Hey y’all. So, I did a thing. We became a dog foster family and so can you.
A girlfriend of mine is an advocate for shelter dogs. She’s like the neighborhood dog whisperer. Any lost dogs or strays get to a safe place thanks to this lady.
Her deep commitment to the plight of shelter dogs is impressive and moving. The devotion she has of saving dogs in our area from a death sentence would give you the warm fuzzies. It did me.
My friend understands that she can’t save them all but to one dog, she is all they have. Her principal aim is to save the dogs one at a time.
In our mom group, she gives updates of her doggie drama that includes; cases of hoarding, heartbreaking owner surrenders or terrible abuse. We hang on her every word.
The more I listened, the more I feel compelled to do something. I got my chance soon enough. A woman was found to be hoarding almost three hundred dogs.
There was a desperate cry for shelters and volunteers to coordinate to help take in the almost 300 dogs.
The county published a grocery list of things they needed. Food, shampoo, blankets, and cleaning supplies were at the top of the list. I called my dog lady friend and told her I wanted to help buy supplies.
This was my step one. I went to the dollar store and was able to buy what I thought was quite a lot. My friend and I drove all our purchases plus some other donated items from friends the hour away and delivered the care packages to the county animal shelter.
There were others, just like us, dropping off supplies. It was a whole movement of people coming together and giving because they had the same moral calling and belief if was the right thing to do.
After that day, I thought about these dogs all the time feeling like I could have done more. But I was also overwhelmed at the thought of trying to help almost 300 dogs.
My doggie savior friend sent me a message with a picture. The cutest puppy with the saddest eyes needed a foster family. For one week, the little fur baby needed a safe and loving place before being shuttled to another state and into a forever home.
Was I up for it? No long term commitment. She had a potential family already waiting. Vet bills were to be covered by the rescue that tagged her for adoption. This all sounded too easy.
Shelter workers all know who the big successful rescues are. You can inquire at any of your local animal shelters what rescue they partner with.
Call the rescue. They’ll put you in touch with their area volunteer. Either the shelter or your contact will explain their mission of animal rescue so that you can better understand what their particular dog fostering process.
When a suitable dog is tagged by the rescue, their volunteer will go with you to pick up your little foster doggie. Find out all the vet and transport information at this time. Your primary duties should be transportation to vet visits, feed, and care.
Go home and play with your new dog foster.
You’re a dog foster family now. Like some new friends, there could be some shyness to overcome. You are their first stop on their journey to a new and wonderful life.
However, like some new friends, shyness, being scared or traumatized and plain overwhelm could be present at first. Patience on your part will remedy this. Understanding dog’s potty cues is another process to embrace. And the all important location of beds/crate, food/water and potty area.
On transport day, the rescue volunteer will most likely come and get the little foster dog friend. Please confirm plans in advance so there are no surprises about date or times. Little doggie is on his way to his new forever home with your help. On behalf of animal lovers, thank you!
My recommendations are:
- have a crate so doggie has a place that is only theirs
- confirm food requirements, do they need puppy or adult food
- if the dog has not yet seen a vet find out from the shelter what prevention meds it has received
- don’t trust that they’re potty trained
- be prepared for chewers, stinkers and diggers
- provide a bed and or blankie
- keep a journal of anything noteworthy to pass on to the rescue and new owners
- give yourself grace, none of us are perfect dog foster families
- you are a good person, pat yourself on the back
I’ve created a couple of blank templates for you to keep handy on. It’s a free download, click HERE