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Starting a small resue home

July 14th, 2004, 11:07 AM
I have 3 small dogs and 4 kids 18, 16, 15, 9, all my dogs are very used to having lots of people around and vise versa. Everyone is used to poops and pee around the house when one of the dogs has an accident.

I am off work for an undetermined amount of time ( my choice). I have always wanted to foster animals, particularly dogs and birds. I spoke with a shelter about fostering small breed dogs, i seem to be better at handling them. How do I go about opening a small shelter, just starting with 1 or 2 dogs to place, or potty train.

Do I just call the local shelter and let them know, do they have to evaluate me, my home, kids, my dogs? Is there any kind of registration fee, where do I get the food, do I have to make phone calls? Can a home based shelter be successful? What is the average time it takes before an animal is placed?

Any info will be hugely appreciated, thanks

July 14th, 2004, 11:10 AM
:D You're the best!

First off, volunteering to be a foster home is one thing...starting your own shelter is another.

See when you are a foster home you work directly with an agency/rescue already established. They take care of vet bills etc and supply food normally.

I think what you want to do is foster from a rescue. Are you in Ontario?

July 14th, 2004, 11:47 AM
I live by the richelieu river on the south shore of montreal. A small town called st-mathias is where i call home. since i alredy have my own 3 dogs , you're right, i'm really unsure of how to or what to do. I own my own home so space for a couple more small dogs is no problem. I'm home all day and take them out to play, swim, pee and poop, they run around the apple tree, chase each other, stop to give me a kiss, and chase the stick my son throws for them.

I will start by fostering and have been in touch by telephone with "sophie's dog adoption" the website is she has no photos of dogs for adoption on her site, only photos of dog adopted.

I called sophie last night and she has only 4 really big dogs right now (80lbs and still growing). so I know i could not take one. My own little toy poodle weighs only 4 pounds a big dog could easily hurt him in play. I also went to our local shelter in st-hubert and they dont foster, they euthenize. So the guy there said i'd have to actually pay to adopt the dogs there.

I just feel so helpless. I really want to act now, help now. The waiting is hard.

July 14th, 2004, 11:52 AM
Only take what you can my friend!

This is what you do...
Offer to foster for them and tell them what you would be willing to foster.
They're great people and will PULL a dog that suits you from the SPCA in MTL if available.

Best of luck :D

Lucky Rescue
July 14th, 2004, 12:06 PM
You sound like me! I always wanted to help animals, and I finally have the time and space.:)

Do you want to just foster FOR a rescue, or do the rescuing yourself? If you want to foster, be very careful who you do it for. Make sure the animals are healthy, and that the rescue will be very involved in helping to place the animal - web sites, adoption clinics, etc.

You also need a space where you can put the animal when you get it, until you are sure it's healthy and won't give your own pets any illness. There is also the chance that the fostered dog won't get along with your dogs, so you must have a plan in place for that.

You may end up having the dog for a very long time, although if you stick with very small dogs that is unlikely, since they are very adoptable and sought after.

If you need other info or help, please ask!:)

July 14th, 2004, 12:36 PM
I'm glad i found this site to ask questions. you all seems to know a lot about ,,,well,,,, everything! LuckyRescue those are some very good points i would never want to put my little babies in jeopardy, they are very small and delicate. Not to mention spoiled, and sometimes sneeky, they ate my cheese snack a few minutes ago. My fault I left it on the desk! LOL

I have to ask what did you do? when your animals didnt get along? Do I assume that the animals have been checked by a vet and are up to date ? how will I know if a rescue shelter is bogus with bad practices.

I think i just want to foster 1-3 dogs right now. I could handle that, what should i do if they do fight? how will feeding proceed?
Right now i just put the bowl of food out and they eat. a lot of times the dogs do their poopin' in my sons bedroom (he hates that) but thats when they really have to go and no one is home. I am expecting those types of things to occur since thats normal. fighting over food, attention, barking, walking, playing, chewing, all normal.

Tell me do you have dogs or just cats? how do you deal with a new one?

Luba, I sent an email to rosies adoption since i saw she has some small dogs on her site.thanks for that info.
thanks very much
Laurie--Let's get this show on the road! :D


July 14th, 2004, 01:00 PM
Laurie, I am a foster home for Lab Rescue. While you may have the room etc. for 1-3 dogs to foster, it is not recommended. You have to remember that most rescues come with some issues, that need your attention. They come to foster homes to help them get adopted out into society and help them overcome their issues. Your individual attention may not be good if you have more than one.

If your dogs that you have at home now are not well socialized and not get along with other dogs, especially in "their" home, you will have a problem. Many times these rescued dogs come from abusive situation etc. and having a dog attack them when they come to your home, would not be in the best interest of the foster, or your own dogs.

I have 3 Goldens at home. They do not mind other dogs coming in and using their toys, beds etc. They also don't mind mom and dad giving attention to the newcomer. Sometimes fostering is for one week, sometimes months. The dog most certainly won't come perfect, believe me!

There you go, some other things to think about. The rescue organization will most likely do a home visit and will fill you in about all that fostering involves. My rescue, I pay for the food. They pay for all the meds and vet visits. This is my way of helping out.

Good luck and please let us know how it goes.


July 14th, 2004, 01:10 PM
Thanks Heather,
That is a lot to keep in mind for a first timer! I really appreciate your help and i'll defiantely keep you posted!

Lucky Rescue
July 14th, 2004, 01:10 PM
Goldenmom is right. Start with one dog. You will have to do everything possible to make that dog adoptable, and that may include obedience training, housetraining, socializing, breaking bad habits, etc.

You will also be responsible for taking the dog to any adoption events and staying all day, and for any vet appointments for the dog. The rescue will pay for those, unless the dog in injured through your negligence.;)

You will probably have to allow people into your home if they want to see the dog.

If the foster dog doesn't get along with yours, you will have to keep it separated, either gated in a room, or crated.

I personally have a dog and 3 cats - all rescues. The cats were supposed to be temporary, but for one reason or another, they aren't adoptable. :rolleyes:

In the last few years, I have fostered 3 big dogs, and about 20 cats and kittens, who have all been adopted. I can no longer foster dogs, but I continue to foster cats.

It's not easy, but seeing a dog whose life you helped saved go off to a wonderful new home makes it worthwhile.:)

July 14th, 2004, 01:12 PM
Forgot one thing.....

The absolute joy you feel when your foster walks out the door with their new forever family, is the most wonderful feeling in the world. Heartbreaking? Without a doubt! But at least its your heart and not the dogs!

Good luck

July 14th, 2004, 01:16 PM
Thanks you all so much, ill read everything i can get my hands on to prepare myself. In the meantime there is nothing to do but wait for a phone call. but you all have given me some very important thing to think about and discuss with the rest of my family.