FOSTERING FOR LALDR
Welcoming a rescue dog into your family can be an extremely rewarding experience! Many of our dogs are literally rescued right off the streets and have never known what its like to be in a loving home. To be able to provide them kindness, comfort and safety is an incredible gift!
WHAT IS FOSTERING?
Fostering is agreeing to take in a dog that is homeless and giving him or her love, attention, care and training for an unspecified period of time while waiting for a permanent adopter to be found.
WHAT FOSTERING IS NOT
Fostering is NOT a way to “try-out” a dog with your family before deciding if you want to adopt the dog. Dogs in foster are considered to be 100% available and are still being promoted as we actively try to find the dog a permanent home.
HOW IMPORTANT IS FOSTERING?
Since we do not have a physical shelter, we rely heavily on the support of fosters in order to save as many dogs as we can. Having an available foster home allows us to get a dog out of a crowded shelter or out of a dangerous situation and into a safe environment while we look for a permanent adopter. In some instances, having an available foster home can be the difference between life and death for a dog.
WHEN DO YOU NEED FOSTERS?
There are a few circumstances when fosters are needed. Sometimes a Flight Volunteer is unexpectedly able to bring more than one dog on the plane. As a general rule, we only bring a dog to Vancouver once he or she has an approved adopter. However, getting a dog on a plane is a valuable gift that we cannot pass up – and in that instance – we will need to find the dog a temporary foster home until a permanent adopter is found. Other times, we are assisting with a local re-homing request and need to move a dog from their current home into a foster home.
HOW LONG WOULD I FOSTER FOR?
A foster dog can be with a home for as short a time as a few days to as long as a few months.
HOW MUCH DOES FOSTERING COST?
LALDR covers all costs of a dog in foster care. We provide the leash, collar, crate and food. We also pay for vet visits and additional expenses which must be pre-approved by the Foster Coordinator (unless in the case of an emergency). Note we do NOT provide treats, bed or toys although some dogs may come with assorted items.
DO I NEED SPECIAL SKILLS TO FOSTER?
Ideally our fosters are able to assist in readying the dog for adoption. This may include working through separation anxiety, fear or other behavioural issues. It may also require house training and/or leash training. The fewer issues and better trained a dog is, the easier it is to find a permanent adopter and more likely it is that the adoption will be a success.
ARE SHELTER DOGS HOUSE TRAINED?
Most of our dogs have been living on the streets and so it is not uncommon for a new rescue to have an accident or two indoors until they get used to their new routine and become familiar with their surroundings. If your foster dog has an accident indoors, quietly clean it up. NEVER scold or punish your dog for an accident. Your dog won’t be able to comprehend what he has done wrong and scolding will only confuse him and teach him to fear and mistrust you. Instead, make sure you are giving your foster dog lots of potty breaks, watch for cues that your foster dog has to go, and reward when he goes outside. Young dogs may benefit from having pee pads inside the house. If you are not prepared for accidents inside your home, please do not apply to foster a shelter dog!
WHAT IF I ONLY WANT TO FOSTER A SPECIFIC DOG?
You can request to foster a specific dog however, we very rarely bring a dog to Canada solely because there is a foster home available. And remember, even if you apply to foster a specific dog our goal is still to find a permanent adopter and we will be actively promoting the dog for adoption. Sometimes a permanent adopter is found within days so if you are really keen on a certain dog, it may be more suitable for you to consider applying to adopt rather than foster.
WHAT IF I ONLY WANT TO FOSTER A SPECIFIC TYPE OF DOG?
You can certainly specify the characteristics of the dog that you prefer to foster ie size, good with cats, good with other dogs, etc. These options can all be found on the Foster Application form.
CAN I REQUEST TO FOSTER ONLY HYPO-ALLERGENIC DOGS?
Unfortunately, no. Most dog allergies are actually caused by a protein in the dog’s saliva (and to a smaller extent, in their dander) and not from shedding. Therefore, no dog breed is truly hypoallergenic although some (like poodles) may be more allergy-friendly. As a result of this, plus the fact that our dogs are of mixed heritage, none of our dogs would be considered “hypo-allergenic”. If you are unsure whether you or someone in your family has a dog allergy, we recommend seeing your doctor for allergy testing. If you or a family member has mild allergies, you will need to consider how they would be managed should there be an allergic reaction to a dog. If you have severe allergies, you will need to find a way of managing them prior to applying to foster.
HOW MUCH NOTICE WILL I GET THAT I AM GOING TO GET A DOG?
We will contact you with as much notice as possible to ask if you are able to foster a specific dog. Of course you always have the option of saying ‘no’. We would prefer an honest ‘no’ to a hesitant ‘yes’ as we really try to limit the number of times a dog is moved from home to home and would prefer to find a good foster fit the first time.
HOW HARD IS IT TO GIVE UP THE FOSTER DOG WHEN A PERMANENT ADOPTER IS FOUND?
How difficult it is to say goodbye to your foster dog depends of course on many factors. For some fosters, the moment their foster dog enters their home they are in love and letting go can be very hard. Other fosters, are more easily able to let go and instead, gain immense satisfaction knowing they did their part to contribute to the lifelong health and welfare of a homeless dog and look forward to receiving the next dog into their home. Either way, a foster dog will always leave a little extra love in your heart when they go.
WHAT IF I DECIDE I WANT TO ADOPT MY FOSTER DOG?
We often have fosters fall in love with their dogs and in these situations the ability to adopt the dog depends on several things. Reasons that you would NOT qualify would include for example, if we already have an approved adopter, or if we feel the dog is not the right fit for your family. Keep in mind that we have slightly different requirements for foster homes than for permanent adoptive homes so that even though you are a foster, if you did decide to adopt, you would still need to fill out an Adoption Application and go through the adoption approval process.
Want to Proceed?
STEP 1 – SUBMIT A FOSTER APPLICATION
Click on the Foster Application on the “Fostering” drop down menu at the top of the page.
STEP 2 – COMPLETE THE PHONE INTERVIEW
The next step is a Phone Interview conducted by one of our volunteers at a time that is convenient for you both. Our volunteer will generally be in contact with you approximately three to five days after you submit your application. The purpose of the phone interview is to discuss answers on your application and ask any clarifying questions. We want to hear about your past dog experience, your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a foster dog. The average call takes about 15 minutes and will mostly be about you, not the dog you are applying for. Most of our volunteers are fosters or adopters themselves so the Phone Interview is also a great opportunity for you to chat about their experiences too! Upon completion, the volunteer will report back to the Foster Team who will determine if your application qualifies to go to the next step.
STEP 3 – COMPLETE THE HOME CHECK
Once the Phone Interview notes have been reviewed and approved, you will be contacted (generally within three to five days) with regards to setting up a time to do a Home Check. Home Checks are currently being done remotely by video chat, Skype, Whatsapp, etc. but will hopefully return to in-person visits once the Covid crisis has passed. The purpose of the Home Check is to ensure that your home is ready to accept a dog. Our dogs won’t care if the dishes are done or the laundry is folded and neither do we! Instead, we will be looking for things like possible escape areas and potential safety hazards. If we see any areas of concern we will discuss these with you so that changes can be made prior to the dog’s arrival. Upon completion, the volunteer will report back to the Foster Team who will determine if your application qualifies to go to the next step.
STEP 4 – THE APPROVAL EMAIL
Assuming you have met all the requirements and it seems likely that fostering would be successful, you should hear good news from our Foster Team that your application has been approved! Approval notification is done via email within approximately three to five days of completing your Home Check.
Once you are approved its now just a question of waiting for a dog to foster! If you have any questions at any stage, please email firstname.lastname@example.org