FAQ about Fostering
What is Fostering? Fostering a dog may sometimes seem like a formidable task, but it’s a very tangible way to make a difference. Everyone benefits: The foster volunteer gets to spend time with a special dog, and the kennel gains space for a new dog which will most likely save another dogs life by providing room. The foster dog gets a break from kennel life and 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.
Aside from regular day-to-day care (feeding, grooming, exercise), the responsibilities of a foster home may include basic training (house training, walking on 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 and other animals; medical care such as dispensing medication or taking the dog to vet appointments and of course plenty of playtime and snuggling.
Do I get to choose my foster? Yes. There are many fosters available and it is best to welcome into your home the one that fits best with your lifestyle and existing pets.
Is there any cost? There is no cost to begin fostering. If you need a crate, leash, collar, food etc. they can be provided. If you have these items or can provide them that is also helpful. The rescue will cover the cost of vetting, etc but we ask that our foster homes provide quality food, shelter, and love.
Who handles medical issues? Hand-In-Paw will take care of any medical issues that may arise while your Foster is with you. Transport to a vet can be handled by you or arrangements can be made to assist you.
Can I use my own veterinarian/Do I have to use Hand-In-Paw vets? Hand-In-Paw works with a couple of vets who not only charge a special rescue rate, but who also have a great deal of experience with rescue dogs, former shelter dogs, etc and the medical challenges common to them. Hand-In-Paw prefers to use those vets, but if getting a dog to those vets is a hardship for a foster, and if Hand-In-Paw is familiar with the foster’s personal vet we are willing to work with the foster for non-major issues.
How long will I foster? We cannot make any promises regarding how long a particular dog will be in your home. On average it takes between a week and a month for a dog to find a permanent home. A dog recovering from health problems may take a bit longer than a healthy dog if you choose to foster one in that situation. Of course puppies will not be ready for adoption until they are fully vetted and altered.
What if my foster isn’t a fit for my family? If issues arise after your Foster comes home, you should contact someone from Hand-In-Paw to see what can be done. It may be that someone else can take over the fostering versus returning him or her to the kennel.
Whose responsibility is it to get my foster adopted? Hand-In-Paw will post your Foster online, and make people aware through adoption events etc. If you are able to bring your foster to these events it helps to make him or her more visible and, of course, increase opportunities for potential adopters. Beyond that, anything you do to spread the word is always helpful.
Do I get to participate in the decision regarding who adopts my Foster? Yes. Foster parents are always welcome to participate in the screening and meet and greet
of potential adopters. This is not only to assess the adopter, but also to provide insight into the dog that only they have knowledge of. The final decision to approve an adopter rests with the Hand-In-Paw Board, but fosters will be asked for input if they wish to participate. Fosters are not required to participate in that process if they do not wish to do so.
How do I become a foster? Click here on Foster Application or under the “Foster” tab and fill out the application or contact a Hand-In-Paw board member.