Fostering can be the most rewarding experience! It can also be challenging and it helps to know exactly what you will be getting into and what type of support you will receive from PLR.
All PLR fosters will have their foster’s medical expenses covered by PLR and training will be available as well. Training for your foster dog is the best way to make them as adoptable as possible. No one really wants a dog jumping up all the time to say hi, right? Foster families provide daily love/care, guidance, and food for their foster dog. In return, you get an amazing support system from the current volunteers of PLR. Volunteers are available day or night to answer even the most basic questions and provide guidance. You will not be alone!
What is expected of fosters?
The obvious, taking daily care of your foster and providing appropriate guidance to help them be the best dog they can be. Foster families should be available to take their foster for necessary veterinary appointments. We have routine adoption events that fosters must attend (if appropriate). There are also PLR foster/volunteer meetings that fosters must occasionally attend. And last but not least, foster training! This is a critical component to helping your foster dog get adopted.
Having said all that, we understand that fosters cannot make it to every event or foster training. That’s where our volunteers come in! You will receive a weekly email outlining the events for that week. If you are unable to bring your foster for an adoption event or training that week, you just need to let our Volunteer Coordinator know so that we may make arrangements. The same goes for veterinary appointments, if you are unable to take your foster, please let us know!
Commitement from a foster home is critical. Many of our animals come right out of the shelter. When someone steps up to say they will foster a particular dog, we make a decision to pull and save that dog based on that. We understand that not every foster experience is going to be easy but we cannot have fosters that 1. back out on us at the last minute or 2. insist we remove a dog ASAP. We understand there are circumstances that require immediate removal, we get that! But please don’t ask us to remove your foster because you are sick of him peeing on the floor. You must also understand that foster homes are very limited and especially in the case of an adult dog, finding a new foster home can be extremely difficult. All we ask if things are too difficult is that you have patience while we work on finding a new foster. Often we cannot give you a specific time frame but please believe, we are doing our best to rectify the situation.
Some reasons foster dogs are asked to be moved:
- Foster doesn’t get along with the resident animals.
- Someone is moving and cannot take the foster dog with them.
- There is a relationship break up, dog has to go!
- Foster is having a hard time house training the dog.
- Foster dog has separation anxiety.
Those are just a few examples of many. We cannot stress enough how important the commitment is, so make sure you think this through thoroughly to ensure you are READY to be a foster home for an animal in need. It seems scary but we promise you, when your foster dog finds their forever home it is the most bittersweet but unbelievably rewarding experience! You did that, you were a part of that!
Training and Events
It’s not enough to just let a dog live in your house so they are safe. Fostering a dog involves working with your dog daily, so you are able to bring your foster to adoption events. It doesn’t have to be lengthy and involved work, just 5-10 minutes a day of praciticing what you learned in training can make a world of difference! By being able to attend adoption events, your foster gets necessary exposure to meet potential families. Adoption events are also a nice way for fosters to stay socialized. This does not mean adoption events are one big play date, in fact they are a lot more controlled than that. However, they will allow your foster the opportunity to practice and perfect behaving themselves in public. For this reason, not every foster dog can attend events. Some are still working on their public skills but they will get there!
Become a Foster
The first step is to fill out an online foster application, this will start the process. Once the application is approved, we will set up a home visit to come speak with you. This will allow us to ensure your home is appropriate for a foster dog and determine your capabilities as far as what type of dogs you can foster. We will also check references. Finally, either before you become a foster or not too long after, there will be a foster orientation you must attend. This will help you to learn the PLR ropes and ask any additional questions you may have!
There are many dogs fighting to live in shelters across the country but even more so in our own community. Our shelters are willing to work with us to save these dogs but we cannot do it without committed foster homes. If you have been on the fence, please ask questions! Your commitment will change many lives and we think it’s worth it.