Dog Fostering Columbia SC
Is Fostering a Dog Right for Me?
For dog lovers, hearing about the six to eight million pets who enter shelters each year (according to the Humane Society of the U.S.) leads to a sharp pain in the heart. Adoption may be out - perhaps you already have a dog or two or can't commit to a lifetime of care. But there is a way to give these forgotten dogs a better chance - become a foster provider.
Fostering a dog is becoming a popular way of helping dogs in shelters prepare for a forever home. It might even save a dog's life as the shortage of space for keeping dogs in shelters is always increasing. The exact requirements for foster homes varies depending on the shelter or rescue you are working with but here are some basic guidelines.
Daily Care: This includes feeding, grooming, exercise, petting time and playtime. This also includes healthcare. Most organizations will cover this cost but check to make sure.
Training: A foster provider is usually responsible for training. Shelter dogs come from varied pasts - many of them have been abused or neglected. The most common reason dogs are surrendered to shelters is behavior problems. Therefore, be prepared for dogs who are nervous, fearful, unruly, even aggressive. They will need patience and, sometimes, special training to overcome their issues. And you may have to do some basic training such as housebreaking.
Finding a Home: Again, it depends on the organization but sometimes dog foster homes are expected to help in the search for a permanent home. This can include putting an ad in the newspaper, posting your dog's information online, hanging posters in places such as pet stores, and attending adoption events.
Length of Stay: Make sure you and the animal shelter are on the same page regarding the length of fostering a puppy. If you take on an older dog, it's less likely he'll find a home as fast as a puppy will. Some shelters take dogs back once they're well-adjusted; others expect you to keep them until they're adopted.
In addition to knowing the requirements, before you become a dog foster home there are some considerations. Fostering a dog means changes in your household routine. It also means more time and energy and possibly an upset in your family's life. There are some considerations before you take on this task.
Family Members: Make sure everyone agrees to fostering a dog. Discuss the added responsibilities, the benefits and the drawbacks. The shelter you work with should be able to help you find a suitable dog for your family. Keep in mind that many dogs from shelters are mutts. A good rule of thumb is to determine what the breed the dog most looks like then research that breed. He will likely act most similarly to the dog he mirrors.
Other Pets: If you have a cat, make sure your foster dog is good with felines. If you have a dog, make sure both your dog and the foster are not aggressive.
Age of Foster Dog: If you are interested in puppy adoption and foster...
Tips for Being a Good Doggie Foster Parent
Fostering a dog is one of many ways you can help improve the lives of homeless pets. Most Dogster members are well aware of the pet overpopulation problem both nationally and internationally - there are millions of dogs that wait and sadly die in shelters and rescues annually, awaiting the forever homes they truly deserve.
While shelters and rescue facilities would like to house every homeless pet, this is often impractical and impossible due to a lack of resources or space. Dogs that would otherwise be euthanized due to lack of space can be saved through caring people who are willing to open their home and hearts to a shelter pet in need.
Many homeless pets grew up in homes where they were well-loved family members. For whatever reason, these dogs find themselves homeless and alone. It is scary and stressful to go from a place where you are well loved and surrounded by your family to a place where you are surrounded by strange dogs, people, sights, and sounds. In many of these dogs, the stress is manifested in the form of unwanted or self-destructive behaviors.
Foster homes are a great solution for dogs with kennel stress or other special needs. Whelping mothers, young puppies, and senior dogs are especially vulnerable to the shelter environment and need a quiet place to raise young, grow, and age peacefully until the right forever home can be found. If you choose to become a foster provider, you give these dogs a chance at life, and save them from the fate so many others suffer - euthanization while awaiting a forever home.
How Do I Become A Foster Care Provider?
So you've decided you want to become a pet foster parent. Great! Providing foster care for dogs will certainly be a rewarding experience, but will just as likely be emotionally challenging. Sending a successful foster to his forever home is bittersweet - you are saying goodbye to a friend, which hurts, but are also sending him on to the greatest adventure of his life - a place where he will be cherished and loved until he goes to the rainbow bridge - a forever home.
The first step will be visiting www.petfinder.com to find rescue organizations near you. If you have a favorite breed and are willing to branch out geographically, the site will be able to refer you to a number of breed-specific rescues (which may or may not allow mixed breeds). You can also find toy breed rescues, giant breed rescues, and organizations which focus specifically on senior, special needs, or puppy adoption and fostering.
When you've found a few that interest you, contact them requesting an application for fostering. Review the application carefully. If you have questions, ask! Who pays for the vet bills? Who is financially responsible for the dog's food, microchip, leashes, crate, etc.? Are there organization-wide meetings? If so, when and how often do they occur? Where will the dog be introduced to prospective adopters and how much liberty do you have in scheduling these meetings...