Saving one dog won’t change the world, but the world will change for that one dog.
To help us help an animal that is under threat of being put to sleep /been abandoned or help us get them from abusive situations by offering a temporary home where they will be safe, loved and cared for until a new home can be found for them.
What does it take to be a foster mum or dad?
Courage, love, time, love, energy, love, patience, love, a practical responsibility and finally more love.
It is not easy taking a new dog or puppy into your home and giving it all that it needs, to have it taken away from you and homed elsewhere. You will get upset and we always say that the day you are not upset, even with the dog that has been the devil dog, then that’s the time to give up fostering. It is too easy to fall in love with the dog and then want to keep it for yourselves or to fall into the trap of thinking that the dog is totally dependent on you and needs to stay with you. Some dogs will bond with new carers immediately, as you will possibly be one of the first to ever show them love and understanding, and some sadly may take time to trust you and give their love in return. Both these situations will lull you into thinking that this dog must stay, it needs you. Well it does, but only for a short period and, as time goes on, you will see that all our dogs & pups are the same and need you. So don’t be easily fooled into believing that the dog will not bond elsewhere . Dogs are fickle things and will give their affections at the drop of a hat, sadly even when they are have been abused, if they think they will still be loved.
Fostering may be until we find the dog the forever home they deserve or for just a few days or weeks to cover holidays etc. It may be for a few months, depending on the dog you have, so committing to foster is not a job where, after a day or a couple of weeks, you can stop and expect the dog to go elsewhere because you do not like it or do not want to foster anymore. Please remember that, when we take a new dog in, it is because you the foster home have committed to foster it and commitment is what they need. Remember fostering rather than adopting allows us to help more rescues from being put to sleep or abused.
Some dogs will have never lived in a house or known family life before and they will need you to give them love and reassurance to get them through the early days whilst they learn to live with the things we take for granted i.e. washing machines, hoovers, TV, etc. Some may have come from family homes, so this will make the foster transition easier for them
A home check will be carried out and we ask all family members to be present. We will discuss all aspects of crate training, socialising, natural feeding, etc with you. We pay for all vet care and any appointments will be made by us. We also pay for food and supply dog crates but do ask our foster homes to supply toys and a spare bed/quilt for your foster pet to use in your main living area.
The foster homes provide us with invaluable information about our dogs. This helps us to ensure we match our dog to the right home. We can review or confirm knowledge held about our dogs, such as housetraining, acceptance of visitors, car travel, behaviour etc, which are key points for our homing info. You also provide vital care. Some dogs come to us in a very poor condition, i.e. over/under weight, ear & eye infections, all of which are better managed and cared for in a home environment. On the odd occasion a foster dog may not work out in its foster home. This may be as a result of inaccurate information given by the previous owner, the dog displaying new behaviours in the home environment that we had not expected or you realise that you cannot cope with a particular type of situation. On these occasions we will always endeavour to take the dog back as soon as we can arrange an alternative foster place. You may be asked to hold on for several days. We do not use kennels or have a vast amount of spare foster spaces so please please make sure you are committed to work through the first few days/weeks with any problems that might occur. You must be prepared for toilet accidents within the house and possible chewing of property i.e. phone cables, shoes, etc. It is up to foster home to have insurance/ cover costs if this does happen. The rescue does not replace items damaged by pet. You must be prepared for a few disturbed nights or routine of daily household as foster pet settles in.
You must also be comfortable to offer potential owners a warm and hospitable welcome to your home when coming to meet their chosen dog. All inquires & homing will be dealt with by the admin and we then talk with you to arrange a viewing for any prospective owners. You play a vital role in these viewings. We take care in selecting our adoptees, but you may see aspects that haven’t been appreciated before, e.g. mention of a change of job or problems with a neighbouring dogs etc and, after viewers have gone, we will talk with you and ask your opinions and views.
Some of our foster homes do join our “failed foster club” and end up adopting their foster. We do not ask for foster homes to help out just to fail and then stop. Fostering is to help that dog and others that are waiting to come through our doors. So please DO NOT have the idea that we are giving you a dog on loan to see if you like it. If, on the odd occasion, a foster home does fail and we think you are the right home for that dog then a full adoption will take place and our full set rescue donation will be required. You may think this harsh after you have cared for the dog and still have to pay our fee but it is not fair on those who help us fundraise to ask them to raise more funds just so you can have a free dog.
The joy of seeing a dog that arrived on your doorstep with nowhere to go except maybe to the vet to be PTS, then going on to be loved and spoiled by their new family, is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.
What Else Do We Require
1) A secure Garden
2) Transport or to be local to our vets in Deal Dover & Thanet areas.
3) To be able to assess dogs needs.
4) To be prepared to house train/crate train. Remember some of these rescues have never know a home and accidents can happen
5) To be prepared for a change in your home and maybe a few sleepless nights whilst they settle in.
6) To be prepared to attend our recommended training class if need for socialization, or be available for contact with one of our volunteer behaviourists.
7) To listen to our advice and not that of others or to think you know better than us. (Remember we have been doing rescue for over 30 years, but are sometimes wrong.)
8) To be prepared to attend viewing days or have potential owners come to your home.
9) To keep rescue safe at all times.
10) Never let rescues off lead unless in an enclosed dog park with another person.
11) To keep collar and ID on at all times
12) To keep a dairy of rescue’s care, behaviour etc, so we can pass on info to new owners and update details on our websites.
13) To promote our rescue and our dogs in a professional manner at all times.
14) To be prepared to take a rescue at short notice.
15) To notify rescue in advance when not available to foster.
16) To ensure all your own pets are vaccinated, neutered, flea & worm treated.
17) To be part of our web site, Facebook community and write about our dogs and post pictures.
18) To ensure you are insured for third party liability.
19) To be able to attend our fundraisers to promote the rescues in your care.
If you think you can help please contact us for an application form.