Maybe it’s because of I’ve grown frustrated with seeing so many of my facebook friends post pictures of their new purebred puppies or maybe it’s because I’m a little lonely with my fiance traveling so much for work but last week something got in me and I volunteered to take in my first foster dog. Her name is Nadia (that’s her in the picture) and I pick her up this weekend. I’ve been thinking about fostering for a long time and when I read Nadia’s story on facebook, it just tugged at my heartstrings. Before I knew it, I was emailing the rescue group volunteering to foster her.
Nadia, a two-year-old 9 lb terrier mix was used for breeding and forced to live outside. After her owners were finished breeding her, they dumped her at the shelter. She has heartworm and we’ll take her next week to begin treatment. The rescue group, Annapolis Dog Rescue, is paying for her treatment. The shelter volunteers where she is coming from say all she wants is love. Although volunteering to foster this particular dog was on a bit of an impulse for me, I’ve been thinking about fostering for a while now. I’m excited and nervous and hopeful my dogs will handle it well. As I get ready to pick up Nadia this weekend, I put together a list of considerations to think about before fostering:
- If you are renting, are you allowed to have another pet in your home or apartment? Kind of a no-brainer but a consideration nonetheless.
- Are you prepared to care for this pet for a potentially lengthy amount of time? Fostering usually means caring for an adoptable pet until he or she is adopted. This may happen very quickly…or it may not. You should discuss with the rescue group the time commitment you are willing and able to make.
- Are you responsible for providing food, necessary medications, a crate, etc.? What can (or can’t) the rescue group provide or reimburse you for?
- If the pet requires veterinary care — many rescues do to some degree — can the rescue group assist you with transporting the pet to appointments if needed?
- How does the organization find homes for their pets? Be sure they have a plan/method in place for finding their animals homes.
- What role are you expected to take when it comes to the pet meeting potential adopters?
- If you have pets, how will they handle a new animal coming into their home? Does your dog generally like other dogs or is he or she fearful or aggressive towards other animals? How do they behave when friends bring their pets over? Adding a new pet to the home can be very disruptive and you should be prepared to help make it a smooth transition. The dog of the house doesn’t know this is temporary.
- Be prepared to get attached and then have to say goodbye. I’m told getting attached is basically unavoidable but unless you want to be a “foster failure” (that is you adopt your foster pet) remember the goal is to find this animal a forever home…that is not your own.
Wish me (and especially my dogs, Happy and Joey) good luck as we embark on our first foster adventure! I’ll share an update once this little lady gets settled at our home. And just so we’re all clear, under no circumstances am I allowed to adopt this dog. I am maxed out with two!