Fosters - the caretakers of the lives we save
We are excited that you want to learn more about becoming one of the most important volunteers in our rescue. Because we do not have a shelter, our foster homes are the only way that we can continue to help needy pit bulls in local shelters. You provide the home, the love, the patience and the training that will make a difference in the lives of the homeless dogs.
If you already know what you need to know and just want to get started, you can put in an application now. If not, please feel free to continue to read on or contact our Foster Director with more questions.
Foster parents are the most important people involved in a rescue. Imagine getting over 20 emails a day from local shelters begging you to take their best dogs but having nowhere to put them. Without the support and presence of our fosters, most of the dogs that would otherwise find homes end up languishing in the shelters, or not finding homes at all. Basically, the more dedicated foster homes we have, the more lives we can save.
What does a Foster Parent Do?
All the things that a dog owner does, but for a shorter time! Daily care, feeding, grooming, reinforcing obedience, and generally giving the dog love and affection. Most foster parents care for the dogs as if they were their own and the dogs never know that they're not in a temporary situation. The foster system helps to give potential adopters confidence in the dog that they are adopting. Many people are wary about adopting directly from a shelter because so much is unknown about the dog. However once we've taken that dog from a shelter and placed them in a foster home, we are able to immediately start determining what would be the ideal forever home for the dog. People are more likely to adopt from us because their foster parents can tell them what they are like in a home situation, likes and dislikes, and little quirks - things that are impossible to tell in a shelter situation.
How long will the Foster Dog stay with me?
That is the question we always get asked, and is the most difficult to answer. It can be anything from a couple of weeks to a couple of months - there is no fixed time. Sometimes we get a rush of people wanting to adopt dogs from us, and they literally fly out the door, and other times it is fairly slow. Often you can be the best advocate and catalyst for your foster dog to be adopted. Getting them out to adoption events, sending in updated photos for the website, talking them up with friends and family - all of these things can affect how quickly your foster pup gets adopted. We ask that foster parents consider that it will be at least a 3 month commitment. However, we hope that our foster parents are in it for the long haul and will make the commitment to stick with their foster dog no matter how long it takes for them to get adopted.
What do I need to be a Foster Parent?
The main criteria are love and patience. You don't have to have a yard, but if you do, we ask that it is secure and properly fenced. Many people who foster for us live in apartments It's okay if you have another dog, and even if you have a cat. Most of the dogs that we take in are dog-friendly, and some even love cats. Before you become a foster, you and your existing pets will meet our dogs to make sure that you foster one that is acceptable to your furry family.
Do I need to be home all day to Foster?
Not at all. Most dog owners aren't, and the dogs are fine. The only things that we ask is that if you have another pet, that you secure the foster dog in a crate or similar while you are away from the home. Never leave the dogs together unattended for both of their sakes. The most important thing to us is that safety of your pets as well as the safety of the foster dog.
Do I have to pay for everything myself?
We pride ourselves in the generosity of our donors and are able to cover most, if not all, expenses you will incur for your foster dog - food, crates, collars, leashes, beds, toys. In the event that the dog requires medical treatment or medication, we take care of those expenses as well. You will also find that, as you foster for longer periods of time, your friends and family will offer to donate items for your foster dogs as well. People love to be involved in whatever ways that they can.
How do you handle potential adopters for my Foster?
Adoption applications come in through the website and are reviewed first by our Board and then by the various Directors who have had direct contact with your foster dog. Once an application is approved, it is assigned to an Adoption Coordinator who will work with you towards getting your foster dog adopted. Many of our foster parents have told us that they would like to be more involved in the adoption process. You are welcome to be as much or as little involved as you want. We only ask that you make the dog readily available once the process starts. Adopters are eager to move through the process once they feel that connection. We have volunteers who are able to pick the dog up from your home should you not want to be involved or have potential adopters meet the dog in your home.
What if I become attached to my Foster Dog?
That is completely natural - you are fostering because you love dogs, and you will probably become attached. You will probably even wonder whether you will be able to give him/her up when the time comes. Ask some of our seasoned fosters and all will tell you that you fall madly in love with each and every dog that shares your life and, the more you foster, the more you realize that, while you will be sad when they leave, you will also be so excited to help the next one. Really! It's addictive...
What if I want to adopt my Foster Dog?
We understand how you can become attached, and you are welcome to put in an application on your own foster. We ask that, if you feel like you cannot give them up, you put in an application as soon as you feel this way. It is not fair for an outside adopter to fall in love with your foster dog at an event or on the website, put in an application, get approved and start the process, only to find out that the foster parent won't give the dog up.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, fill out a foster parent application. Thank you.