Fostering

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Fostering a dog is not unlike raising a child in that it is at times exhausting, heartbreaking, frustrating and yet joyful, fun, and rewarding at the same time.  Interested in fostering a dog?  Read on!

What are the Requirements for Fostering?

A foster home must meet the same requirements as an adoptive home.  A potential foster parent/family must submit a foster application.  We contact personal references, veterinary references, and do a home check. All other animals in the home must be spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations.  All non-farm animals must be kept as indoor residents of your home.  While we do not require a fence, you must agree to keep the dog on a supervised tie-out or on leash. Experience with Boxers strongly preferred.

What are My Responsibilities as a Foster Parent?

Foster parents are asked to:

  • Provide food for the dog (premium food).  You will also need to provide food bowls for the dog.
  • Have a crate on hand for those young'uns that should not be left to roam free while no one is home
  • Provide treats, toys, and other goodies
    Temperament test each dog to identify any potential issues with the dog (we will provide training on temperament testing)
  • Care for the dog in a manner that is consistent with how you care for your own animals.  At the same time, foster parents usually need to provide additional guidelines and training for the foster dog, who is likely to have had NO training previously.
  • Do some driving from time to time (picking up dogs, taking dogs to new homes, etc.)
  • Adhere to the principles of positive reinforcement training.  We believe in treating dogs with kindness and respect.
  • Attend any and all training opportunities provided by the rescue.  Volunteers are strongly encouraged to attend canine behavior seminars held by other vendors as well.

What are the Rescue's Responsibilities?

The rescue covers all of the dogs' veterinary needs (we also provide the dog with a new leash and collar as well as a microchip).  Occasionally you may be asked to take a dog to your veterinarian for routine care.  We prefer to work with veterinarians who offer a discount to us. We also do our best to provide training and mentoring to you as a foster home.  We provide training opportunities throughout the year.  We are very proud of the volunteer team we have assembled.  We all work together to provide each other with encouragement, advice, etc.

Foster homes also host visits from prospective adopters.  We all work together to evaluate each applicant to make sure that they are the best possible match for that dog (and vice versa).

What Should I do to Prepare for My Foster Dog?

In addition to having some basic supplies on hand, you'll want to take the following into consideration:

  • If you have a cat (or cats), you'll want to make sure you have a way to separate cats and dogs.  We may not always be able to test a dog with cats before the dog comes into your home.
  • We generally do not use foster homes with small children.  If you have older children, please educate them in basic canine etiquette:
    • Do not bother a dog while he/she is eating
    • Do not bother a dog while he/she is sleeping
    • Do not take things away from the dog
    • Do not lean over the dog and hug the dog (dogs see this as a very threatening posture)
  • You will want to have some specialized cleaning products on hand.  We often use products like "Nature's Miracle" (an enzymatic cleaner) to remove stains.  That brings up another issue.  You'll want to have a strong stomach. As a foster home, you'll definitely clean up something gross at some point.

Fostering May Not Be For You If:

  • You are torn between fostering and adopting.  While many foster homes do end up adopting a dog, it's important to remember that this is not a "try one on for size" situation.  In the event that a foster home does adopt a dog, they pay the same fee that any other adopter pays.  Fostering is strictly for those who want to help the cause and feel they have the time, space, and heart to do so.
  • You don't feel that you can withstand the emotional turmoil of caring for a dog and then having the dog leave when he/she gets adopted.
  • You have fabulous furniture and don't want dog hair on it.  People with pristine houses often find fostering to be a frustrating experience.  With Boxers, you can count on a puddle by the water bowl, chunks of food flung from their flews onto your walls, and whatever other messes they can manage. The most successful foster homes are those that have a high tolerance level and don't "sweat the small stuff."

If you think you are interested in the adventure of fostering, please apply. Thanks!

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