FOSTERING - A labor of love!

What does fostering a dog involve?


When you foster a dog (or cat, rabbit, guinea pig, etc.), you agree to take a homeless animal into your home and give him or her love, care and attention, until it is adopted.  This could be a few days up to several months.


  

This is one of the most rewarding things you can do to help homeless animals and enjoy the love, companionship, and growth of a new dog without having to be a lifetime owner. Many people also enjoy the social experience and friendships of belonging to a rescue community. 


This can sometimes be frustrating because many of these dogs have not had any type of training (including potty training).  However with the support of the other fosters in RACE, you will find this to be fun and rewarding.


Some Examples:

  

 Socializing a young puppy can be so much fun . In turn the puppy will become a fun and welcome  addition to a new family . Yes, puppies are messy and you may feel as if you’re constantly changing the newspapers or piddle pads in their area, but there’s nothing like playing with a bunch of cute, cuddly puppies, then watching them blossom and go home to their forever families. 


Helping crazy teenage dogs (6 months – 18 months of age) learn the basic manners their original owners failed to to teach them ensures  that they will stay in their new homes . It is so rewarding to see them become good canine citizens . What a wonderful feeling it is to see the light bulb come on,  they no longer pounce on everyone they meet or dart out the door and get lost. All this happens because you cared enough to spend time with them each day working on basic manners, such as sit, off and wait. Then, watching them find their forever family because of the all the work you’ve done... well , there’s nothing like it!!


Adult dogs are often (not always) trained in manners and house training when you get them. They may have some health issues or some bad habits, but RACE supports you with vet care and training advice if you need it. 


Watching a shy dog come out of his or her shell from being afraid and hiding to greeting you when you come home with a smile is a feeling that cannot be described. It has to be experienced! Take Chelsea (see pictures below). Chelsea was part of a hoarding situation. The animals were confiscated by a local animal control and all, including Chelsea, were put in a shelter until the case was finalized. Prior to animal control stepping in, Chelsea spent her entire life on a chain breeding every 6 months or so to produce puppies for sale. Because Chelsea never got any type of socialization outside of the chain and area she was kept in, she was very afraid of everything. She was afraid of people, new places, new things and basically anything new. When the hoarding case was finalized and Chelsea could be put in foster care, that’s what happened. Nicole and Mike and their pack of 3 dogs and 2 cats helped Chelsea come out of her shell. It took several weeks, but each day there was a small achievement. Some of those don’t see like much, but for a dog that wanted to hide all the time, they were huge milestones. She would follow Mike around – even into the bathroom. Then she actually got into bed with Mike and Nicole (and the rest of the pack). While with many dogs, that’s a no-no, for a shy dog like Chelsea, it was a good thing. When she greeted Nicole when she came home from work one day, what a happy dance Nicole and Mike did. Mike and Nicole’s dog, Mugsy, is a great foster brother and helped her just learn to be a dog.  


Why does RACE need foster homes?


RACE does not have a physical shelter. We depend on our foster homes to care for dogs until suitable permanent homes are found. This means you make a commitment to that particular dog (or dogs) until they are adopted. This could be a few days to several months. We do have some fosters that help if you need to go out of town and your dog hasn’t been adopted, however we do like to keep them for that reason and when you’re back in town, you are responsible for your foster again.


Why should I foster a dog?


Fostering a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (other than adopting, of course). By taking an animal in need temporarily into your home you’re giving your foster dog the time he or she needs to be ready for adoption. This includes:

  • Getting the dog to and from vet appointments for routine check-ups and/or surgeries (such as spay/neuter, dental cleanings or others)
  • Helping socialize the dog to people, other pets (if you have them or possibly neighbors), a home environment and other places dogs are allowed (various stores, beaches, dog parks, etc.)
  • Helping train the dog on basic manners, such as sit, off (not jumping on people), wait (not running through open doors) and house training.
  • Helping the rescue learn more about the dog so that he or she can be places in the best home possible.

How do I sign up to foster a dog?


Go to our Forms and Resources page, click on the Foster/Volunteer application, fill it out and submit it. Give us a week or so to process it and contact you.