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I need some information on how the whole foster parenting thing works. I am at the point where I may be able to foster one dog at a time. I can't explain it. It's just something that's been tugging at my heart and mind for some time. So...for those of you who do this, what's involved? Does the rescue pay for anything? What typically comes out of my pocket? (these of course were DH's questions) Are dogs accepted into rescue considered adoptable, or will I be expected to work with the dogs to make them adoptable? (this I would look forward to) What are the pros and cons? Is it a different experience if you go with fostering through animal shelters and not necessarily breed specific. I'm in Florida, so I would be working with Florida groups. How do you set up your home for this?


Not sure if this is the appropriate spot to post this. Please feel free to move if needed. Basically, I know nothing, so any input would be appreciated. :rolleyes:



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Foster homes are always in very great demand and there are never enough of them, so I'm sure that your offer of help will be greatly appreciated. :rolleyes:


I think every rescue group and organization has different standards and requirements, so you need to find the one in your area that works best for you. You should check out the groups in your area and contact them to find out the specific requirements that they have. I can only tell you what Western Border Collie Rescue looks for in their foster homes, but it should give you a basic idea.


WBCR pays for all medical care (i.e. vaccinations, spaying/neutering, worming, etc.) for the dogs. Food, shelter, toys, basic training and love come from the foster home (if a dog has issues that require advanced training, those costs are often taken care of by the rescue). We sometimes get donations of food from various companies and will distribute it to the foster homes. Because every dog comes to the rescue from a different situation and has different needs, we rely heavily upon the foster homes to help us with making the dog ready to find a great home. Some of our dogs require a lot of training and working through issues, while others are pretty much ready to be adopted almost from the start -- every case is different. The foster home's evaluation of a dog's temperament and personality are very important in making sure the dog goes to the right home. We welcome foster homes with many different levels of dog experience and try to help train and support our fosters through a private group board and with mentoring.


To become a foster home for WBCR, we require an application (similar to an adoption application), reference checks and a home visit. Prior experience with Border Collies is not a requirement, but is a definite bonus. Because we are a multi-state regional group and are a bit spread-out, we often have to rely on contacts in the "Border Collie World" (like this Board) to help us with the home visits and additional training for our adoptive and foster homes, if we don't have a volunteer in the area where the help is needed and their expertise and time is greatly appreciated. :D


Working with a BC rescue may not work best for everyone, so my best advice is to find out what groups are close to you in location and contact them. They will welcome you with open arms. (We LOVE our foster homes!)


Good luck,

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We started fostering this year. We pay out of pocket for pretty much everything except medical care. It is pretty much like having an additional dog for a while. I would imagine that virtually every dog is adoptable, as long as it is not ridiculously aggressive. We pull the dogs directly from the shelter and they go right into one of the foster's houses. It usually takes a couple of weeks to get the dog's true personality to come out after being in a shelter. It is up to the foster to socialize the dog, work on any personality quirks, and generally house break and get the dog (if it is not already) into a normal healthy state of mind and body. Some dogs need weight put on, some dogs need weight taken off. Some dogs learn instantly and sit, down, here, etc... are easy. Others require a little bit more patience. I find it extreamly rewarding. There are few things in this world that make you feel as good as placing a dog in a home where it will be loved forever and knowing that you had a part in that union.

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I'm not far from you, and have been fostering for a couple of years. (I'm in Haines City.) We have had nearly 30 fosters in the last year, although several were large litters of puppies. It's very rewarding, which is why I keep coming back to it.


We foster for both Starfish BCR and a non-breed specific rescue (Pet Rescue By Judy) out of Orlando. When we were in Orlando, we did a lot more with Judy- now that we're farther away, we mostly get nursing mothers with large litters. While each rescue is a little different, generally medications and treatment are covered. Judy insists on giving me puppy food, but for the most part, I provide food. We have a dedicated "puppy" room which we use for quarantining when we need to, and I have also used the guest bathroom for puppies. As we usually only have one or two adult dogs, I usually try to integrate them into the pack. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. (My pack is pretty forgiving, especially with females.)


If you have specific questions, feel free to PM me.



Nik, Sasha, Sassy, Zoe, Rue

Fosters Scout and Iri, and Iri's 7 3 week old puppies. Who don't have names yet.

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This depends on the rescue.


In our rescue, new foster homes will initially go through the same steps as an applicant looking to adopt a dog. We will have a representative come and do a home visit to meet them and their dog(s) and make any suggestions about their set up that might make it safer or more adaptable to a new foster dog. They would then be ‘mentored’ by one of our experienced foster homes in their area, who will help them through the process of fostering and adopting out their charge when the time comes. If they enjoy the experience of fostering, and wish to continue, they may be mentored through 2-3 foster dogs before they become a more independent foster home.


We encourage new foster homes to not think of fostering as a situation where they can more easily acquire a new dog. In the past, we have had people offer to foster strictly because they wanted to bypass the adoption process and have “first dibs” on highly adoptable dogs, such as puppies. For this reason, we have implemented a rule that new foster homes must foster at least two dogs before they can adopt their own foster dogs. In this way, we make sure the application process is fair for everyone and also we do not lose a succession of foster homes to adoptions. Foster homes are extremely valuable –without them, we are simply not able to continue our good work. Some of our foster homes have been with us for ten years now.


If a new foster does take a shine to one of their first dogs and is extremely reluctant to adopt it out, this situation will be discussed with the Board of Directors who will ultimately make the decision. In this case, the foster home will be required to pay the standard adoption fee like anyone else. Exceptions to this rule include a foster who wants to make a difficult to adopt dog (such as a terminally ill dog, a dog with serious behavioural issues, or perhaps a senior dog) their own, in which case the rule is waived and the fee is also waived.


Foster homes must sign an agreement to abide by the rules of the rescue.


A foster home's responsibility is to feed, house and work with the dog to assess its needs and the kind of home it will require. All applicants are vetted by the adoption coordinator prior to being forwarded to a foster home, and we encourage foster homes to be a part of the adoption process and give us input on the applicants.


Foster homes provide food for the dog, though we can sometimes provide food if this is a hardship for the foster home to do. All of our dogs are vet checked, neutered, vaccinated and microchipped before adoption. We ask foster homes to use one of our veterinarians for this, and to pay the bill – they are reimbursed when the dog is adopted, from the adoption fees charged. If this is a hardship for the foster home we can provide the veterinary care costs. Any exceptional veterinary bills must be cleared with TDBCR before the dog is taken to the vet.


Fostering can be very rewarding, but also very demanding. We do ask foster homes to think carefully about their limitations, as sometimes foster dogs can be with them for the long term. Often we have nowhere else to move them to, so when a foster home backs out of their commitment it causes a number of difficulties for us logistically. However, if a dog is REALLY not working out for any reason, we will do our best to move the dog as soon as possible.


We do not give hard dogs to newbies.



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My rescue is still pretty much in its infancy (just entering our 3rd year), so it's still very much a growing and learning process for us. But, this is our approach to foster homes.


We have a foster home application. Applying to be a foster home is very similar to applying to be an adoptive home.


I try my best to match dogs to fosters and always discuss potential new dogs with the potential foster home before agreeing to take the dog.


The rescue pays for all vetting and any medicines. We ask that you supply food, but we can supply that, too, if necessary. I try to vet the dogs before they go to their foster homes, but that's not always possible. If the foster home has to vet the dog or buy medicines, etc., the rescue will reimburse them with a receipt.


I do most of the home visits, but often get help from others, including those fostering the dogs, if the potential adopter is close by.


Mostly, the foster home is responsible for communicating with the adopter once they've been approved, and scheduling a time for the potential adopter to come visit the dog.


The foster home is also responsible for teaching house training, if necessary, decent house manners, and some basic obedience. Of course, you can go as far as you want with the dog, but those are the basics. We also ask you to evaluate the dog and let us know about any potential issues. I always require that the dog be in its foster home for at least two weeks before being made available for adoption. I usually contact the foster home after two weeks and ask them if they think the dog is ready. Some dogs are and some dogs aren't.


That's kind of the abbreviated version.

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