Rescue organizations save dogs from abusive environments and euthanasia when they have been abandoned or surrendered to a shelter. With millions of homeless dogs in our nation, there is a huge need for people being willing to become a foster home for these helpless animals.
How to Get Involved
If you are interested in helping save the lives of many dogs, become a foster parent to these lovable companions, so they can have a second chance at life and find a home that will provide the type of care these animals so rightly deserve.
To get involved look into the different rescue organizations that are working in your area. By researching multiple organizations, you can find one that will suit you and your family best.
Each organization has its own set of requirements for foster homes. Some will require an application, while others will do a home visit to ensure your house and family are up for the chore of fostering a dog.
What You Need to Provide
The most important aspect of being a dog foster parent is providing the animal with a safe, warm, and temporary living environment that surrounds the dog with lots of love and positive energy. Typically, rescue dogs have been through a lot and will need extra TLC during this transition period.
Your home will serve as a safe house for the dog while the organization finds a permanent home for the animal.
Depending on the organization you are fostering for, they may provide the necessary staples for the dog(s) you are caring for, like food, basic supplies and medical care. The organization may require that you have a fence or dog containment system for the dog’s safety.
You will also be required to help train and care for the dog while in your care. The transition into a foster situation can be stressful for you and the dog but with a patient attitude and support from the rescue organization, you can really make a big difference in the life of the animal.
While, in your care, you’re required to notify the agency any time the dog becomes sick. It is your responsibility to take the dog for scheduled medical, and adoption appointments. Be sure to take notes on the dog’s personality traits as this will be helpful in the adoption process and for future owners.
How long will the dog be with you?
Typically you will foster a dog for a few weeks to several months. You should be willing to foster the animal for the entire time needed to give the dog a sense of stability. The rescue organization will work to secure a permanent home. They will likely be advertising the dog online and at adoption events.
If you have a vacation planned most organizations require special permission be granted before you take your dog, and others may set up an alternative temporary location for the dog while you are gone.
Once a family is chosen, it is time for you to say goodbye to the dog. It will be an emotional time as you will have spent a good amount of time caring for the dog – but it is important to be positive during the transition to give the dog a good start with his new family.
While you may miss the dog, you can feel good in the fact that you helped save his life and will now be able to do the same for another dog. Fostering dogs does take a special, selfless individual. Thanks to foster families, there are fewer abused, abandoned and euthanized dogs each year.
Dr. Susan Wright is an author, a dog bark collar expert and a veterinarian. Susan writes informative articles on the health and care of dogs.