I foster a dog?
Damsel, Adopted February 2015
Fostering a dog with us
Fostering a rescue dog is a tremendously rewarding experience that allows you to make a huge difference in a dog’s life without having the lengthy commitment or financial responsibility of dog ownership. Pound Dog Rescue is in urgent need of fosters as we can only save as many dogs as we have foster homes for. All of our dogs are cared for in a foster home where they receive love, care and training. All costs for supplies, food and veterinary care are covered by Pound Dog Rescue.
In return we ask of our fosters to provide a stable home environment for the dog in their care and assist us in training the dog and working through any issues that it may have. We ask that fosters be willing to drive their foster dogs to any veterinary appointments, training classes or fundraising events that may be required. Our services are located in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge areas.
Once you have lived with the dog for a bit and have a good feel for it’s habits, needs, and routine, we will ask you to provide a write-up of your dog and some flattering photos to accompany it. This write-up and pictures will be what we post for potential adopters to read and learn about your foster dog. We also ask that fosters allow potential adopters into their home for a visit to allow the adopters to see the dog in a home environment, and to be able to speak about the dog in their care.
The biggest pay off in fostering comes when you have met the family adopting your foster dog and you know that your foster dog is going to be happy and well loved in its new home. It is always difficult to see a loved foster dog leave, but it is so gratifying knowing that they are in good hands and are off to a loving forever home.
We ask that our fosters allow us to visit their home to make sure that it is properly set up to foster a dog. By seeing your home we can assess what type of dog would be best for your situation and offer suggestions to fix any trouble spots we may have concerns with. A fenced yard is preferred, but an unfenced yard does not rule you out as a foster. We will just select dogs for you that would do well in your situation. We also ask that your home be kept clean and uncluttered as we want our dogs raised in a healthy environment and as well, your home is an extension of Pound Dog Rescue and reflects our high standard of care.
Thank you so much for your interest in fostering. We cannot save dogs without you. We look forward to hearing from you. If you would like to foster with Pound Dog Rescue please fill out the application below. One of our volunteers will be in touch with you soon. (Please note that foster homes should be within approximately 30 minutes or so of Cambridge, Ontario)
Pound dogs everywhere thank you!!!
There ain’t nothing like A Pound Dog!
We are so appreciative of our Pound Dog Rescue fosters! To make things easier we have put together a guideline that will hopefully answer many questions you may have and will help you transition your new foster dog into your home.
We are always here for you!
Regardless of your experience with dogs, you may come across a situation with a new foster dog that you just aren’t sure how to handle properly. We have been fostering dogs for years and have come across pretty much every situation and can help you with whatever you have issues with. And we also have a certified dog trainer supporter who can assist with any training issues that may arise. Whatever your situation is, we are here to help you.
Every dog takes time to adjust to a new home.
Regardless of the dog’s level of training, the first few days in a new home are stressful and even an impeccably trained dog can have accidents. We ask that you please be patient and understanding. Dogs need to learn the layout of your house, the rules of your house and the schedule. This is a lot to take in! We recommend keeping a leash on the dog for the first day or two and keeping him/her close by you. This will help take a lot of stress off of the dog, and this way you always know where he/she is. Crate training is also very important and offers the dog a quiet place to call their own and to de-stress. Of course some dogs come into a new home like they have been there forever, but we want you to be prepared for the typical behaviours. So expect your new dog to be out of sorts for a few days, but dogs are resilient, they adjust fast, and in no time you will be seeing the dog settle in and relax and show their true selves.
We do our best to assess each dog taken in to our rescue but in no way can we guarantee the temperament of the dog. Use caution when introducing the new dog to other people, especially children, and other dogs or other pets. We don’t know these dog’s past experiences. Do not make assumptions about your new dog. Ease the dog slowly into new situations and don’t push the dog or force them into situations that make them uncomfortable. We ask that you not take your new dog to a leash free park. We are a non-profit organization and cannot afford unnecessary costs in case of injury or costs occurred if he/she injures another dog. Be cautious around food until you are sure of the dog’s behaviour and never leave a new dog unattended with children or new people. Again, in most cases these issues won’t be a concern, but we ask for caution in all circumstances to ensure a smooth foster to adoption process.
The adjustment timeline.
As a general rule, dogs will start showing their true selves by the end of the first week. They have now settled in and are feeling more confident and have formed a bond with you. Because of this we ask that you hold off on writing your dog’s bio until at least a week has passed. That way you can comment confidently on your dog’s specific behaviours and skill levels. This timeline may be longer for elderly dogs or dogs that experienced abuse or severe neglect. Another milestone is around the 3 month time. Should you still have your foster at this point you will observe that they are very comfortable in your home and may show different behaviours both positive and negative. A young dog may feel overly confident in his home now and decide to start pushing some of the rules to see if he can get away with it. Or a timid dog might now feel secure enough to let go of the worry and really settle in.
Your feedback is important!
As much as we assess a dog and get a general view of how it behaves and what it’s like, you are our primary resource that we rely on to get a true judgment on what the dog is like and what type of home they are best suited for. Your observations and interactions with the dog help us select the best home possible. We ask that you communicate regularly with us about your dog and let us know how they are doing and any questions you may have. And you are the biggest contributing factor when it comes to how long you will have the dog in your home. A good write up and picture are critical when it comes to potential adopters choosing your dog. You are your dog’s voice! There is an endless supply of dogs looking for homes. You need to make your dog stand out. A well worded and thorough write up does wonders in painting a picture of what life with your dog is like. Even the smallest detail is appreciated by people looking for a dog to adopt. Anyone can write that their dog likes to go for walks and knows “sit”. What potential adopters want to know is the quirks and habits of the dog, funny anecdotes about life with this dog, and what type of home you think would be best suited for this dog. And we don’t expect you to be a professional photographer (we have one of those!) but you will be doing best by your dog if you submit clear, uncluttered, smiling photos of your dog to post with their write up. Try and avoid the “demon eyes” that occur with a flash and sleeping pictures aren’t a selling feature either. A happy, close up photo of your dog without distracting background will make your dog stand out.
We don’t expect you to be a professional trainer (we have one of those too!) but it would be doing your dog wonders if you could teach it simple command like “sit” or “shake a paw”. This shows potential adopters that the dog is capable of learning commands. We also would appreciate the dog to be taught proper leash manners and we have a variety of training aids to assist with that if the dog is too strong to control with a flat collar. The more you can teach your dog, the more attractive the dog is to potential adopters. We also ask with your assistance in crate training the dog. Many dogs come already accepting a crate, but some were crated overly long, or as punishment in their previous homes and may have an aversion to it. A crate trained dog is a positive in the eyes of most adopters. If your dog is not accepting of the crate at all, we can offer suggestions for keeping them in a dog-proof room while you are out. We also ask that you expose the dog to car rides and get him to behave calmly in the car. We suggest a crate for travelling but if that is not feasible we recommend restraining the dog with a leash or seatbelt to keep it from jumping all over the car as you drive. We also ask for care to be used upon exiting a car. Some dogs like to charge out of a car. Training the dog to ”wait” and keeping a leash attached to them to grab if needed is recommended.
Your new dog will either go straight to the vet to have all of its medical needs taken care of right away and you will pick it up there, or depending on when we can get the dog in, you may have to take the dog to the vet yourself and drop the dog off for the day. Once in your care we ask that you advise us if your dog needs further medical care. Please do not contact the vet yourself. They are authorized to only perform treatments that we request. In the case of an emergency you will be provided with our phone numbers for immediate contact. Please monitor your dog daily and advise us of any concerns you may have regarding its health.
Finding a home for your foster
We do not expect fosters to find homes for their dogs; that is our job. But, we love our fosters to promote their dogs and get the word out about the dogs in their care. You are your dog’s best supporter and advocate. Please keep in mind though that we receive applications on dogs on a regular basis. We may already have an application(s) in on your dog that we are processing. We do our best to keep you advised of the situation but there will be times where you are unaware that there is an application for your dog. Do not make any promises to people interested in your dog. And even if that dog is available, your potential adopter will have to apply and undergo the background check like everyone else. We will, of course, take your recommendation seriously and do our best to accommodate but sometimes things come up in a background check that you are unaware of. We just ask that you tell us as soon as possible if you have someone in mind for your dog, and explain the process to them.
Wanting to adopt your foster dog yourself.
Otherwise known as “failing fostering”. We know how hard it is to give up a dog you have become attached to. We are all dog lovers; we wouldn’t be doing this if we weren’t. We have been there, and tears have been shed. But never, have we ever, regretted sending a particular dog off to its new home. When you meet the people who are approved for your dog you will understand. You will toy with the idea of keeping a particular dog, and the first foster is the hardest! Make sure someone in your home is the voice of reason and reminds you of this…if you keep your foster in most cases you won’t have the space to take on another, and unfortunately then you can’t save the life of any more dogs. The dogs right now sitting in pounds are in dire need of rescue and they need you! It gets easier with each dog you foster. Making it past the first foster is half the battle. There will always be some that touch your heart more than others, that never changes, but the pay off of seeing these dogs go off to loving homes makes the sadness of letting them go worth it. And the updates you receive from the adoptive family will make your day!! Having said all that, should you foster a dog that you cannot part with; we will understand and support you. But please let us know as soon as you make this decision because if you think the dog is so great and you want to keep him/her, chances are others will think so too and we will be getting applications on him/her.
Well, that’s about it.
We’ve covered a lot of ground here and hopefully have given you a good picture of what fostering is all about. Keep in mind that you always have the final say about the dog you take in. We will make recommendations but you will pick the dog that you want from the ones we think would suit your situation. Fostering can be stressful at times, but those times pale in comparison to the joy and sense of pride you will have knowing that you saved a dog and brought happiness to its life. Fostering has huge rewards!! And you get to meet some fantastic people and dog lovers who share your passion for saving dogs. We recommend all of our fosters to keep an album of the dogs you have saved and their stories. You don’t want to forget the dogs whose lives you have changed and the fantastic people who have benefitted from adopting your foster dog.