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Valhallaaaaaaaaaaa - tell me about fostering!

(6 Posts)
hobbgoblin Wed 05-Jan-11 22:36:09

I've just emailed a local rescue to volunteer ourselves as foster carers. We can't 'do' a dog in the forever sense because I am newly out of relationship and don't know what is round the corner, but ahve been desperate to have a dog again for a couple of years. Plus, we can't afford full responsibility.

What do we need to know?

Scuttlebutter Wed 05-Jan-11 23:04:03

The rescue will want to know your previous experience (if any) with dogs or other animals, number and age of children, presence of any other pets/animals in the house or regularly visiting, working hours of any adult in the house, whether all adults in the house are fully signed up to commitment, your approach to animals in the house (will you go into meltdown if they have an accident/shed/chew a door?) - any health issues or allergies? Do you have secure fencing around your garden? Are you willing to commit to a daily walk? Are you willing to LISTEN to charity/rescue when they describe animal's background/reason for being a foster and any special needs/requirement/diet the dog has? Willing to take it to vets for appointments? Willing to observe and report back on its behaviour? Remember that fostering is a stepping stone to a forever home for the dog, so the foster home needs to be willing to facilitate this - meeting with potential adopters, describing the dog's behaviour, maybe taking pics for website? When dog is eventually adopted, will you/the children be able to cope with saying goodbye?

Fostering is incredibly rewarding (even more so than adopting a rescue dog) - most foster homes I know fail at least once and end up keeping a foster at some point - however it is terrific, as you get to meet lots of lovely dogs, see them improve and blossom and then see them being happily settled into their forever home. That is the most wonderful feeling in the world. Good luck! smile

LoopyLoopsOfSparklyFairyLights Wed 05-Jan-11 23:09:14

Do you know how much need there is for fostering outside animals? We have loads of unused garden but two very dominant cats and a small child, so cats and dogs not an option.

Did think about helping out with the hedgehog rescue too...

hobbgoblin Wed 05-Jan-11 23:38:05

Thank you for the great info scuttle!

I have emailed an overview of our family and included garden, fencing, my hours out of the home, existing pets, ages of children and past dog experience so am awaiting further questions!

Vallhala Thu 06-Jan-11 10:11:41

Erm... can't add much to that really.

Except perhaps to say that you might want to consider what you are realistically willing and able to offer. Some people will only want to foster a pup - in which case I say good luck to them because they're taking on the housetraining and behaviour training too! Pups are less common in rescue of course and for this reason, together with the hard work involved and reasons of big-heartedness others might prefer to foster an oldie (which is the age group where my heart really lies) or, as I have, a dog with a medical condition - my long term foster boy is 7 and a half years old and is epileptic. Thankfully he has been fine since he came here last summer (and is only a foster dog because of his health, he's not going anywhere, he's mine in all respects).

Consider too the length of your commitment - are you willing to take on a dog until such time as an owner comes along or would you prefer, even if only at first, to foster one who, say, has a potential home lined up, so he'll be with you for just a short time whilst you remind him of what home life is about and of his manners. Perhaps you might want to offer a winter home to a dog who would otherwise be in an outside kennel?

Whichever it is, be honest, relax and good luck.

hobbgoblin Sat 08-Jan-11 22:22:24

We might be getting a foster from Ireland in next 1-3 weeks grin they just need to choose right dog when they knwo what they are getting and then come and do an 'introduction' 'pparently.

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