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Fostering in Niagara

February 11th, 2006, 12:41 PM
I am interested in getting involved in rescue/fostering. I sadly do not have much in the way of money to dontate, but I do have free time, a car when needed and a warm happy home. I currently have a Shih Tzu (3 years). We do socialize show puppies from time to time with a local breeder and would like to do more. However I am uncertian how to get involved in the area, ie what the needs are, where the shelters are, How it works. Any help would be appreciated..........Thanks!

Lucky Rescue
February 11th, 2006, 01:09 PM
It's great you want to help, but I know of no rescues who will put a foster dog in a home with an intact dog. It's just too distracting for rescue dogs who might need socialization, training and even housetraining. With male dogs who have not yet been neutered, there is always a chance of an accidental mating, and with females there's a risk of fighting. Most dogs coming into rescues are not spay/neutered. Of course an already neutered male might be fine.

Of course this would not be a problem if you can foster cats.

But there are other ways to help - getting donations, pulling dogs from shelters and helping to transport them, helping at adoption events and organizing fund raisers!

You could also offer to walk and exercise shelter dogs too.

Look at the list of rescue and shelter organizations in your area, and contact some of them.
You can find them at the top of the page at :)

February 11th, 2006, 01:57 PM
The petfinder website LR mentioned will have links to most of the shelters & rescue groups - and you will be able to search by area.

I would recommend looking through the list and finding a group that appeals to you - such as breed specific (ie. a group dedicated to helpin shih tzu's), all breed, dog, cat, others, etc, and then contacting them. Be aware there are good rescue groups, and those that are 'rescues' in disguise - so ask lots of questions about their practices and procedures. A good rescue will always spay/neuter, vaccinate before adopting out, etc.
Good rescues will also provide support for any fostering issues (behavioural/training, etc), supplies, food, etc.

With fostering, the rescue groups will ask that you commit to keeping the dog/cat until it is adopted. This could vary anywhere from a week or two, to several months depending on both the animal (ie. 'low demand' breed or issues vs a cute, healthy puppy of a 'higher demand' breed) - and the rescue group. Depending on the group, you may also be asked to interact with potential adoption families. With our group, potential adoption families will either arrange to meet the foster parent (& dog) at either the foster's home, or a nearby park, etc (foster's choice, if they feel comfortable having strangers to their home to meet the dog). Some rescues do not have a shelter facility, so this is the only way for foster to meet potential adoption families.

Foster's do have a say in accepting dogs, how many, and how freqently they are sent to the foster's home. For example, I will not accept a dog that has known cat aggression issues (I have 3 cats). While any rescue / shelter cannot guarantee this, - it's 'best of our knoweledge' based on behavioural assessments, etc. It is important to make the group you want to volunteer for aware of your 'boundries' (ie. only space for 1 dog, dog temperment, activity level, etc) - the rescue will want to make sure this is a positive experience for you ,so you will continue to volunteer - so be upfront about what you can offer - and what you can't.

Since most foster groups are also run on volunteer support, they also require support for answering requests for information, reviewing adoption applications, and other 'administrative' tasks - most of which can be done online. Not to mention the tasks listed by LR, above.

Good luck in your search, and let us know how things turn out,


February 11th, 2006, 02:04 PM
Thanks for the feed back. I have contact the only rescue I know of in the area, but have not heard anything back.

In terms of fostering, while my dog is still intact (she was a show dog I am fostering (will get to keep) for a breeder. She is almost done and will be fixed shortly. So that should not be a concern. Roxie is well socialize and is great with other anmials (she needs to be at christmas everyone brings their pets and there can be upwards of 12 dogs of all shapes and sizes!). So I"m sure that will not be an issue. She is used to the routine with a visiting pet as well.

I do foster/socialize puppies (puppies between 8wks and 6month) from time to time, would that be an issue?

Lucky Rescue
February 11th, 2006, 02:48 PM
Just want to agree with the above post. Be VERY careful before getting involved with a group and make sure they are reputable!

Some so-called rescues will merely dump the dog on you and leave you on your own. You want people who are very proactive about finding the pet a home, through websites, adoption events and advertising and who keep in touch with you and are available to answer questions and give you help.

Make sure they know how to test a dog to be positive it's not aggressive or dangerous.

NO reputable group will expect you to pay for s/n, medication or food for the foster dog, although of course anything you CAN pay for would be greatly appreciated!

You WILL be expected to train/socialize the dog and get it ready for adoption, take the dog to adoption events and stay the day, and to take it to vet appointments and also be available to allow people to see the dog.

You will also be expected to keep the animal until it's rehomed or until another foster home can be found. NO 10:00p.m. calls saying "Come get this dog. It's driving me crazy!";)

February 11th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Thanks for the feed back I will keep it all in mind. IF anyone else has anything to add, or is aware of or a part of a shelter in Niagara and you need assistance let me know.

I do understand that you can't give back a fostered dog when it annoys you. I can't give back my own dog when she annoys me! lol! I love her to bits, I never would.

I thought I might be good at fostering. I"m used to working with dog that are not my own and being able to give them up to their new families with out too much attachment.

I"m definatly committed and would like to do what I can, drive when I have the car, give food time, walk/train dogs, foster when possible.

Thanks for all the help