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Being a foster home

July 14th, 2008, 02:40 PM

I am new to the forum, so sorry if I don't have a picture uploaded yet...:)

I was thinking of becoming a foster home for a dog. I am a student at a university and so might still be moving around so I can't get my own dog for now... but I wanted to know what it was like and didn't find any treads on the subject. Do you get the dog for a long time or do they get picked every month or so? What happens if me and the dog don't get along for a reason? Will the shelter listen to my opinion about the people who wants to get the dog?

I understand I could ask to a shelter directly, but I haven't picked a school for my master's yet, so I am not sure where I will be... and I want the opinion of people who have been doing this a few times.

Thank you! :dog:

July 14th, 2008, 09:29 PM
Do you get the dog for a long time or do they get picked every month or so? What happens if me and the dog don't get along for a reason? Will the shelter listen to my opinion about the people who wants to get the dog?

It all depends on the shelter / rescue. Some may not want to let you foster because you are a student and still moving. You will have to find an organization that you would like to help and ask them about it. I hope it works out for you because many dogs are waiting to be fostered. Maybe ask the Montreal SPCA. :fingerscr

July 23rd, 2008, 10:51 PM

It's wonderful that you are considering fostering dogs for your local rescues or humane society. A few words of advise:

1) You never know what type of dog you are going to get from the rescue. Some are super high strung and some are really gentle. None of the dogs are going to know the rules of your house, and many can be really noisy. If you are renting, I would not recommend fostering unless your landlord is cool with it.
2) The two weeks or so after you get a foster is going to be tough. You will have to watch the dog fairly close to get an idea of what he needs from you. You will also need to change your own habits (dog walks & runs, feeding times, play times, times to etc.).
3) You will need to train the dog: standard obedience commands, no counter surfing, no barking.
4) You will be responsible for food and medical costs for the dog (sometimes the rescue will reimburse you for medical). Since you will be in grad school, its possible you will be short on funds and time (my thesis took me several weeks, and late nights, to bust out).

I don't want to dissuade you from fostering. It takes a great love of all types of dogs and a large amount of patience to foster. Make sure that you have the space and finances to foster a dog. Some dogs stay with you for a few days, others stay for months or years.

I wish you the best of luck in your future with fostering. Are you interested in fostering a certain breed?

(Please excuse my quick letter ending. My foster dog is outside whining right now....)

July 29th, 2008, 11:03 AM
If you contact a rescue group, let them know your situation. Also let them know your level of experience, your class/work hours, and your living arrangements. If a rescue considers you a good candidate (and do not take offense if they feel you are not at this particular time) they will match the right dog with you based on your level of experience and of course what you can handle. If it does not work out, all rescues (regardless of who they are) will absolutely take the dog back immediately and find an alternative for that dog. Whether they use you again to foster may or may not be considered in the future based on why you declined to continue with the fostering process. Fostering is very time consuming. It requires a lot of dedication and hard work to be able to provide this particular foster dog a solid new beginning. It also requires a certain amount of sacrifice in regards to your personal life and activities.

I am certain that the SPCA Montreal does require people to foster. Perhaps they are in a position to match the right dog with you.

If you do foster, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do, but you must take it to the end. There is a lot of thought that must go into it before you make this committment - because it is HUGE.

Good luck.

July 29th, 2008, 11:36 AM
Good for you, wanting to foster and help out an animal in need. I would love to do it if we lived in a city that needed foster homes.
RedSonia suggested that you will have to pay for the food and sometimes vet bills. Not ALL shelters/ rescue groups are like this though. Several rescue groups provide the food, and pay for all vet bills. These costs are then made up for in the adoption fee (Molly cost $315 for us to adopt her, but she was already spayed and up to date with all vaccinations)

July 29th, 2008, 12:50 PM
Thank you everyone for these kind words! I will do my best to take these advices to good use. I guess I will have to make sure I have the time and money for a dog before getting one and to shop around for the rescue. I am really enthusiastic about this, I hope I can get a chance to help!