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The Pros and Cons of fostering

joanna
April 16th, 2006, 03:19 AM
Hi Everyone.

I always wanted to foster a dog because
(1)I know I am really nurture one innocent soul
(2)I'd love the feeling that I can help him get a new family
(3)I get to live with variety of different breeds
(4)I would get proiroty if I decide to keep the dog.

But.. I live in a two bedroom apartment, and already have a dog.

I called the St. Bernard rescue and they said as long as the management was ok it'd be of no problem... but I gave up on the idea because it was kind of daunting.
I'm thinking about calling the cocker spaniel rescue or just local shelters to help dogs who are not purebreed.
Can someone tell me how they started to foster? How it was the first time? The goods the bads? I think I can imagine all the goods already... but any bad incidences you encountered?

Do you think I should hold back on fostering until we buy our home? Do you think it'd be even worse for the dog if situation suddenly changes and I can no longer foster?
I'm so worried that I'd be a terrible fostermom and if my foster child doesn't get adopted, then what? I would never want to send him away~ ~

thanks

Lucky Rescue
April 16th, 2006, 09:57 AM
The way to start fostering is to what you did - contact a rescue and offer your home. This is how I started. I was very nervous the first time, but it got easier as I got more experience with dogs.

The hard part about fostering dogs is that many of them need more than love. Many dumped dogs have had no training, and some could have behavioral problems like separation anxiety, fearfullness or other.

You must work a lot with these dogs to make them as adoptable as possible.

You could start with a dog who is not known to have any major problems and see how it goes and get experience that way. Since you live in an apartment, barking could be problem with some dogs.

I'm so worried that I'd be a terrible fostermom and if my foster child doesn't get adopted, then what? I would never want to send him away~

I"m not sure what you mean by "send him away". Fosters agree to keep the animal until it gets adopted, or until the rescue can find another foster home.

Of course, the rescue should be actively trying to find the dog a home, through advertising, websites like Petfinder, and adoption events.

meb999
April 16th, 2006, 10:35 AM
Fostering can be a really fullfuling experience. As Lucky said, alot of fosters have a few issues, just be sure to tell the REscue organisation what you're willing to deal with and what you don't think you can deal with.
The hardest part of rescue : seeing the dog leave. Although you're glad he's off to a good home, you're a little sad that he's going away -- but then all you have to do is get a new foster :-)
Where are you located? If you look on petfinder you should find some good rescues in your area, and just contact them and tell them you want to volunteer. If you don't feel up to fostering, there's alot of other volunteer work you can do (fundraising, calling back potential adopters, etc)
I wish I could foster again.....my hubbie won't let me :sad:

Frenchy
April 16th, 2006, 11:31 AM
Joanna,you got good advice from Lucky and Meb999,the rescue will ask you in wich environnement you live,what kind of dogs you can/cannot handle.If you are not sure,you could maybe find a rescue for older dogs.They are usually easier to foster.BUT;it takes longer for them to get adopted and gives you time to get attached to them,harder to let them go.It's all worth it and for me,as soon as one was adopted,I got another one to keep me busy and not get too emotional about letting them go.Good luck.

theplainsjane
April 16th, 2006, 11:40 AM
I foster for an All Breed Rescue group in Richmond, VA and am starting a small group to arrange for some adoptions and then transport to other groups, out of my local shelter.

It is hard, and I love it.

I agree with Lucky--start out with a dog who doesn't really have any major behavioral problems, although you should expect almost any shelter dog will need to be housetrained and also many of them are starving for attention and will cling and be jumpers (attention seeking).

I've had some "bad" experiences fostering that I can share--things that I might consider "cons," although none of them will keep me from doing it.

1. People think it's "weird." Not all do-many think it's awesome. I, for example, have three girls of my own and usually foster one or two dogs. I used to do litter of puppies until I pulled a parvo litter. Now, no more puppies! But you will meet people who think its odd, or that you shouldn't have "so many," or that you're crazy for bringing strange dogs home.

2. Returns. It happens that a dog you foster will be adopted, and then returned. Not a huge deal (I am always relieved to get my baby back when it happens, if the new family turn out to be flaky). But it can make things difficult if it doesn't happen, say, within the first week. Sometimes they stay "adopted" for a month and in the meantime, you take in another foster. Your original foster gets returned. Of course, you are not obligated to take in the original foster, but I always feel terribly responsible for a dog once it's been in my home. So, if this happens, you now have three (again, a maybe. You would likely not be REQUIRED to take the dog back in. You just might feel obligated, if you are like me).

3. People are idiots. I had a little foster dog named Flip. I considered keeping Flip. He was wonderful--so sweet and gentle, and he got along very well with my whole household. But because he was so gentle and sweet and adoptable, I realized that I couldn't keep him, because there were so many others who needed the help to become "adoptable." A nice family with two little boys applied to adopt Flip. Their application was approved, I took him to their house on the home visit, and it was nice and was decided they should adopt him. Two days later, on a rainy day, they went to work and left him outside in the yard with their dog, a known fence jumper (WE didn't know that). Scared by the storm, and by the traffic, Flip took off. They didn't really bother to look for him too much. It was over an hour away from my house and I spent over a month hanging flyers and looking for Flip. This was now four months ago and he has never been found. I once missed him by ten minutes and when I returned, he was gone again.

The pros? I could go on and on. Someone calls you and says, "There is a pup at the shelter who is going to be euthanized because it is shy." And you pick up that pup and within a week, it is happy and playful, learning to trust people and gaining self esteem. You see it go happily off to its forever home and you get e-mail updates of the dog, with his new family, kissing children, etc. There is no better feeling than that.

I hope you decide to foster. Not to share horror stories, but there are things that can happen that are "bad." They are really the rarity and the dogs give you so much appreciation for helping them. Please let us know if you decide to foster, and how it goes for you!

Lucky Rescue
April 16th, 2006, 01:41 PM
That's an excellent post, theplainsjane!!:thumbs up I would say that sums it up very nicely indeed!

The hardest part of rescue : seeing the dog leave. Although you're glad he's off to a good home, you're a little sad that he's going away

Haha...there's been a couple that when they left, I did the Happy Snoopy Dance!:D

Joanna, I stress again that you must not let anyone give you a dog that has problems that only someone qualified can handle - like extreme shyness or fear aggression. If these problems are not handled right, they can get MUCH worse and can be very dangerous.

Start off with a happy, "easy" dog. That will give you confidence in your ability to do this!:)

I would like to suggest you try contact greyhound rescues. These dogs are usually very docile, quiet, crate trained and like small spaces.

theplainsjane
April 16th, 2006, 02:08 PM
Oh, Lucky--Amen to the happy dance!

Right after I pulled my parvo pups (little lab mixes), my friend who is an ACO in Richmond City found a pure bred bluetick coonhound pup who tested for parvo. She asked me, if she found someone to treat, would I foster. Since I already had parvo, I didn't feel like I could turn her down.

Now, I root for coonhounds every bit as much as pit bulls. They are another breed that is misunderstood, and they never get adopted, bless them. There is an adage that says not to pass up hounds, because they make the very best family pets. SOME hounds do, but no dog should be underestimated or judged based simply on breed (In fact, last night, I witnessed one hound kill another hound, but that's a whole new story).

So, I bring home Roscoe, the cutest puppy ever. I mean, CUTE. But a coonhound. Roscoe could not be quiet to save his life (and sometimes I came *really* close, lol). If he wasn't baying, he was whimpering. If he wasn't whimpering, he was coughing. If he wasn't coughing, he was snoring. If he wasn't snoring, he was farting. And he was still contagious from the parvo, so I had him for about a month. I thought for sure that one of us was not going to survive the ordeal.

Woo. He got adopted the same day as the last little black lab mix pup from the parvo litter. I sobbed to see her go. When I was told that Roscoe had an approved app, I could hardly contain my glee. Now, that said--I would take him back tomorrow if he needed a place. He actually has a wonderful home, with a stay at home mom and two other big dogs to show him the ropes and they just love him.

I attached a picture of him in his coat. I can not understand why people think they can stick their hounds outside. This baby could not go out to pee in 30 degree weather without coming back in frozen.

meb999
April 16th, 2006, 04:10 PM
Roscoe could not be quiet to save his life (and sometimes I came *really* close, lol). If he wasn't baying, he was whimpering. If he wasn't whimpering, he was coughing. If he wasn't coughing, he was snoring. If he wasn't snoring, he was farting. .

ROLMAO!!!!

Lucky Rescue
April 16th, 2006, 06:24 PM
Roscoe is so adorable!! I love hounds - when they are someone else's.

All comes to the same thing - do NOT get a dog based on how it looks.

Poor little Roscoe, he was so lucky to meet up with you.:)

joanna
April 16th, 2006, 10:55 PM
HAHAHA...

Thank you for the advice everyone.
I've talked it over with my husband and we decided to foster!! Well not right away since it's the end of the semester but we're gonna offer our home in May. I'm not definite on which breed or where to call, but I'm sure with more foster homes needed, it won't be too much trouble finding a dog in need.

Thanks for the honest posts and encouragements.
i'll keep you posted!

theplainsjane
April 16th, 2006, 10:59 PM
Glad to hear it, Joanna! Feel free to post, PM or even IM if you ever need help, ideas or just want to brag about your babies!

Thanks for being a lifesaver. :pawprint:

Foster2Many
April 16th, 2006, 11:19 PM
:grouphug: We are so glad that you have decided to join us foster familys.
Start off slow ,,,don't take on too much at first .We do not want you to burn out ;)
You are going to find this adventure ever so rewarding ! Good luck to you and your future foster furry kids :D

Prin
April 16th, 2006, 11:41 PM
I have to add my two cents... I fostered two little ones, and having had forever dogs all my life, giving them back was way up on the list of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I was heartbroken and I still have a very hard time looking at pics of them. I promised myself I'd never foster again because it just hurt too much, but seeing how many need homes is hard too. If only I had a boyfriend who wasn't so allergic, I'd be getting myself into tons of trouble..:o

Lucky Rescue
April 17th, 2006, 12:36 AM
I promised myself I'd never foster again because it just hurt too much, but seeing how many need homes is hard too

Yes, it's hard but please don't refuse to help these poor homeless animals because it hurts you too much. It hurts me too, but I know having no place to go hurts them a lot more.:(

BoxerRescueMTL
April 17th, 2006, 10:11 AM
Yes, it's hard but please don't refuse to help these poor homeless animals because it hurts you too much. It hurts me too, but I know having no place to go hurts them a lot more.
Exactly!!! I bawl every time a foster leaves and I still think of all of them all the time. But their need outweighs my heartache.

coppperbelle
April 17th, 2006, 10:31 AM
The trick is to not look at them as they drive away. I made that mistake once. She was an especially difficult, busy puppy who had been given up because the previous owner couldn't control her. It took her about a week but she learned what was expected of her and how to behave properly in a house. She stayed with me for about 3 weeks and I made the huge mistake of watching her drive away. The look on her face as she drove away will be in mind forever. It was as if she was saying, "hey mom, aren't you coming to?"
I will agree that some are especially hard to see go but there are others that you will be happy to see find a new home fast. LOL
Good luck, I am certain you will find it to be a very rewarding experience.

Prin
April 17th, 2006, 12:27 PM
Yes, it's hard but please don't refuse to help these poor homeless animals because it hurts you too much. It hurts me too, but I know having no place to go hurts them a lot more.:(
Oh, no. At first, that was my reason, but now, I'm back to convincing the man.:)

meb999
April 17th, 2006, 02:16 PM
Oh, no. At first, that was my reason, but now, I'm back to convincing the man.:)

Yup...I'm having a heck of a time trying to convince mine to foster again. He told me last night : 'you HAVE a dog, stop buggin' me for another one. No more.'
I can assure you though...he hasn't heard the end of it yet ;)

Prin
April 17th, 2006, 04:08 PM
lol Imagine having two... "What? Do these two not make you happy?":D :rolleyes:

meb999
April 17th, 2006, 04:47 PM
lol Imagine having two... "What? Do these two not make you happy?":D :rolleyes:

lol!! It's so hard, you see all these little huneys who need good homes, and you know you can give them that....If my bf weren't around, I'b be the neighborhood crazy-dog-lady for sure!

joeysmama
April 17th, 2006, 07:09 PM
The hard part about fostering dogs is that many of them need more than love. Many dumped dogs have had no training, and some could have behavioral problems like separation anxiety, fearfullness or other.

You must work a lot with these dogs to make them as adoptable as possible.

You could start with a dog who is not known to have any major problems

I found that really encouraging. My husband and I just love dogs, but we are still learning how to train them to be good dogs. We have the room, and we have the inclination. We just don't have the expertise to work with a dog who needs more than we can give. I think maybe when we're out of the puppy stage with Cooper we can start off with easy guys (or gals) until we learn more.

I already feel so much better about knowing what's best for Cooper. These boards have really been a godsend.

It breaks my heart to think of all the dogs without love and I would love to be able to ease a little loneliness for some of them.

t.pettet
April 17th, 2006, 09:56 PM
I think life would be so boring and empty without a foster dog, they're a challenge but the rewards outway the cons especially when they actually start to comprehend the housetraining rules. The hardest part for me is the worry and being comfortable that the adopters will fulfill all the dogs needs, security and offer a forever, responsible, loving home. Nothing is as rewarding than checking up on the dog a month or two later and seeing how happy and contented they are with their new families.

joanna
April 18th, 2006, 10:01 PM
Hi guys.
I called greyhound rescue per lucky rescue's suggestions.

This Sat. & Sun. I'm going to the petsmart (or petco) adoption day to talk with greyhound foster parents and people who own greyhounds.

What should I look for when talking to these people?
Any issues/questions I should ask?