Fostering Q & A

How do I get assigned my foster?
We send out a weekly list to our volunteer distribution list of dogs in need of foster homes.   We allow you to choose the dog you would like to foster based on what fits best with your lifestyle. We have puppies, adults, and seniors, so there really is a dog for all types of homes.

What if I have commitments and can’t take in a new foster?
You can foster as your time permits. Obviously our goal is to place as many dogs in foster as we can so that we can continue to save more dogs. We always have other volunteer opportunities when your schedule will not permit you to take a foster, but you would like to still help.

How long will I have my foster?
It depends. On average, our fosters stay in care for less than a month before they are placed in their forever homes.

What do I need to foster?

  • Large amounts of patience and love.
  • A willingness to accept a rescue dog as part of your family.
  • The willingness to evaluate temperament and reinforce basic commands (sit, stay, come).
  • A schedule that allows you to exercise the dog regularly and a safe place for the dog to stay while you are gone.

What will FOHA ask of me during fostering?

Our fosters need regular feeding, fresh water and a safe home. Most of all, a foster family provides the love and attention these dogs so desperately want. Foster families also provide insight to the dog’s behavior, attitude and temperament so that we can place him or her in the proper forever home.  We will ask you to talk to potential adopters and ask your opinion on the fit of your foster with the applicant. If you have a meet and greet, your impressions on the “fit” of that dog with the family are a part of the approval process.

What happens if my foster needs to go to the vet?

Unless it is an emergency situation, you must contact FOHA before making a vet appointment. A large portion of our operating budget goes towards veterinary care. We have pre-negotiated rates with many of the local vets and clinics in the North East and we encourage you to take your foster to these locations.  FOHA will cover the cost of all vaccinations and other medical bills. You may need to take your foster to the vet for removing stitches or for treatment for worms (we treat, but sometimes they need an additional treatment).

We ask you speak with your vet before you take a foster in, to explain what you will be doing. Please do ask them if they will provide any sort of discount to us as a rescue. If they need paperwork proving we are a non-profit organization, we can provide this. We can also recommend vets who give “rescue rates.”

How do I know what vet work has been done for my foster before I get them?
They will come with an envelope with all vet records and shelter records, which you will send along with the dog to his/her new home.

Will I have any other responsibilities?
We ask that you provide food and love. Some of our rescues have been through a lot and have special needs so need extra patience.  Many need to learn some basic obedience and to learn house manners.  Occasionally, we have adoption events in your area, and will invite you to bring your foster. After all, this is where they will most likely meet their prospective adopters!  We ask that you send us updates so we can update their bio on Petfinder and to take new pictures of them for the website.  FOHA may put you in contact with potential adopters to tell them about the dog. If you are not comfortable with speaking to potential adopters, we will field the questions for you.

How can I help acclimate the dog into my home?

A crate is always a good idea for your foster. If you don’t have your own, someone in the group may be willing to let you borrow theirs.  Our group members are always available to discuss any issues you are facing. Most problems have been encountered by someone who will offer their help.  We will also put you in contact with a Foster Buddy when you first join the group to get you familiar with the process.

What if the dog doesn’t get along with my other dogs?
If the foster dog is not able to get along with your other dogs, cats or family members, we would work to place the dog in another home. Please understand if this situation occurs, that this may take some time as most of our foster homes are full.  While we are working to find another foster, it is extremely important to keep all the pets and family members safe which may mean separating them in a different room, in a crate, using baby gates, etc.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to fostering?
The advantages are that you are providing a valuable service; you are saving a dog’s life.
Fostering is a way to enjoy companionship without making a lifelong commitment. You would be helping to rehabilitate a dog that may have been abandoned, neglected or even abused. It is also very rewarding to see a dog you have cared for, placed in a loving permanent home!  You will also make some wonderful friends along the way. Many forever families will continue to send you updates and photos, year after year.

The disadvantages are that it is very easy to get attached to the dog you foster and it can be hard to see them go. Of course, if you decide your foster dog is “THE ONE” for you,  adoption is always an option.

How can I become a foster home?
If you are interested in fostering for FOHA, please fill out our online application.  Once you have been approved to foster, you will get an email invitation to join our e-group that is set up privately for FOHA volunteers.  You will receive the majority of your info from this group rather than individual e-mails.

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