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Discussion Starter #1
I contacted a rescue group yesterday about a special needs kitten that was on craigslist, and I have been emailing back and forth with the contact there yesterday and today. If we are able to get the kitten and his littermate I am going to foster them, otherwise I told them I could do 1 dog, 1 cat, or a couple of kittens. It looks like it will be a cat first, as they just pulled 39 cats from a shelter today :eek: but I would like to foster a dog in the future.

I read through their contracts and I was pleased with everything. They ask alot of questions, but the only thing listed as a requirement for adopters is that all animals in the house be spayed/neutered. There are alot of requirements for fosters but I am good with all of them. It also seems like they do alot to get the pets adopted, nice website, petfinder, adoption events every week.

Anyone have any suggestions or experiences?
 

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I'm on my 5th foster. I detailed the longest stay so far in the thread "Luna the foster pit bull" as she stayed for 5 months and we progressed a lot on her behavior and training and such.
"Foster Dog Hershey" was another thread with a bit of this and that.
I've had a GSD mix that stayed ~2 weeks, a pit bull stay 5 months, a pit/lab stay ~5 weeks, a pit stay ~1 week and now the current pit arrived last week.

My first suggestion I think you already have done-- find a GOOD rescue. One that has a good reputation, one that actively promotes their dogs, one that will support you and one that provides an escape plan should you have issues with a specific dog (for example, mine has a discount deal with the humane society's boarding facility so it is a good fallback for a sick foster or a dog that doesn't get along with the resident dog etc)

Make sure the dog is properly vetted. Double check the records to see if the dog is due for any boosters, what HW/flea/tick meds they are on and when they are next given. Get their vet's phone number and find out what their emergency vet procedures are (i.e. call them first, take to a specific ER vet, whatever)

Have a crate and start crate training right away- A) it makes your life easier B)it makes them more adoptable. They gave me a great dane sized wire crate so I can use for for any size foster that comes my way, although most of our dogs are 40-70 lbs.

Puppy-proof. Treat any newcomer like a puppy when it comes to chewing, crating, leaving alone etc. Of course, an adult dog needs less bathroom breaks but you should still put it on a schedule and take it out regularly. If the dog seems well behaved indoors, gradually give a little more freedom in a room where there isn't much to destroy. You'd be surprised at what they can destroy though...I've had two of them chew through a door frame.

Ease the foster into the household, I do a few days of walking together and individual attention before I let them full-on play and before I let them wander around loose in the house (while I am home!). I never leave two dogs loose and alone together.

Advertise the dog on your own. Hopefully a good rescue is doing events and such, but you're the dog's first line promoter.
 

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I have alot of extra supplies, so that's good. I have 2 large crates, 2 small crates, and 1 med crate that I don't use, 2 cat carriers, leashes, harnesses, extra collars and food dishes, an xpen and babygates. I am responsible for food, but she said they also get donations that they disperse. I talked to the contact about vets and they cover vet care, I just have to get the animal to the appointment and do follow up care like giving pills and whatnot.

My main two concerns are getting stuck with an animal long term that no one wants to adopt or one that does not fit in with my crew, so I need to ask about that. I know they have several dogs boarded right now, so maybe they have a similar arangement as far as having to return one. Of course if they get along with my other animals, then I'm good indefinitely. I did see a list of pictures/bios of the dogs that are boarded and waiting for foster homes and they seem pretty adoptable at first glance.

My other concern is that the rescue is based in an area about 40 mins away, so some of the adoption events are an hour or so away from me. I want to be sure I can pick which ones I go to, or that someone else could take the animal to that event.
 

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Compared to dogs, cats (especially adults), are extremely hard to adopt out. For us I think the average amount of time a cat is in rescue vs a dog is something like 1-2 months more for kittens and 4-6 months for adults. We have some that have been in the rescue for over a year. It's just hard for cats.
 

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Compared to dogs, cats (especially adults), are extremely hard to adopt out. For us I think the average amount of time a cat is in rescue vs a dog is something like 1-2 months more for kittens and 4-6 months for adults. We have some that have been in the rescue for over a year. It's just hard for cats.
I had a hunch that might be the case. I was looking at cats back in May/June and I see some of the same faces still on petfinder. It doesn't help that alot of the ones I looked at are required to be adopted as a pair. I feel like that deters people...it detered me...I just thought, wow, that's alot of vet costs, and moved on.
 

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Omg, squee! They just sent me pics of the 39 to choose from. They must be desperate for foster homes because they are really on the ball. I said yes and a minute later I had an inbox full of choices, lol.
 

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If you are going to foster dogs, the biggest thing is to be flexible and please do not foster dogs if your motivation is not 100% to selflessly help a dog in need. It is hard work, it can be thankless work, and people who are in it to just say "look at me, look how great I am for helping this poor dog" will only waste time for all involved. You can't expect a perfect dog, and you can't expect it to be love at first sight with your own dogs. If you aren't able to handle potential scuffles or issues with house training and obedience, fostering is not for you. A lot of people have a fairlytale view of what fostering is like and expect Lassie to show up on their doorstep.

Dogs need you to help turn them into well adjusted family pets. You do all the work and the adopters get the spoils. The more work you do - the better the chances are for a great adoption. If you are going to return a dog because they don't get along beautifully with your own dogs after just a few weeks, don't bother.

If you cant drive 40 miles to an adoption event every once in a while - you may want to ask yourself why you are fostering. Remember that there are no paid employees in rescue, if you don't do it, someone else that also has a job and family will have to pick up your slack. Every rescue is made up of amazing people who have families and demanding jobs - yet they give a tremendous amount of time for one reason - to help the dogs. Volunteers come and go - people who think fostering is going to be fun and easy and expect rescues to cater to their every need as if they are owed a medal for fostering a dog in need have no idea what the true meaning of being a volunteer is - and are in it for all the wrong reasons.

Things I would ask:

Does the rescue do home visits for adoptions?
Is all vet care reimbursed?
Are all dogs vaccinated & HW tested, spayed/neutered before adoption?
 

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Not to worry, I'm not going to return a dog after two weeks. I have a lot of dog (and even more cat) experience. I've had multiple dogs for years, difficult dogs, puppies, dogs that had to be housetrained, crate trained, leash trained, etc. My main concern when I say "getting along with my crew" is my cats, my house is not big enough to keep animals separated long term (except when I'm not home) so I would need to integrate the foster into my activities with the rest of my dogs fairly quickly. I am willing to train and work with a dog with my cats, and I think it is good for a foster to be exposed to other dogs and cats, but if I feel even after working with it, that a dog is not cat safe, I will need to know what the rescues plan B is.

As far as the adoption events, the rescue requires two a month but there is one every saturday. I wonder about distance not because I don't want to drive, but because I have to be at work at 4 pm on Saturdays, a job I've had for 11 years that is not going to change, and picking closer events allows me to be able to stay there longer. My work schedule allows me to be home during daytime hours on weekdays though, which frees me up to do things people with 9 to 5 jobs might not be able to, like vet apts and pulling animals from shelters.

Rescues seem desperate for fosters, I doubt they are going to tell me not to bother, but it makes sense to discuss these things up front.

My first foster is going to be a cat and I'm picking her up tomorrow.
 
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