Foster a Mixed Breed Rescue Dog?
Do you love dogs and want to help out without adopting? Can’t commit years and years of your life to a dog of your own? Are you experienced with dogs of different breeds, have the time, ability and heart to help a dog in need? These are just a few of the reasons to consider fostering. When you foster, you are opening your heart, and home, to a dog that is up for adoption or will be soon (dependent on certain circumstances). Like most rescue organizations, PL&DPR does not operate through a kennel/shelter. Instead, we rely tremendously on our wonderful volunteers who take in dogs temporarily during their journey towards a forever home. We are able to help only as many dogs as we can, based on donations/funds and foster homes. Unfortunately we can't take in all of the dogs in need because we simply have no where for them to go.
Fostering a dog saves a life! Foster homes are guardian angels to so many rescue pups! We cannot continue to rescue dogs that desperately need us if we do not have foster homes!
Why are Foster Homes Necessary?
The purpose of a foster program is to provide a safe and healthy environment for the rescued dog, all the while monitoring the dog’s behavioral traits and implementing positive training in a home environment. In most cases the history of each dog is not known, so a foster home that is truly committed to helping the dog helps us increase the adoptability of each dog. It is also our goal to increase the likelihood of a good match with the dog and a permanent, loving home by knowing more about the dog’s personality, characteristics and behavior. Through a foster program, PL&DPR is also able to save so many dogs from certain euthanasia, abuse, neglect, homelessness, and much more. Our rescues come from shelters, animal controls, backyards, and the streets… anyone who is a PL&DPR foster will not receive a sick dog. We have each dog checked by our network of veterinarians before they are placed into a foster home. Many of the dogs in shelters/animal controls will not be adopted within their “time limit” but by pulling these very adoptable dogs, having them properly vetted, and placed into loving foster homes;
Together we can change their destiny!
What Is Expected From a Foster Home?
Foster caretakers do what any regular dog owner does, they provide a healthy diet and fresh water, love, exercise, toys. We supply leashes, id tags, crates, bedding, etc. It is extra helpful if the foster works with their foster dog to eliminate any issues, build confidence, teach the dog manners, basic obedience and socialize them in order to make them as adoptable as possible! A dog may need to be housetrained, leash trained, taught basic manners (ie: not jumping on people) and taught how to be good citizens and companions. Fosters should also provide regular updates and pictures in order to keep the foster dog’s profile up to date and fresh. Proper vet care should be provided and vaccinations and preventative medications must be kept current – PL&DPR can and will provide ALL vet care and prevention!! As a rescue organization, we strive to provide our foster homes with all the resources they need. If we have crates, bedding, food, leashes, toys, etc that are donated to us, then we are fully prepared to give that to a foster home to borrow while they are fostering one of our pups! Many foster homes choose to use their own food if they have other dogs, and that is perfectly fine (it actually leaves more for the foster homes who are unable to do this!) If you are considering fostering, please let us know and if there are certain things you will need such as a crate, we will certainly look in inventory and ask around in order to accommodate. We do set up “photo shoots” for the dogs in our rescue and have one of our volunteers take the dog’s photo so that we can keep them current on the website and handout materials (although general pictures from the fosters themselves is encouraged from time to time to keep everything updated!!) Fosters are extremely encouraged to attend dog events in order to show off your adoptable. If you are fostering a pup for us and cannot attend an event, please communicate that to us and we will arrange to pickup/drop-off the pup on the day of the event.
How do I volunteer to be a foster home?
If you are interested in becoming a foster home, we suggest that you make the choice realistically, consider what you have to offer a dog in need, and think about how fostering will affect your life, those of your family members and current pets. It is very important that a family decide together to foster, just as you would before adopting a dog. If you feel confident and know that fostering is for you, please submit a foster application, answer each question truthfully and thoroughly, and a PL&DPR volunteer will contact you to begin the screening process. Once approved, we will perform a home visit, answer any additional questions, and you will be asked to sign a foster agreement. We then can choose a dog or puppy that will suit your lifestyle and foster requirements.
How long will I foster a dog?
Although fostering is not a lifelong commitment, a dog could spend two months (usually our minimum foster stay) or a year. Due to the nature of dog rescue, we cannot guarantee how long you will foster a dog. The more updates, great pictures and progress made with a foster dog, the more interest that dog will generate. We have found exceptional forever homes in a little as two months but some dogs have been in foster for over a year. Foster caretaker participation is vital for a fast adoption! PL&DPR wants our adoptables to find great homes and every effort is made in order to make that happen in a timely manner, ofcourse all procedures in the adoption process are carried out 100%, with no exceptions. A foster dog could have ten (10) applications on file that are being reviewed and not one be eligible for further screening. The best interest of the foster dog is always at heart, and in mind.
What can I expect from a foster dog?
Foster dogs vary significantly. Some have had a severely neglected or abusive life, with some socialization and behavioral issues that need to be eliminated prior to being listed for adoption. Other fosters have been deeply loved family pets that were surrendered for whatever reason. They may already be crate and house trained, well socialized and the perfect pet. Keep in mind, some of the owner surrendered dogs can come straight from a home that we work with to take the dog into PL&DPR, and sometimes the owner surrendered dog ended up at a shelter first, so understanding, patience and TLC is needed! At PL&DPR, we will help match you with the right foster dog based on your expectations, abilities, preferences, and requirements. ALL dogs are formally evaluated prior to accepting them into the adoption program. PL&DPR also tests temperament to assure a good fit in a foster home. PL&DPR only accepts dogs with NO bite history, NO human aggression, and NO severe (uncontrollable) dog-dog aggression. We identify minor behavioral issues and offer training, medical and behavioral guidance and support for all foster homes. Fostering is extremely satisfying and rewarding! Just knowing that you helped a dog in need become a extraordinary pet for someone is an amazing feeling, and once we (together) have successfully adopted he/she out, that is a fantastic feeling! Ofcourse it’s never easy to say goodbye to your foster dog, there is a bond that is built, but when you know that they are going to a wonderful forever home – you are at ease (and ready to foster another!!) At PL&DPR we build strong relationships/communications not only with our foster homes, but also with our dogs’ forever homes. It’s wonderful when you begin receiving updates and pictures from one of your foster dog’s new family! If at any time the dog you are fostering isn’t the right match, we will take it back and replace him or her with a more suitable foster dog.
How will the dog find a home while I am fostering?
PL&DPR adoptable dogs are listed on our official website and Petfinder.com. We promote adoptable dogs through Facebook and by featuring one dog each month on the front page of the PL&DPR Petfinder main page. Adoptable dogs are also promoted at events!!
But I already have other pets, can I still foster?
Absolutely! Of course, please consider your current pets and how they would react to a new dog living among them for a while. It has to be a decision the entire family is committed to, including the furry members too! Having dog savvy cats is a plus to socialize a foster with kitties. If your current dogs get along well with other dogs, it is usually very beneficial for all to have a playmate and role model. Be sure to consider the extra work an additional dog will require.
Can I foster if I have children?
Foster homes with children give wonderful opportunities to both child and foster dog. Most, if not all of the dogs that enter our adoption program are excellent with children.
What if I want to keep the dog I am fostering?
Welcome to the club! Many, if not all foster homes have at least one “foster failure”, the term which lovingly refers to a dog that found its forever home with its foster parent. PL&DPR supports any adoption into a loving, capable forever home, however as heartbreaking as it is to part with the fruits of your labor, remember the more available homes we have the more homeless dogs we can save! If however, you simply cannot live without a particular foster dog, you can submit an adoption application and finalize an adoption.
Please consider becoming a foster parent and make a difference in a dog’s life today!!
Please fill out our online foster application or, fill out our paper foster application and email PeaceLoveDogPawsRescue@gmail.com or mail it to the address below. Someone will contact you within 48 hours of reciept of the application.
Or mail to:
Peace Love & Dog Paws Rescue, Inc.
P.O. Box 43501
Birmingham, AL 35243