Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend. – Corey Ford
Fostering is one of the best ways to help a dog or cat find their forever home. Many people do not feel comfortable going into our current shelter facility to adopt. It can be stressful and overwhelming, and it is difficult to tell what a dog’s true personality is like in that environment. Moreover, many dogs struggle to make good impressions in the shelter and, for this reason, continue to get overlooked by potential adopters. Transitioning from the shelter into a home can also be difficult; it takes time for a dog to decompress from being in the shelter. Fostering helps with all of these things! Fosters help the dog or cat make the transition from the shelter into a home environment. Fosters also get to know the dog or cat’s personality and can help make the perfect match, which results in a dramatic decrease in returned adoptions.
What to expect
There is an adjustment period when bringing a dog or cat into a home from the shelter. Some dogs may seem calm at the shelter, when really they are afraid, timid, or depressed. Once they start to feel safe and comfortable, you might discover they have bounds of energy! Some dogs are quite the opposite. They may seem noisy or energetic at the shelter, when in actuality, they are keyed up from stress. Once in a safe and stable environment, these same dogs become gentle and calm.
We try to give dogs the time they need to decompress from their time in the shelter. Dogs that have only been in the shelter for two weeks may need less time than dogs who have been living there for three months. There are several things you can do to help them during this time. We ask all of our fosters to use a crate. This is not only for their safety when you leave them alone, but for their sense of security. Dogs need a “den,” a place that they know is theirs and that they can go to anytime they need a “time out” from the world. Dogs also thrive on routines! The more consistent you are with when you get them up in the morning, when you let them outside, when you feed them, when you walk them, and when you put them to bed at night, the quicker they will start to relax. Dogs do well when they know what to expect from you and what is expected of them.
What you will need*
- Bedding (old towels or blankets work best as they can be easily washed)
- Dog bowls for food and water (stainless steel or ceramic)
- Dog food
- Leash (slip leash or leash and collar)
- Treats and toys
*If you are unable to provide these items, we can provide them for you.
What we need
We will ask you to provide regular updates on your foster dog or cat. This includes sending us pics of your foster pup or kitty, providing us with info about their personalities, and helping us ascertain what type of home he or she would be best suited for. We will also ask you to bring them to adoption events at various locations around town. We understand that circumstances can change, but ideally we would ask you to commit to your foster dog or cat until we find his/her forever home.
Interested in becoming a foster home to help our shelter dogs and cats transition into their forever homes? Submit an application, and we’ll be in touch!