Are you considering becoming an animal foster parent but the what if’s are holding you back? Believe me, we get it! Some of our very best animal foster parents were once people who said “I could never do that!”. Let’s clear up some of those questions for you.
How long will a foster stay with me?
This really depends on a several variables and what you decide you can accommodate. There are basically 4 classifications of fostering within our rescue.
* Temp Care – You provide a safe, loving environment for one of our rescue animals to cover for the foster family on vacation or work travel. This is typically a defined amount of time ranging from one day to 2 weeks.
* Short-Term – The length of time an adoptable or short-term rescue animal is in foster care can range anywhere from 1 week to several months. This is unpredictable but typically, the younger and more social dogs are adopted quickly while older dogs or shy, fearful dogs may be in care longer.
* Long-Term – We also have many long-term or permanent fosters who are classified as unadoptable due to age or certain medical conditions. We believe that they are just as deserving of a stable home, happiness and the best quality of life for whatever time they have left. These dogs will live in foster homes as the family’s own dog while the rescue maintains the responsibility and expense of their vet care, food and supplies.
* Purple Leash – CK Animal Rescue runs a program called Purple Leash, providing short term care for the pets of those escaping domestic abuse or entering the hospital for medical treatment. This is typically a defined term of up to 4 weeks.
Can I choose which dogs I am able to foster?
Of course! When we are taking in new dogs or an existing foster needs a new placement a post is placed on our Facebook group as well as email sent out to our entire foster list. We will provide as much information as we have available. If there is a dog in need who you feel will fit well in your home for the length of their stay before adoption, simply reply/comment that you are available. We would never force anyone to take a dog that they would not be comfortable with helping for any reason.
Will it cost me a lot of money?
Absolutely not! While you are the primary caregiver to your foster animal, they belong to CK Animal Rescue. All veterinary care and medical expenses are the responsibility of the rescue. We have accounts at several Veterinary clinics covering the areas we operate in. All approved vetting will be charged to our accounts. We are fortunate to have many great supporters and a generous supply of food, collars, leashes, toys etc. and this is available during our office hours for any foster home to pick up.
Having transportation is a MUST. You will be asked to drive to pick up your foster when they enter our foster program. Usually the dogs/cats come to our office in Chatham where we can put our ID tags on them with a special number for that animal. We also depend on our fosters to help us by transporting your foster to awareness or adoption events (local to you) or to a meet & greet with a potential adopter at the Chatham office or in their home in your area.
I work full-time/have children/have a busy life. How will I have the time for a foster animal?
Our foster families are highly varied. Many work full time, some have children or grandchildren, some have a house full of people, others are flying solo. Rescue animals are also highly varied and a wide variety of foster homes ensures that we have a suitable fit for each. We ask a lot of questions to get a clear picture of what size/type/temperament/energy level would best fit your abilities and situation. We do however, request that no rescue animals are left for more than 4-5 hours without access to relieve themselves. Whether this can be managed by your ability to run home on a lunch break, have a reliable family member or friend cover potty breaks or if you can coordinate with another rescue team member to help out.
Are rescue animals contagious/will my pet’s health be jeopardized?
All of our rescue animals receive a veterinary exam, vaccinations are updated if necessary, they are screened for parasites and given flea/tick preventative. However, there is always a risk, even if you do not foster. Simply walking in your own neighborhood, visiting off leash parks, vet waiting rooms etc. can expose your pet to various things. Keeping your personal pet(s) up to date on vaccinations, maintaining regular wellness checks, providing a good quality food are ways that you can best defend your pet(s) health under any circumstances.
Will my foster animal be housetrained?
Fostering 101: Pee happens! Sometimes you will get lucky however, even with a dog that may have been housetrained previously, there have been major changes in these animals lives and this can cause confusion, anxiety and stress. Every new animal that is introduced to your home should be treated as not housetrained, monitored and provided an abundance of opportunities to perform their ‘duties’ outside. Patience, cleaning supplies, belly bands and leaning on your fellow foster homes for tips and support will get you through the bumps while saving a life!
Can I adopt my foster dog?
If the foster family would like to adopt their foster dog or cat, an application, adoption fee, and contract are required just as they are for everyone. Please understand that we have a process to keep the playing field fair for all while ensuring that each rescue animal is placed in a great home. As such, your application will be treated as all others with no favouritism. Also note, that being approved as a foster home does not guarantee that you will be approved to adopt, even in the case of a dog you are fostering. If you do decide to adopt one of our dogs or cats, we ask that you continue to help foster another dog or cat in need.
Won’t it be hard to give the animal up when they are adopted?
The simple answer…yes, of course. If it is easy, you are not doing it right. But as hard as it is, from the first to the twentieth, knowing that your foster animal is alive, loved and in a permanent home as a treasured family member makes it worth every tear. You can make it less difficult by maintaining the proper mindset. Imagine you were dog sitting. When the family returns from vacation, it would not occur to you to keep their dog, right? Fostering is the same concept. You are simply their caregiver, their advocate, their stepping stone on their journey to a forever family.