(Closed) Fostering a dog?

posted 7 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
2821 posts
Sugar bee

We fostered mainly puppies but also a few older dogs.  They were with us anywhere from a week to a month, though from what I hear that is a bit on the quick side of things.  I did cry when our first pup left but then got used to it and was happy to send them off to good homes.  Honestly, some of the older dogs had some oddities to them from how they were treated before they got to the shelter and didn’t interact quite normally with people, so patience is a must. 

We were lucky and never had any aggressive dogs but that’s something I’d watch out for.  We gave lots of love and treats but also gave them space, especially at first, to explore the house and get used to things (and people).  Like one we had was just very skittish and would run away anytime we approached her, so we didn’t try to chase after her but would walk to the fridge and get a treat and give our other dog a treat and eventually she’d become curious and peak around.  We’d throw her the treat when she showed curiousity but by throwing it she still could keep a bit of distance from us until she felt more comfy.  For other weird behaviors (a few were scared of leashes) we tried to wait for a few days until we had a good repertoire with the dogs before working with them. 

I’m not sure if we got lucky or what (that’s what our foster guy kept telling us, I think we just had a good loving system in place ) but it was an experience that we really have enjoyed.  It’s really neat to watch these dogs with all these idiosyncracies become loving, happy, trusting dogs again.  I think that’s the biggest thing is the dogs have lost trust in people looking out for their well-being so it’s mainly working on getting the dog to trust you.

Post # 4
Member
471 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’ve been wanting to foster too! Haven’t attempted to bring it up with the Fiance yet… I think it would be such a rewarding thing to do… Keeping an eye on this thread Smile

Post # 5
Member
317 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I foster cats for the rescue I volunteer with.  I can’t answer any dog questions, but I can tell you my experience fostering in general.  It’s kind of like adopting temporarily, since they live with you and you are responsible for them.  However, you kind of have to keep in the back of your head that it’s only a “temporary” pet.  I always get attached to my cats, but it’s sooo rewarding when you meet the person or family who is going to adopt that cat and see that they will give it a good home (in my group, fosters screen the potential adoptees and we make the decision over who adopts).  Some cats I’ve had for a week or two and some have been six months, a year; every one is different and some are easier to adopt out than others. I think they do adopt out faster from a foster home instead of a shelter, because after living with us, we can tell potential adoptees about their personality and temperment. For example, if someone is looking for a lap cat, I can tell them upfront if the cat is like that, whereas if they adopted from a shelter, they wouldn’t necessarily know the cat’s personality.  I can also tell people if my foster is good with other cats, with kids, etc.

My group takes animals from local shelters and puts them in our foster homes, so we are saving animals.

Sorry I wrote such a novel! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

Post # 6
Member
2008 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I’ve never fostered but have considered it.  Right now I’m not ready to take on a dog with issues, which is probably my biggest concern.  But it is a huge service.  We’re currently looking for a dog to adopt and would MUCH prefer one that has been fostered because so much more will be known about the dog.  My last dog was straight from the shelter and wound up having some serious aggression issues that probably would have been caught if there had been any interaction outside his kennel. 

Post # 8
Member
2821 posts
Sugar bee

All of the places seem to have different rules and some probably require a fence so you might want to check.  We found that the smaller, local places are easier to work with, we didn’t even contact the larger shelters because there was just tons of rules and visits and all sorts of bureaucratic junk to get through.  Finding a little place that was a couple blocks away from us and where we just worked with one guy was awesome though.  It was really convenient on both sides, we could just call him up and he’d get right back to us and if a large litter of puppies came in he knew we were right down the street to help out until enough foster homes became available. 

So I’d try to look at the rules they have for foster families before contacting anywhere, fostering is time consuming enough you don’t want to have to deal with pain in the neck people on top of that.

Post # 9
Member
2008 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I would say pick your favorite rescue and apply with them first.  They can tell you what their requirements and expectations are.  I know one rescue around here requires that you don’t foster with anyone else but I don’t know if that just means not having one of their dogs at the same time as another or no other fosters period.  Same with the fence. 

Good luck and I can’t believe you’re ready to jump in again after all the kitty drama!  Very impressive!  😉

Post # 10
Member
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

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.” Smile

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!!!

Post # 11
Member
457 posts
Helper bee

I foster dogs! and it is a lot of work but rewarding. I do have the problem of getting super attached.

Our first foster turned into us adopting her, she has some serious behavior issues, mainly with men but overall doesn’t like people that she doesn’t know, she is very protective of the house and was never socialized. I consider her very lucky that she ended up with us because I don’t think a lot of people who are just looking for a dog would put the time and effort we put into her, as well as the money. We spent tons of time and money with a trainer and socialzing her, she is a wonderful dog, with us  and came a long way, but w still have to be on our toes and careful with her. We can’t keep her out with guests, but we are okay with this. We are happy to give her a home that she can live out the rest of her life in. She is 7 and they only live to about 10 ( Mastiff)

We currently have another foster, a male mastiff, he is greatttt with our dog and loves people, but he is very bonded to me, and he has some seperation issues and gets very anxious when he is left alone. And he does have a tendency to be protective but not in a horrible way. We did have a family come look at him and they do want him, but they want to take him on their terms which means the dog is with us another month and another month of him getting attached to us which is breaking my heart, I feel like the longer we keep him the harder it is going to be on him and on us. I’m trying to convince my Darling Husband to let us keep him but if we do that we most likely can’t foster anymore until we move to a larger house. I just fear that this family isn’t the right “fit’ but it also could be that I’m an attached foster mommy!

Post # 12
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

The lady we got our dog from was a foster dog mom. She had a VERY hard time giving her up to us and Calla had a hard time adjusting to our house and being an only dog. I know it’s better than having them stay at a shelter, but the lady we got ours from was very attached and pretty much didn’t want to give her up. It made things a little uncomfortable for awhile, but we’re better now. We will still send her picutres every now and then of the pooch.

Go for it! I think it’d be great. Just don’t become too attached!

Post # 15
Member
2008 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Ooh!  Good luck!  And definitely let us know how it goes!  Wolf hybrids?!  That’s kind of crazy!  (My best friend growing up wanted a wolf so badly!  She ended up with a husky.Smile)

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