How Does Fostering Work?

First, let us say that fosters are miracle workers. These amazing individuals take a dog into their home and provide care, training, and safety for dogs. For many dogs, this is the first home they’ve ever been welcomed into.

Fosters get dogs ready for their next home. And let’s be honest – it’s not always easy! There can be frustrations as you get a new dog acclimated, and it can be very hard to say goodbye to a dog as they go to their new forever home.

Think you’re up for the challenge? Keep reading and let’s see!

Why do we have fosters?

We utilize our foster community for a myriad of reasons, including:

  • Keeping puppies who haven’t yet had all their vaccinations safe.
  • Giving dogs the opportunity to live in a home and learn appropriate behaviors.
  • Allowing dogs who are going through heartworm treatment or spay/neuter recoveries to do so in a relaxed environment.

What supplies do fosters need?

When fosters arrive to pick up a dog, they receive food, a crate if needed, and some documentation indicating when the dog is due for shots, a spay and neuter date if that hasn’t been done yet, due dates for heartworm and flea and tick prevention, and dewormer dates. We don’t typically fix our puppies until they are 4 months of age or unless a later date is indicated by the veterinarian.

Fosters are welcome to purchase nonessentials for the dogs with their own funds such as toys or dog beds, etc. We do not reimburse for any items purchased. We do not reimburse for any vet visits at a veterinary clinic other than our vet.

What are H2H’s expectations of fosters?

At the end of the day, H2H expects fosters to provide safety and care for foster dogs, and prepare them for their forever home.

Every dog is different in how it integrates into a new home or foster home. Always provide less freedom initially for several days/weeks. It’s best to learn the dog before too much space and too many decisions are made by the dog or puppy to eliminate the potential for accidents or destructive behavior. Integrating a crate is strongly advised for most of our dogs.

Please don’t leave our dogs unattended outside even if your yard is fenced until you’ve had them for several days. Dogs in new environments and dogs who get bored or are overly curious do things you wouldn’t expect like jump, climb and dig under fences. Please don’t allow the dog to roam freely without boundaries as we don’t know if the dog we are giving you is off-leash trained.

Please don’t feed anything but what we supply until the dog has integrated into your home. Please don’t change the food or add things to it unless advised as this can create diarrhea. In addition to this, moving environments can be stressful and we want to be sure that if your dog develops diarrhea, we have the least number of variables to determine the cause.

How long does fostering last?

This is up to you and the dog. For example, if you can foster for several weeks but have a vacation planned, we will work with you to get the dog returned if not adopted by then. It also depends on the type of dog. As you can imagine, puppies are adopted pretty quickly!

We typically tell fosters to expect to have the dog for at least three weeks.

What if fosters need help?

We are always here for you! You will be given a packet with numbers to call or text for any issue. We also have a Facebook group specifically for fosters as a community resource.

Are fosters responsible for approving adopters?

Fosters can be extremely helpful during the adoption process, as they often learn more information about the dog than we do in the shelter. However, they are not solely in charge of adoption approvals to avoid placing too much responsibility on our fosters.

We provide foster’s contact information to the potential adopter after we screen them to arrange the meet and greets. Fosters do influence adoption decisions, but please keep in mind that only approved potential adopters will be allowed to meet up with the foster dog. We appreciate feedback, but ultimately it is H2H’s decision.

Do you offer adoption fee discounts to fosters?

While we appreciate our fosters’ assistance, we charge adoption fees for our dogs so that we can continue providing life-saving assistance to the next dog in need. We don’t provide discounts unless there is an extreme situation warranting an exception.

Can fosters adopt their foster dog?

Yes! We offer a foster to adopt program where fosters are given a deadline to make a decision on whether or not they want to adopt their foster dog. For fosters that don’t intend to adopt initially, but end up falling in love with the dog, we just need to know as soon as that decision is made, so we aren’t disappointing potential adopters who want to meet the dog.

How do I become a foster?

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