Foster care is the most crucial yet scarce ingredient in dog rescue.
Without available foster homes, many dogs are unable to be rescued.
For the dogs in animal control facilities, this often means death.
The responsibilities of doggie foster care are as follows:
A foster companion or family must provide a safe, secure, stable environment, and, most importantly, the love needed to nurture those dogs back to their happy, healthy selves. Some dogs require special care, such as post medical attention, increasing weight or strength, socializing, building trust, exercise, and fun. This is a family commitement.
Some dogs just require you.
Basic Foster Care duties:
Dog foster care providers are people who rescue dogs from being put to sleep in pounds and shelters. They temporarily provide food, care, and shelter for them in their own home until a permanent home can be found.
Dogs have a limited amount of time before a pound or shelter will have to put them to sleep.
Being a foster care provider takes a considerable amount of time, dedication, and genuine caring.
It's a big commitment and it's not a job for everyone so please make this is something you can do.
Yet the fulfillment and sense of purpose you receive in knowing that you helped one more dog find its way into a safe, happy home is overwhelming each time you successfully place a dog.
As a foster "parent", you are not only providing shelter, food and health care, you will be responsible for learning about and assessing the dog's temperament, character and abilities before finding him a new home.
You should teach some basic commands and obedience training to the dog. Things such as sit, come, stay, and having the dog walk on a lead will ensure a secure transition into its new home. It is also important to socialize with other dogs, people and surroundings. You'll may also need to also look for fear or aggression triggers and if possible have the dog toilet trained.
These things will depend on a wide range of factors. the dogs age, how long you have him, its history, how much time you can spare each day, inside or outside dog? etc.
When it is time for your dog to go to its new permanent home you will most probably feel an attachment to your foster dog, and tears may be shed that day. It is important to remember that you did give the dog a second chance at life and that's a very precious and worthwhile gift to both the dog and its new family.
Animal Rescue Groups
The best way to start foster caring is through a rescue group.
Most rescue groups will cover the cost of vet fees.
Things such as:
- vet examinations
- spay & neuter
- micro chipping
When you find a permanent home for the foster dog, an adoption fee (or reimbursement fee) is paid by the new owner and is passed on to the rescue group.
Some rescue groups will receive donations of food, blankets and medication which can be passed onto carers.
Other rescue groups are able to provide full food and health care for the foster dogs. If you find that you are struggling with a foster dog, let someone from the rescue group know. Often rescue groups share their resources and work together for the benefit of the dogs.
Some dogs take longer to find homes than others, if you find that you are unable to continue fostering, then the rescue group will need some notice so they can find another foster carer. Under no circumstances should be the dog be taken back to the pound or given to any other organization without permission of the rescue group.
If you are looking for a particular dog you can specify which breed or age you want although most dogs that end up in pounds are cross breeds. For example you may only want to take small terrier mixes that get along with cats; or large outdoor-only dogs. Others find puppies are less threatening to their own dog.
Each rescue group has different requirements and procedures. For example; most rescue groups will not have the resources to take a foster dog back into care so they ask that you take on the foster dog as if you were adding the dog to your family until a permanent home can be found. It's best to contact them individually and see which one suits you. Most are very flexible and all have the one common goal; to protect and care for dogs in need.
There are hundreds of dog clubs in America and more and more are devoting resources to dog rescue. Some clubs may only have one person organizing the rehoming of the dogs, other clubs may have team of people organizing fundraisers, maintaining a rescue website, and have a number of foster carers available.
Note: Some breed clubs will not take on cross breeds. That is their choice and we should be grateful that they are willing to volunteer their time. Even if you only want to save white dogs with a brown legs, that's great!
Anyone making people feel guilty about selective rescuing are only going to lessen the number of people who get involved.