Definition of “fostering”
Providing a temporary home for a shelter or rescue animal, while they are on their path to permanent adoption, as a volunteer for a shelter or a rescue. Foster-to-adopt situations, also known as trial adoptions, are not addressed here. There is a difference between fostering homeless animals and pet-sitting family pets for family, friends and neighbors. Homeless animals usually don’t know their names nor the people helping them along the rescue road. They don’t know anything about where they are at first. And they are typically grateful for your role in saving their lives and getting them out of the shelter. They know.
Typical foster responsibilities may include:
Provide food and shelter
- In-home living 24/7 usually required for cats and pocket pets; foster dogs might enjoy some outdoor time such as walks and backyard play time
- Crate sleeping and feeding often recommended
- Meals twice daily
- Fresh water availability at all times
- Dogs are provided appropriate pottying time outdoors
- Dogs are always leashed outdoors, unless the yard is securely fenced (no free-roaming allowed)
- Cats are provided litter boxes, cleaned daily
- Socializing time with family members and other family pets AFTER the foster dog or cat has had appropriate time to settle in and relax
Provide some additional services (these will vary depending on foster type and shelter/rescue organization)
- Attend training classes with the foster pet, to help the pet become more adoptable and better socialized
- Attend adoption marketing events with the foster pet, to help the pet meet potential adopters
- Drive foster pets to and from vet appointments
- Answer email inquiries, speak with potential adopters on the phone, meet with potential adopters, all to provide essential information about the temperament and health of the foster pet
Types of foster homes needed
- Large-medium dog/puppy
- Small dog/puppy
- Behavioral needs
- Medical needs
- Undersocialized cats
- Respite care
- Momma & litter of cats
- Momma & litter of dogs
- Transport overnights
- Service dog
- Military family dog
- Animals that may be awaiting a court disposition
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This Watch Tip was originally written by Anna Nirva.
With the upcoming holiday three-day weekend almost upon us, this classic watch tip bears repeating – many families will be traveling with pets to strange areas, and many pets will be either boarded or watched over in their homes by either professionals or friends and family.
Watch and listen for stray dogs and cats that could go missing while traveling with their families, or be frightened by holiday fireworks. Take action to save them. Read the rest of this entry »
This is such a hot-button topic right now, it seemed only appropriate to share this on our blog, and get feedback from our readers. There are several issues rolled into this event – safety of pets on rigorous mountain hikes/outdoor recreational activities, the need for emergency plans for pets in these types of situations, definitions of abuse and abandonment, and laws governing those acts.
Volunteers rescue dog from top of Mount Bierstadt – The Denver Post.
The owner of Missy abandoned her to save his own life, and that of a younger hiker that was with him. But instead of going back, he spent eight days trying to discern Missy’s fate (and although he contacted authorities for assistance in retrieving her, he did not attempt to return for her himself).
Missy’s rescuers (the couple that found her, then recruited their hiking group to go back with them and assist in getting her off the mountain) want to adopt Missy, and feel her owner should not have her back. Her owner claims that he loves Missy, and that she belongs to him, even though he made the mistake of assuming she had died on the mountain.
What do you think?
We’ve all been there – a dog is running loose in the neighborhood, or you see a dog sitting on the side of road, all alone. Most of us are inclined to help in those situations, and this week’s Watch Tip focuses on how to do so safely, thoroughly, and conscientiously, increasing the chances of your found dog being reunited with their owner.
Play it safe
Assuming the found dog is not aggressive or injured, and you can safely get the dog into your car or home, you will want to collar and leash them, so that they will not be able to escape you as well; it is very helpful to have extra leashes that can quickly be looped into a slip-leash. If you have an appropriately-sized crate for transporting them, even better! A special trick I learned from a long-time dog rescuer, is to close your car door on the leash, after putting the pup in the car – leaving only the handle portion of the leash extending from the car. That way, you can grasp the end of the leash in your hand before opening the door, and the dog does not have an opportunity to escape. Read the rest of this entry »
Are you looking for a great present for a new pet parent? Pick up a copy of Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right. Dr. Sophia Yin has written a book with lots of excellent advice for first time pet parents as well as those of us who have spent more time with puppies than we can remember.
Yin has done a top notch job of taking us through the pups’ developmental stages and showing the best way to move them through their socialization to become the best possible companions. The directions are very thorough with many helpful pictures.
What I really appreciate about Perfect Puppy in 7 Days is Yin’s attitude towards puppies as individuals. These are not “one-size-fits-all” directions. Instead, Yin explains how dogs develop and learn. This info helps us to tailor the training for the behavior, not the age,
There is something for everyone to learn from Yin’s book. Even the most experienced dog lover can pick up tips but Perfect Puppy in 7 Days should be in every puppy starter kit.
Please help Naoto Matsumura, a 52-year-old former Japanese farmer, feed the farm animals and pets left behind in Tomioka in the wake of the tsunami and nuclear disasters in Japan in March 2011. He lives and works alone in the “mandatory exclusion zone” near one of the destroyed nuclear reactors, feeding and watering the animals who would perish without him. His body is completely contaminated by radiation but he ignores that. He declares he will never leave except for short excursions to purchase food and maintain contacts with supporters. This photo was taken from a presentation he made about his work that is posted on YouTube. The “animal army” is becoming aware of this selfless hero and I ask you to share in supporting his work. Please share.
Chip-in site to help him buy food for the animals he cares for
A web site to share news of his activities
YouTube video captured from a presentation he made in Japan about the needs of the animals in the mandatory exclusion zone where he lives
Huffington Post article (Aug. 2011)
Secondhand smoke is a threat to pets—did you know? It is even more toxic for pets than for humans because not only do they breathe the fumes, they lick the cancer-causing residue from their fur while grooming! Cats and short-nosed dogs are most affected, but all pets in smoking households are more likely to develop lung/nasal/mouth cancers and lymphoma.
If you smoke, be aware of the increased risk of cancer for your pets
Have you ever noticed the smoke residue that coats the walls and windows inside the home of a smoker? In addition to coating lung tissues, that toxic airborne residue infiltrates porous materials, such as clothing and pet fur. Secondhand smoke causes cancer in cats and dogs just like it does in non-smokers who are forced to breathe the same air. The smoke can also cause breathing difficulties and eye/skin irritations. Plus, with their sensitive noses, just imagine how dogs and cats must dislike the strong acrid odors. Read the rest of this entry »