Fostering one dog won't change the world. But for that one dog, their world will change forever
Providing shelter, warmth, food and plenty of love for a Rescue dog and setting them on the path to finding their forever home is something that can be a very rewarding experience, and gives great satisfaction in knowing that you are making a vital difference to the most vulnerable dogs.
Fostering each dog is a new “Journey”.
When the dogs first arrive, they are often very scared, dirty, with little or no trust of humans. By the time they leave for their forever home they will have developed into happy, more confident and well socialised furry friends, with a new personality all of their own.
This is not always easy, as most of our dogs won’t have ever lived in a home before. They may be a flight risk, particularly when they first arrive. They may have some behavioural issues such as separation anxiety, reactivity to humans and other dogs, resource guarding etc and they will also need help with their toilet training.
Fostering is a full time commitment and any Fosterer would need to be prepared for all of the above and not want to give up at the first hurdle. Whilst some dogs settle fine and adjust really quickly, others take more time and require more work.
The Rescue will always try to match you to your preferred foster dog, but there are no guarantees, and sometimes we ask fosterers to consider dogs that are most in need.
What Do I Need to Be a Fosterer?
For the Dog:
• Experience of dog owning a dog is essential
• You need to be resilient, confident and flexible, as sometimes Fostering can be challenging. Support from our Team would always be available, but some situations can be stressful
• You must have time and patience to offer the dog, and leaving dogs alone for long periods would not be in their best interest
• You must be prepared to share your love and affection with the foster dogs with your own resident dogs, and give them time and space to settle and get used to one another. This may not always happen immediately, and would sometimes need careful supervised introductions
• A secure, safe environment would be required, especially in the garden. A fully fenced outdoor space is ideal. Many of our dogs would try to escape from any insecure areas, especially when they first arrive. Home Checks would be carried out for anyone interested in Fostering.
• Providing exercise for the dog is also a requirement. Many dogs will need encouragement walking on the harness/lead to overcome their fears. Again this will take time and patience.
• Fosters would need to be able to provide food and a bed for the dog. In some cases a baby/stair gate would also be useful to separate dogs if needed, and also a crate, as often this helps dogs feel safe and secure.
• Fosters would also need to provide a secure harness, a collar with ID tags attached with their name, address, postcode and mobile number. Slip leads and dog leads would also need to be provided
• To foster would need to live within the East Midlands Region (Notts, Derbys, Leics, and some areas of Lincs)
• Applications from further afield may be considered, depending on the distance involved.
• Fosters would need to sign a Foster Contract, and adhere to the Policy of the Rescue for fostering dogs
• Fosters being able to drive and access to a car is essential, as foster dogs may need urgent veterinary treatment. All vet care is covered by the Rescue whilst the dog is in foster care, but we would require the fosterer to be able to take the dog to the vet if necessary
• If surgery (such as neutering) was required whilst the dog was in foster, the fosterer would be required to provide appropriate care for the dog whilst recovering and nursing them back to health
• Fosters would need to be computer literate, be able to access the Internet and Social Media Platforms, and be able to take photos and videos using a smartphone and send to the Rescue when required.
• You should be prepared to work with the Rescue to provide opportunities for potential Adopters to meet the dogs, building a rapport with them, being friendly, helpful polite and courteous at all times
• You must agree to work with the Rescue to help find the best, most suitable home for the dog, depending on their temperament and needs.
• Please note it is NOT guaranteed that the fosterer will be offered first priority of rehoming any dog in their care.
• We are NOT able to consider applications from anyone with children under 7 years of age
I volunteered as an emergency foster carer after my daughter adopted from One Paw. Such a dedicated and caring team headed by Shaun and Shane Duffin. Lovely network of people readily available with support and advice. Animals are number one priority here - as it should be!
- Anita Cadman
07596 366 616