Fostering

Postby a-bull » May 24th, 2006, 9:02 am

Could we maybe get a cohesive list of things to consider before fostering going here, and then maybe make it into a sticky??

Maybe it could even include things to look for in the rescue you are fostering for.

This is such an important issue. Check out this example:

http://www.rpanimalshelter.org/fostercare.html
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Postby Marinepits » May 24th, 2006, 9:05 am

Hey, that's a great idea and that link brings up some good points! :thumbsup:
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Postby SisMorphine » May 24th, 2006, 9:07 am

That is a great idea! I know I was so not prepared when I got my first foster, it would have been nice to have a cohesive list of what I would need and what to expect.
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
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Postby a-bull » May 24th, 2006, 9:07 am

yeah, I thoght that was a good link . . . it just seems there are so many issues that can arise fostering, maybe we could cover some that people may not think of . . .
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Postby a-bull » May 24th, 2006, 9:08 am

SisMorphine wrote:That is a great idea! I know I was so not prepared when I got my first foster, it would have been nice to have a cohesive list of what I would need and what to expect.


yup, "what to expect" and "what you need" is helpful, too!
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Postby Maryellen » May 24th, 2006, 9:11 am

this is a sample of what i wrote up a little over a month ago, i never finished adding to it..

You are interested in fostering for either a shelter or rescue group. GREAT!! now comes the homework and research.. have you researched the breed of dog you want to foster?? GREAT!!! you know the breed you want to foster, you have done your research and the breed is right for your family.. next step, everyone at home is in 100% agreement with you.. GREAT!! next step to choose a rescue/shelter to foster for. Most rescues will have an application process for you to foster, as they dont just let anyone foster.. most rescues prefer people with that breed experience, but are willing to allow someone to foster if they dont have the experience with that breed if they feel you can do it. some will give you strictly puppies, others will give you easy going adult dogs..

Fostering is a very rewarding experience, but its not for everyone.. Some people get so emotional when the foster dog leaves that they cant do it anymore.. they were too attached to the dog. it happens. dont feel bad if it happens to you..

Fostering has RULES.. simple to follow rules.
1. no furniture for the foster dog ever.
2. basic obedience skills are to be taught to the dog- sit, come, stay, heel. (NILIF)
3. rescues will reimburse the foster home for food, vet care and vaccines. Some wont reimburse for anything.
4. some shelters will let you foster, but you pay for everything out of your own pocket and DONT get reimbursed.
5. foster dogs from rescues are expected to attend adoption events.

So the day has come, you are ready to bring home your foster dog, you have your crate, the food and are all ready.. when you bring the dog home you must get the dog on a potty schedule right away, and a routine. this will make the transition smoother.. Puppies have to go out every 2 hours, so someone must be home or come into the house for potty.. Adult dogs are easier, they can last for around 5-6 hours if already housebroken. you have to take the foster dog everywhere for socialization and report back to the shelter/rescue on the dogs behavior.

some rescues will not adopt out dogs that bite. period.. you must recognize this, and understand it. if your foster dog bites someone the dog is to be returned to the rescue to be euthanized. there is no sugar coating here folks. no rescue will adopt out a dog that bites a human as its not right, and the dog has become a liability to do more serious damage.. can you handle this? if not, dont foster.

Fostering is a very rewarding experience for most of us, and not for everyone. make sure you do all your research before you bring home a foster dog.

Finding dogs their forever home is what they do - many for a very long time. They are not looking for the dog's next home - they are searching for their last home. To accomplish that requires some rules and criteria, please understand.

Please remember, you are providing a valuable service by fostering, but ultimately you are trying to help this dog find that one special home that is perfect. Some foster arrangement do fail - because the "keep um fairy" shows up - that's okay.

Please remember to stay in touch with your rescue/shelter. Update them on any health issues, behavior issues or behavior/training milestones - these help the organization make decisions about the best possible placement.

Please, do not foster a dog or puppy if you cant commit to the fostering term. Some dogs stay in foster care for a month or a year, or longer.. foster homes have to be in it for the long haul.
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Postby a-bull » May 24th, 2006, 9:16 am

Oh, good, because I didn't know how to start here . . .

Did you post that and I didn't see it?
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Postby Maryellen » May 24th, 2006, 9:17 am

no, i have been working on it since last month, but keep getting sidetracked, so i never finished it, it was just notes i kept writing down and saving, its not even in the right order.. just figured i would post it anyway, this way everyone can add their own stuff too, then we can consolidate all the info, make it really cool looking, then sticky it once its all done and good..
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Postby SpiritFngrz » May 24th, 2006, 9:25 am

This is a good idea to have this thread as a sticky
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Postby Maryellen » May 24th, 2006, 9:27 am

once we get all the great info, we will consolidate everything and make it a sticky
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Postby a-bull » May 24th, 2006, 9:33 am

So should we just fire stuff out here, and you'll condense it? Or how would you like us to proceed??
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Postby muse » May 24th, 2006, 9:40 am

Thats an awesome list, Maryellen. I know I just sorta jumped in with both feet before fully knowing exactly what to expect. Knowing what I know now, I will ask MANY question before I even consider fostering another dog.

Thanks for this. :)
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Postby Maryellen » May 24th, 2006, 9:45 am

yep, fire away folks, and we can get everyones experiences, info, etc and then consolidate it into one long sticky... this way all the info is in one post, and then i will delete all the other posts
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Postby muse » May 24th, 2006, 10:01 am

Please know the procedures of a Rescue BEFORE you step up and foster a dog for them. In an emergency some rescues will take the dog back while others will not and it will be left to you to find a place for the dog.

Also, if a rescue does not give you any paperwork to sign, take this as a red flag and DO NOT foster for that rescue. Something is amiss when you sign nothing to say your fostering the animal for a certain rescue.

Is this what you mean, Maryellen?
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Postby Maryellen » May 24th, 2006, 10:05 am

yep alma, awesome..

keep them coming everyone... there has to be more folks then us posting here that have fostered...

No furniture for rescue dogs, as some owners dont want dogs on the furniture..
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Postby a-bull » May 24th, 2006, 10:21 am

*As a fosterhome, clarify with the resuce you are voluteering for that the animal is the property of the resuce, and be sure the rescue is willing to take full responsibility in the event of an accident.

Get this in writing.
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Postby SisMorphine » May 24th, 2006, 10:29 am

From doing Greyhound foster I learned that a foster home is a place for a dog to become acclimated to home life and to work on behavioral issues and/or basic obedience while they are there (or recover from illness or surgery).

Yet for some reason pit rescue groups are looking more for a space as opposed to an actual foster home, which really ticks me off. If you're not planning on working hard with that dog then don't take it.
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Postby muse » May 24th, 2006, 10:41 am

DO NOT overextend yourself. Please realize that if you have many dogs already, your foster dog will not get the right amount of socialization, training and just plain love that he/she deserves. Make sure you have the time to not only feed and let the dogs out, but also teach it what a home is, since some of these dogs have never been in one.
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Postby ccc2006 » May 24th, 2006, 1:12 pm

Ok, here's one: make sure to follow the rescue's rules regarding the fostering of the dog. Respect that the rescue's policies are for the benefit of the dogs future.
Treating the foster dog as your own isn't beneficial to the dog. Letting the dog sleep in your bed, letting up on the furniture, etc. aren't advisable as these may not be a welcome habit in the forever home.
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Postby a-bull » May 24th, 2006, 6:25 pm

Be sure you have a thorough understanding of the breed you are offering to foster.
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