YAY! Thank you for your interest in fostering!!! I agree with Caitlanc that you should apply to one rescue first. You could probably volunteer for the other shelters in other ways, but if you applied to all three, they may all be hoping/expecting you to foster, and you would either have THREE foster dogs or have to disappoint other shelters.
Some organizations require a fence, others do not. I have fostered for one group in the past and plan to foster for a different organization in the future. Both require you to either have a fence or to take the dog out only while on a leash.
I cried every time a foster left, because I was sad to see them go and would miss them, but mostly because I was happy that they had found a forever family and were moving on to their new life. Some are also harder to see go than others, believe me! And some never leave…we adopted our second foster, which is known as a “foster failure.”
Most groups will pay for any approved vet bills. Some will also pay for food, crates, etc., but that depends on the budget of the particular rescue you volunteer for. If it’s important to you that they provide food, for example, I would make sure you find that out up front.
Dogs definitely adjust better in a home environment, which makes them more adoptable. Whether they will be adopted faster from a foster home or from the shelter depends on things like breed, location, the organization, etc., though, so it can be hard to answer that question accurately. Most of our fosters were with us for a month or two. Some dogs will take less time, some will take more time.
You are not under any obligation to foster for an organization forever more, so if you foster a dog and decide it’s not for you, you don’t have to do it again, (I think it’s highly rewarding and hope you will, too!). Or if you foster a dog or two and decide you don’t agree with the organization’s policies, you can volunteer your time to another worthy organization.
Please let us know how it goes for you!!!