How can I become a foster?
There are two primary steps to becoming a foster.
Complete an application. Once received, your application will be reviewed by the foster team. If you are a good fit for our program, you’ll be invited to attend a foster dog orientation session.
Attend a Foster Dog Orientation session. Once you’ve completed the foster dog training session, you’ll need to sign the Volunteer/Foster Agreement, which covers all program requirements.
If you are interested in becoming a foster, please fill out a foster application. Filling out an application does not obligate you to foster, but we do ask that applicants considering fostering make a commitment which will allow DSR to schedule foster dog assignment and transport accordingly.
Can I adopt my foster?
YES! As long as foster parents meet the rescue’s requirements for adoption, foster parents can be considered to adopt their foster.
How are foster dogs promoted?
Photos and stories of all adoptable animals in foster homes are posted on our facebook page, on Petfinder.com, on Adoptapet.com, and many other websites. DSR also schedules periodic adoption events (approx. every 3 weeks). Foster parents are strongly encouraged to participate in adoption events to increase the visibility of their foster dog to potential adopters. Foster parents can also help promote their foster dog to their family, friends, colleagues and the general public through a variety of means including flyers, emails and even just by walking the foster dog in local neighborhoods with an “Adopt Me” bandana or leash.
What if I have vacation or travel plans while I am fostering?
We also offer foster sitting if you need to travel out of town while you are fostering.
I live in a condo, townhome, or apartment, can I foster?
Yes, you can still foster an animal living in a small environment. Many of our animals need one-on-one socialization, so a small space can be beneficial. However, it’s important that the dog selected is the appropriate animal for your lifestyle and are willing to commit to providing the foster dog with the needed physical and mental stimulation. And of course, you still need landlord approval and must abide by any restrictions.
What if I have children?
Fostering is a wonderful family experience and can build a foundation of love for animals in your children. It’s important to select a dog that is “age” appropriate with your children, and as a general rule, children under 16 years old should NOT be left alone and unsupervised with any animal. You must also be diligent about providing guidance, instructions and rules to your children about caring for a foster dog. With that in mind, we generally do not encourage fostering for families with very young children.
If I don’t have a yard, or it’s not fenced, can I foster dogs?
Yes! A fenced yard is ideal for those early morning, or late night potty breaks and for a game of ball, but is not a requirement. Moreover, foster dogs are not allowed to be left unattended in a yard. The reality is that the majority of dogs don’t exercise themselves when left outside. Unfortunately dogs left outside unsupervised can develop bad behavior issues like fence running, barking, or digging. Dogs need focused physical activity, mental stimulation and socialization and the best way to do this is by walking or running your foster dog on leash.
If I have my own animals, can I foster dogs?
Yes! It is important to understand how to properly manage multiple pets during the introduction period (the first few weeks a foster is in your home). DSR has a qualified trainer on staff who will answer any questions and help you manage any through any introduction behavior issues.
Do I have to crate‐train my foster dog?
No, but it is one of the most efficient and effective ways to house train a puppy or re-train an adult dog. Some dogs do not like crates initially, and most dogs need to be transitioned or “trained” to use a crate, so it’s up to the foster parent to decide whether to crate or not. Putting the dog in a crate while you are gone will give you peace of mind knowing that they are in a safe place, away from harm, and not doing any damage to your belongings or themselves. For many dogs, a crate can also represent a safe and comfortable place to call their own and provides them with a sense of security. Dogs actually like having a “den” to cuddle up in. Crating should never be used as punishment.
Do I need to have prior medical knowledge or expertise?
No, but you may be asked to dispense medicine to your foster animal so you will have to be comfortable following veterinarian’s instructions if fostering a sick or injured animal.