Important Questions To Ask Yourself
Do you feel comfortable explaining to friends that these pets are not yours to adopt out and that they must go through the regular adoption process at the rescue?
If you are interested in helping to find a home for your foster pet, refer your friends and family to the rescue group to complete an adoption application.
Sometimes adoption is not an option even after a pet has been fostered. Knowing that an animal you have fostered may need to be euthanized due to behavior or medical conditions can be very hard to deal with. In the end it is what is best for the animal and its quality of life that must be kept in mind.
It can be very difficult to let go once you have become emotionally attached to an animal! Be prepared for tears and heartache when the day comes that you must bring your first foster pet back to the rescue for adoption. But remember, he or she is now much more likely to find a loving, permanent home because of YOUR care! Parents, consider how the adoption of a foster pet might affect your children and be prepared to explain it to them.
The shelter or rescue group likely works with a vet who will treat your foster pet at no charge to you. If the animal you are fostering needs medical attention, you will need to transport him or her to the vet’s office for care.
You will need to pay attention to signs of illness or worsening of symptoms and call the shelter or rescue group if you are concerned. Before taking in a foster, ask the foster care coordinator what to look for. If you see troubling signs, the coordinator will help you decide if you should bring the animal in for treatment.
Are you aware that there is a great deal of clean-up and even possible damage to your home when you take a foster pet home?
Foster pets have ruined drapes, carpeting, clothing, and other valuable items. Preparing your home and the area the animal will stay in can prevent most accidents, but not all of them! Non-Profits are not able to reimburse for damages, when you take in a foster you do it knowing something might get torn up that you need.
You should have a place where you can isolate your foster pet from your own companion animals for the amount of time required. Some need only a week, others 2-4 weeks. A separate room or enclosed area with no carpet will work best.
It’s all too easy to become attached to this little creature who is living in your house. People who end up adopting their foster pets are known affectionately as “foster failures.” Some rescue groups are OK with that, while others frown on it because it often means that you’re no longer available as a foster home for future animals. If you’re not sure you will be able to say goodbye, think twice about fostering. * While Kate’s does not mind a foster fail we do need the fosters. If you are unable to let go and find yourself wanting to hold onto them all fostering may not be the best way for you to help. The more you keep, the less we can move along through your home with your help. Parting is not easy, but it helps us save lives.
A foster animal may need a place for only a few weeks, or his stay could stretch out for months. There’s no guarantee that a foster animal will be adopted within a certain time frame, but until he’s adopted, he needs a home. Be sure you can commit before you accept a foster pet. * Some dogs take days to get adopted, others weeks, and some have been in rescue for years. Being foster based means you are it, we have no other placement. It takes time to find replacement fosters, all we can do is ask and wait for someone to step up. Fosters should be prepared for the long haul and take this into consideration with any foster dog.
Some rescue groups post pets online and take applications for them, but others hold regular adoption events at local pet supply stores or other venues. You may need to take your foster pet to those events until she’s adopted, which means looking carefully at your weekend schedule. * Kate’s Rescue hold events every Saturday. Locations vary, while we do not require the pet to be at every event we do expect them to attend at least 2 events a month. Fosters can drop off and pick up after (for puppies) and we can arrange pickup for some events if fosters cannot attend.
Ask up front what your out-of-pocket expenses will be. The rescue group should cover any veterinary expenses, but it may or may not pay for items such as food or cat litter. In addition, if you know that you will be traveling for work or vacation during the time you’ll be fostering, say so up front so the rescue group can decide whether it can afford the expense of a pet sitter or will help you find someone else to care for the animal while you’re gone. * Kate’s Rescue covers the cost of vet visits, and necessary supplies. Being non profit we cannot afford special everything for all 130 active dogs. That being said we have a list of approved brands or items we will reimburse for. If a foster buys outside of this list, or without permissions we will not reimburse. Fosters are free to supply their foster with whatever they want out of pocket, there are only some things we reimburse for. Most toys, beds, collars, leashes, treats, kennels, flea treatments ect will not be reimbursed as we have these on hand for fosters to ask for.
If your pet is possessive of your lap, how will she respond when a guest animal tries to sit there? Some breeds are more prone to quarreling than others, and the arrival of an additional animal, even just temporarily, can upset the balance of pet power in your household. Your normally well-behaved dog or cat may “act out” or forget his house training. You may need the skills of a circus ringmaster to maintain harmony. *Most of the dogs we handle are shelter pulls after months of no other interaction or abusive homes. This means more than likely the animal will not like every new pet it meets instantly. Some of our dogs do not like cats, smaller dogs, or some sexes. We will place a dog that fits your home, but understanding and willingness to train is a must!
Fostering isn’t just making sure the animal stays healthy and safe and eats well; you’re also responsible for teaching your foster pet how to be a good family member. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that everyone who lives in your house is on board with the foster plan and willing to help your temporary pet fit in. * Foster dogs need to learn how to behave in a home, it is the foster that teaches the dogs these behaviors. It can include teaching not to chew, to leave food alone, not to go potty in the house or chew on items, how to share space, ect. NONE of our dogs will be fully trained, they are all rescues in need of help. If they were fully trained without issues they would not need rescue help. Please be aware you are getting a dog with “quarks”
If the answer is no, are you prepared to teach that skill and to ensure that your belongings aren’t damaged in the process? If you’re up for potty training, you may want to roll up valuable rugs and put them away while you’re fostering — and you might need to pull that crate and baby gate out of the attic, too. * More than likely most of the dogs we will be needing fosters for are straight out of abusive homes or shelters. That means that lack general training. It is up to the foster to install general behavior, we have a trainer that can offer tips but it is the foster that puts in the work and time on behalf of the dog.
Bottle-feeding babies often means round-the-clock dedication. Older kittens or puppies, on the other hand, need lots of handling, training and socialization, and they may need to be taken to the veterinarian for spay/neuter or teeth cleaning while they are with you. Adult animals may simply need a place to stay until they are adopted, but sometimes they have special needs as well. Be sure you know what you’re getting into before you bring a foster pet home.
Fostering pets has its ups and downs, they may tear up items, pee in the house, act out, eat your dinner off the counter, not like your existing dog at first…and you will likely cry when your foster pet walks out the door for the last time — but the rewards of seeing him blossom and watching a new family fall in love with him will have you signing up to do it all over again.