Why Foster?

Aug 2016 shelter intake                        Feb 2019

Thanks for checking us out! I started this site because each year approximately 1.5 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters across the U.S. I volunteered for almost 2 years at a rural county shelter exercising the dogs and playing with the cats. I saw right away that one of the biggest problems rescues have in trying to save these healthy animals are the lack of temporary foster homes. A foster home is a temporary way stop for the animal to relax and unwind from the stress of being in the shelter while the rescue works on finding a permanent home. Rescues receive applications to adopt almost daily, but without a foster home for the animal to stay in while the application is processed and transportation arranged the rescue is unable to take the animal in. The shelters in this area euthanize for space so the longer an animal remains in the shelter the higher the risk of being euthanized for the kennel space.

This is where you come in! The dogs and cats (and even Stew E. the bunny) listed on this site are in need of fosters, some only for a few weeks while they are receiving their medical care (e.g. spay/neuter, shots, etc.) and transportation arranged if their approved adopter is outside of the immediate area. Many of the transport networks use volunteers to travel short legs of the trip and this all needs to be arranged. So while your foster hangs out at your house all of this is being done behind the scenes by the rescues. You and your foster can use this time to just relax and go on long walks, car rides (windows partially up, please!), give belly rubs, and receive grateful doggie kisses. What’s better than that?

Fostering may not be something that everyone is familiar with and that’s ok. When I started at the shelter I had no idea how any of it worked. The process is pretty straightforward:

  • Submit the application at the link posted for the pet you are interested in.
  • The rescue receives it and reviews it. Some rescues require an applicant to list personal references. Don’t be offended. They want to make sure you are the best home for the pet.
  • Someone from the rescue will contact you if everything checks out to let you know you are approved and to make arrangements for the dog or cat to be brought to you. A home visit may be done at that time. Home visits are important to make sure everything is in order to take your new housemate in!
  • Kennels and leashes may be provided by the rescue if you need them and don’t have them. Kennels are an important part of welcoming a new dog into the home. Kennels are the dog’s safe space where they can sleep and have some quiet time to themselves as they get used to your place.
  • The rescue will stay in touch to let you know when vet appointments are. If you can’t take your foster, a volunteer can pick up and drop back off. Just let the rescue know so they can line someone up.
  • Routines are important especially eating and potty time. Doing this from day 1 makes life go so much easier for both you and your foster. When I first brought my two pups home from the shelter (I am a foster failure, but that’s another story! My two are at the top of the page) we had to walk them every 2 hours no matter the weather to get a schedule set. Puppies will need more frequent potty breaks/walks as they have little bladders.

Remember those 2 hours I just mentioned? Guess who is at my feet doing the doggy pee-pee dance?

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