Become a Foster
Individuals and families are eligible to foster after completing the application process and being approved. We will work with you to select the dog or dogs which will be the best fit for you in terms of temperament, allergies, training needs, health, etc. Our matchmaking is a thoughtful process for both the foster and the dog.
The Application Process
We review all applications thoroughly, check two non-family references, and conduct a home visit to make sure that your home environment is safe. Our criteria: Dedicated fosters who are committed and willing to work through the challenges and delight of fostering.
Because we are a small, all-volunteer organization, the process can take one to two weeks, so please be patient with us. Once you have been approved as a foster, you do not need to re-apply for each subsequent dog.
Preparing for Your Foster
We are usually able to provide the initial necessities, like a collar and leash, food, and medication. After that, our fosters are responsible for food, treats, and toys. We share food and/or treat donations we may receive.
Everything you provide for your foster dog is tax deductible.
To Crate or Not
Crates are a great tool for fosters and we do our best to provide one. When a dog is coming from a shelter and we know very little about them, a crate helps them feel safe and gives time to adjust to your home, especially if you have other pets. It’s also great to crate-train dogs for their adoptive families.
It’s prudent to be patient and go slowly with your foster because negative behaviors may only surface once the dog begins to feel at home.
All of our dogs will have been to a veterinarian and spayed/neutered when they arrive. If there are any known health issues, you will be notified in advance. We cover all medical issues, however we must be notified prior to any treatments so that we can set up appointments with our partner veterinarians.
Foster Time Frame
To provide as much stability as possible, we ask that you keep your foster dog until it is adopted. This can range from a few days to a couple of months.
If you foresee a time when you are unable to foster (e.g., a planned vacation), we will try to make appropriate arrangements to move the dog to another foster. However, you must notify the foster team as far in advance as possible. Last minute requests are very hard to fulfill.
Advice for First-Time Fosters
Who is this dog I’m going to bring into my house straight from a shelter? Be assured, we’ll be with you every step of the way. We will train you, give you a Foster Guidebook, filled with tips and advice, and match you with an experienced foster (ideally in your geographic area), part of our Foster Mentor Program. Your foster mentor is experienced and is available for advice and assistance. Some foster mentors are even able to serve as back-up fosters if you have to go out of town for a weekend or need help one evening. We never want you to feel that you are stuck or all alone.
While fostering can be a wonderful experience, we also must be honest that not all dogs work out. Some can end up having behavior or health problems that are more than you bargained for. Some may end up not being a good fit for your family. If you are no longer comfortable keeping a dog, please contact us immediately and we will move the dog.