Fostering is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. It involves allowing a dog into your home and family and not only making sure it receives vet care (paid for by TSCR), food, exercise, and love, but also preparing the dog to go into a forever home. TSCR would not be in existence today if it were not for our foster homes, and the number we have directly impacts the number of dogs we are able to help. Below are some commonly asked questions/answers regarding fostering. Additionally, you can always reach out to have additional questions answered. We are happy to help.
Why are fosters needed? The answer to this question has many responses. There are many risks associated with an animal staying in a shelter. When an animal is in a shelter, he or she is more likely to become ill (due to the number of animals in close quarters). Also, long-term shelter residents often find the shelter environment stressful and can become depressed, anxious, or fearful. Moving animals into private homes allows them to relax and blossom, as well as learn how to become good “house dogs” through training and socialization. In medical cases, fostering allows the animal to receive treatment or recover in a quiet, stress-free environment. With fostering, everyone benefits – the foster gets to spend time with a special dog, and the shelter gains space, which will most likely save another dog’s life. The foster dog gets a second chance at becoming a cherished pet. The new owners get a dog that is better adapted to home life and therefore has a better chance of remaining in the new home permanently.
What does a foster parent do? As a foster parent, you allow an animal to live in your home until he or she is adopted. Aside from regular day-to-day care (feeding, grooming, and exercise), the responsibilities of a foster may include basic training (house training, walking on a leash, sit, down); behavior modification (to correct problems such as jumping, mouthing, barking, destructive chewing); socialization and temperament evaluation to determine whether the dog is good with different types of people, children and other animals; medical care, such as dispensing medication or taking the dog to vet appointments; and, of course, plenty of playtime and snuggling.
Who pays the foster animal’s expenses? TSCR covers all veterinary expenses for your foster dog. TSCR will also provide a slip lead, collar and ID tag, leash, harness, and seat belt tether. TSCR has several crates for use with fosters and will assist in purchase if one is not available. Fosters generally only cover basic food, toys, treats, etc. If assistance is needed with these items feel free to reach out to your Regional Manager.
Can I use my own veterinarian/Do I have to use TSCR vets? TSCR works with several vets who not only charge a special rescue rate but also have a great deal of experience with rescue dogs/former shelter dogs and the medical challenges common to them. TSCR prefers to use those vets, but if getting a dog to those vets is a hardship for a foster, and if TSCR is familiar with the foster’s personal vet, we may be willing to work with the foster for non-major issues. We may also be able to assist with transportation to vet appointments with our own preferred vets.
Who handles the animal’s adoption? TSCR has an Adoption Committee. TSCR will promote the animal, screen potential adopters, and arrange home visits and meetings between your foster and potential adopters. As a foster parent, we want you to take an active role in the adoption of your dog. The adoption committee will contact you with an approved adopter who may be a good fit for your foster. You will also receive the vet reference information, home visit information, pictures, and interview notes. We will ask you to reach out to the applicants, discuss your assessment of the dog, ask questions, and determine if you think the placement is a good one. You do not get placed on the spot as you will not be required to tell the potential adopt yes or no, the adoption committee will respond to the applicant based on your input and the information from the items previously listed. Additionally, you would need to make the animal available for potential adopters to meet and/or for visits to the potential home. The final approval of adoption will lie with TSCR, but foster input is heavily weighted in the decision as no one knows the dog as well as you.
Won’t I get too attached to my foster? For many animal lovers, this fear is one of the biggest obstacles to fostering. The answer is “Yes”, you will get attached to your foster and we wouldn’t expect anything less. Caring for, training, and watching a dog flourish under your care is a fantastic bonding experience. However, watching a family meet and fall in love with your foster and sign-on to provide that dog a wonderful lifelong experience is one of the most fulfilling and selfless acts one can perform. It also lets you then provide that same experience for another animal in need. No one will ever say they foster because it is easy letting a foster go, they will tell you they foster as it is harder to watch dogs die due to limited resources within shelters and rescues. TSCR does allow fosters to apply to adopt. Foster applications go through the same process as any other adoption and in the event, we have a waiting list, applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received. This in no way implies “first come first serve” on adoptions as we look to place the right dog in the right home. The application date is only one of many items the committee reviews.
How long will I have to foster the animal? Fostering can be a short-term or long-term commitment, depending on the circumstances of the dog and the time it takes to finalize an adoption. Ideally, a foster parent should have some flexibility, as sometimes the unexpected does happen (e.g., a transport is delayed, medical treatment takes longer than expected, etc.), but TSCR will do everything possible to work with you and any limitations you may have.
Will I be able to choose my foster animal? Of course! When applying to foster, you tell us if there are specific criteria for an animal you can foster. Must like cats? OK. Puppies only? That’s cool. Prefer a senior or special needs dog? Wonderful! If we do not have an animal in need that fits your criteria right now, we can almost promise we will find one. We are continuously bringing in dogs that need to be rehomed. When we do find one that matches your criteria, we will contact you to see if circumstances allow you to accept a foster at that time.
What if my foster isn’t a fit for my family? We will do everything possible to ensure your foster is a proper fit before you take the animal. In the event that issues arise after your foster comes home, you should contact your regional manager to see what can be done to place the foster animal in a new foster home. We may even be able to help you resolve those issues and keep your foster.
I’m still nervous…Can I get more information? Yes. We understand that fostering can be a daunting prospect to many people. We have experienced fosters we can connect you with to answer questions before you foster–or help with any issues once you have accepted a foster dog into your home. They can help explain how to introduce a foster to resident animals, help resolve behavioral issues, provide training tips, and offer many other resources.
I want to foster! How do I get started? Fill out our foster application here.