environment.
What else do you expect of us?
We don't expect you to do a lot of traveling but there may be vet visits, "meet and greet" events and of course meetings with potential adopters. We expect the adopters to travel, not you, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and it would be a huge help if you are willing and able to drive. New photos, videos and updates from you will go a long way to helping your foster sweetie get adopted.
I've heard rescue dogs we can have "issues." What problems will I face? Will she bit someone, hurt my children, or eat the cat?
We do all we can to gather information and make the best possible match, but cannot prepare for every single situation. Your calm, assertive, educated leadership will go a long way towards nipping a problem in the bud. You will need to understand that there are thousands (yes, thousands) of dogs euthanized in this country every day. The dogs we take are the "best of the best" from local surrenders and high-kill shelters in the south, and they were spared because someone saw potential in them. Of the 1100+ dogs we have taken in, we have had aggressive instances in fewer than 5% of the population and almost all of these can be traced back to human error.
That being said, you need to know:
ALL rescue dogs are a flight risk. Do NOT expect to allow your foster dog to be off-leash unless in a securely fenced yard - even then you need to supervise in case of digging or jumping. No dog should be unsupervised on a run or tie-out.
Shy or fearful behavior can occur in the beginning or with any new situation.
Patience goes a long way. We expect that only positive, reward-based discipline be used. Using force or "tough love" is not going to get you there any faster.
We have many resources to help with challenges. We are here for you!
I have children. Will I be excluded from fostering?
NO! We believe that kids and dogs are a natural match, but we are very careful with which dogs we place in your home (for obvious reasons). Teaching your kids to respect and nurture your foster dog will pay dividends throughout their lives! However, we do expect adult supervision at all times and that the responsibility for care is to fall squarely on the shoulders of the adults in the home. Use this opportunity to teach responsibility, compassion, and training, but at no time should the safety of the dog or your children be compromised.
I don’t have a fenced yard. Will I be excluded from fostering with your rescue?
No you won’t. We don’t see a fence as a substitute for walks, playing, and other types of exercise. Your dog needs to be stimulated intellectually as well as physically and walks on a leash will help you bond and learn more about each other. We’d rather see them out walking than stuck in a fenced yard. Dogs should never be left outside while you are not home. Chained or tied-out dogs are sitting ducks for other animals, theft, accidents and behavior issues related to boredom.