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Does anyone foster dogs with the RSPCA or similar?(10 Posts)
I foster for a small charity, and our neighbour fosters for Dogs Trust. Happy to answer any questions
I have a 10 year old Yorkie. We recently lost our elderly labrador and I think he would enjoy having another dog in the house but I'm not ready for a puppy or a lifetime commitment ATM.
We have 2 DCs, 6 & 10. I work 3 mornings a week so am home most of the time.
We have a cat and other small animals, live in a private rented property but landlady knows about all pets (I know when we rehomed a rat from the RSPCA we lived in a leasehold flat that we had a mortgage on and they wanted to see deeds that we were allowed pets in the property!).
Is there any reason we wouldn't be suitable to Foster there? Any practical reasons you would advise against it?
I know we would probably get attached but I think as long as the children know we are only a short term home they would understand when the dog finds a home.
Who covers the cost of any vet treatment, flea and wormer, vaccs, food etc? Do the charity help at all or is it down to us to cover everything?
Charities usually cover the big costs (vets etc) but I believe things like food and toys are more variable.
You could also consider fostering for the Cinnamon Trust, which helps the elderly and terminally ill, and I believe their fostering is a mix of short term (eg hospital admission) and longer term.
Have a look at the Dogs Trust Freedom Project - fostering pets for people who are fleeing domestic violence, until they are settled and can have them back. Really amazing scheme.
I've fostered for small rescues and vet bills etc were covered, food was offered but I provided my own as I wanted to help ease the burden on the rescue and to feed the same as my own pets to make things easier (the small rescue food varied as it was donations).
The charity I foster for provides absolutely everything. But with a 6 year old I'm not sure fostering would be for you - you really don't know what you are going to get, and although they try to give you small animal and children friendly dogs it doesn't always work out that way! Some are very needy (my last one had to sleep under the duvet with me) and may never have walked on a lead or been outside.
I love fostering, but its very hard work and can be disruptive to family life - when they can't be left for more than 30 mins for instance
Some are very needy (my last one had to sleep under the duvet with me)
Are you trying to suggest that isn't completely normal Must tell PestDog... it's a good job he's only little!
@OP do you have any experience with "tricky" dogs? Having no experience isn't a reason not to foster, but there's nothing to make you learn about dog behaviour faster than having a tricky dog. It does, however, make you a better dog owner than a string of more "vanilla" dogs (it also made me less judgemental about other people's dogs ). If a foster dog turned out to have issues outside the home, would you be able to walk it without the kids being with you? By way of example, mine would lunge and bark at motorbikes and on really bad days he'd turn around and bite my lower legs as they were the nearest thing available (reactivity and redirecting is the technical term). I couldn't have dealt with him and held the hand of a 6yo at the wasn't time.
The main barrier to you fostering would probably be the age of your children. That said, if you are confident in how they deal with dogs and have the space to separate dogs and kids if necessary I wouldn't rule if out. The other issue for fostering is keeping the dog safe - an escape proof garden and a system to prevent eg bolting out the front door are imperative.
In your position I would follow some rescues online/ on FB to see if you are comfortable with how they operate - how they describe the dogs and how they place them. If you see one you like then contact them and explain your situation.
As others have said, the Cinnamon Trust is amazing and will be looking for dog walkers as well as fosterers.
@Avocados no, no experience with tricky dogs. I do have an enclosed garden (Yorkie does have free access to it via catflap all day though, which might be an issue for another dog?). Used to securing front door before answering as he is a bit of an escape artist. During the week I do his long walk while kids are at school, at the weekends we all go as DH works away quite a lot.
I think walking with the cinnamon trust would be a good starting point to dip my toe in, hadn't considered that so will look into them!
Couple of qs re CT.. Can I walk a dog with my own? Assuming they are introduced safely and are happy together?
Do they cover milage? There is an expense form on the downloads page of the website along with the volunteer form. I'm happy to travel locally at my own expense (often take DDog in the car to local country parks for example) but don't want to commit to traveling miles regularly and then end up letting the owner down at the end of the month if I don't have much petrol left!