What does it mean to “foster” a dog?
A foster home is a home (like yours!) that provides temporary shelter, care and love for pets while they are awaiting placement in a new “forever” home. Foster pets are much more likely to have successful, life-long placements in new homes when they come from a loving foster home, than when coming directly from the shelter. You will keep your foster dog until it gets new adoptive parents.
What makes a good foster home?
If you’ve had some experience with dogs before, have a basic understanding of their needs, and a touch of common sense... you’re a good foster candidate! Our dogs are looking for a little love, walks, meals, and a safe place. If you think you can give this to a dog, you should consider fostering.
Who pays for expenses?
Reach Out Rescue & Resources will pay expenses of vet care and medicine ONLY at an approved vet, with prior approval. Foster parents should always call a Reach Out Rescue & Resources representative to get authorization. However, NEVER hold off on an emergency... but contact us ASAP.
What about heartworm preventative and flea and tick medication?
Each pack of HW meds is $50 when we get it donated, we send to our fosters and we do buy it for long time fosters and dogs who have been treated for heartworm. HOWEVER, the heartworm test we do is good for 6 mos and most dogs are adopted well within that time and the adopters should be putting the dog on heartworm preventative. So across the board no, we do not give all fosters HW preventative If there's a question, we might buy ONE pill for the less than month the dog is in the home. It was normal protocol to stop giving monthly HW preventatives during the cold months when there are no mosquitoes..but we now give all year long. It takes 6 mos for an infected mosquito to bite a dog and it show up positive as heartworm. So missing one or two months of preventative will have little if any impact on the overall life of the dog. Heart Worm preventative is not always 100%.
Fleas. We treat dogs for fleas prior to arrival and no dog should come with fleas, but if seen we will immediately handle with Capstar as first option, and if that doesn't do the job, then we will do a topical. BUT these topicals are poison and there has been some on-going research that strongly indicates this poison is causing cancer in our dogs. The point of application on the shoulders is put there because the dog cannot reach that to ingest, but if the dog plays with other dogs, that's where they bite each other so another dog ingests it. Then of course people pet the dog there, kids hug the dog there, so they get it into their systems. Why poison so many when not needed. Healthy dogs cannot support fleas so reduced vaccinations, good food and using a Capstar which eliminates fleas in 20 minutes should suffice. The only time this would not work is if there are fleas already in the home, or the dog has a compromised immune system and if the latter is the case the last thing we want to do it put poison on them.
In the foster application, you can tell us what kind of dog would work best for you, and what kind of dogs you’re willing to foster. Giving us a range is best – specify size, age, allergy requirements, or any other relevant details.
We are especially in need of foster homes for larger dogs, so if this is a possibility for you, please consider doing so.
What if it doesn’t work out?
If there is a problem with your foster dog, we will move the foster dog as quickly as possible and will exchange a dog with you that is more compatible.
How long will I have my foster?
It varies, depending on the type of the fostering - the "typical" foster, "permanent" foster and "emergency" foster.
For a typical foster, younger, smaller dogs get adopted quickly... perhaps a few weeks. Larger dogs and older dogs usually take longer... in some cases, up to several months.
Then there is a "permanent" foster. This is where we believe that the dog will not be adopted, so we have "permanent" fosters for these cases. You essentially adopt your foster for the rest of their life, but we will continue to pay for vet care and medicine.
Sometimes, we have "emergency" fosters, which could last a few hours or several days. This might happen if we need to pull a shelter dog with only a few hours notice. Sometimes the "emergency" foster turns into a typical foster situation... if we don't have to move the dog multiple times, that is always better.
Can I foster more than one?
Sure – first start with one, and when you’re sure you can handle it, we’ll be happy to hand over a second (and third!).
As a foster, how am I involved in the adoption process?
When Reach Out Rescue & Resources receives an application for your dog, we will evaluate the application and call references, and if everything is OK, we then send someone out for a home visit. If the potential adopter passes their home visit, they are approved and you will then be asked to schedule a "meet, greet and adopt" with them. Some people may want to bring their other dogs to see if they get along with the foster dog. Reach Out Rescue & Resources then relies on its fosters to make the final decision on whether or not the potential adopter and foster dog are a good match.
If my foster gets adopted, will I get updates?
Yes. We try to keep the foster involved as much as possible, even after a successful adoption. Often you’ll get emails and pictures from your foster’s new parents.
But I’m afraid I’ll get too attached…
All fosters go through this. But you can reassure yourself by knowing that the dog is going to a good home, and that you are now free to save another lucky dog. Yes, there are always more dogs waiting to be fostered!
What if I fall in love with a dog and want to keep my foster pet?
You just need to notify us, and we will work with you to make it happen!