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Anybody have experience with dog fostering?

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sparkysable posted 2/25/2014 13:59 PM

With the loss of my beloved Sable (of my sparkysable username) I don't want to permanently get another dog just yet. Sparky is 14, so I decided to volunteer with a dog rescue group in my area, and I have my first foster dog.

I'm really looking forward to helping save lots of dogs. My rescue pulls dogs that are about to be put to sleep down south, and transports them up to us up north. In my area, dogs fly out of the shelters, and people are practically fighting over the dogs. Dogs do pretty well by us, compared to other parts of the country.

So I have my first foster dog, and he is adorable! He's a lab/beagle mix, approx 1 year old. So the applications for him come flooding in, and people are practically fighting over him! I feel really badly, because people get so disappointed when they don't get chosen. I had to tell a lady today that she was 3rd in line depending on how the previous 2 home visits go with him, and she was sooooo dissappointed, like she knew she probably wasn't going to get chosen, and now I feel so bad! I'm trying to save dogs, not hurt people's feelings!

Any advice from anyone who has been there?

IrishGirlVA posted 2/25/2014 14:26 PM

First off, sorry for the loss of your beloved pet.

I used to foster dogs a while ago, however, I was lucky enough that that was my only responsibility. The foster organization in which I belonged did all the communications with potential families and had to break the good news and bad. The only involvement I had was arranging visits and doing the drop off's after an adoption was completed.

After a few adoptions I realized fostering dogs was not for me. I grew too attached. They didn't fly off the shelves as quickly as yours seem to! I could have a dog for a few months at a time.

But I believe the family meant to get the dog will get it. Just as much as I believe that those who do not get the dog means that there is another one out there meant just for them.

It's not easy, I know. But you are doing a wonderful thing.

Undefinabl3 posted 2/25/2014 14:35 PM

Not dogs, but my mom fostered cats when i was young.

My mom was vary up front with us saying that they are not OURS to keep, that they were only visiting. That made it really easy for us when they left.

I think if you go into the mindset that they are not YOURS to have, only to help that it will help you along the way.

GabyBaby posted 2/25/2014 15:05 PM

I'm sorry for the loss of your furbaby.

That said, I would be a horrible foster home.
Not because I dislike dogs (see my signature line ), but because I would likely want to keep them all.

I am extremely grateful (if that's the right word) for those who can and do foster kids and pets. The world is a better place with you in it!

Deeply Scared posted 2/25/2014 16:53 PM

Sparky...

We are foster parents for our local Pomeranian rescue group. We're now on our 3rd foster.

The Director of our organization pretty much leaves the final decision up to the foster parents for making a good fit with a potential family.

The guidelines I follow are:

1. They must have a completely fenced in back yard.

2. Absolutely under no conditions is the dog to be an "outside" dog.

3. proper medical care

4. Must be treated as part of their family.

5. Basic obedience training is encouraged.

During the time we have our foster dog...we work daily with proper potty training, crate training and overall good behavior tools. Because when I place a dog I want them to be able to have the best opportunity for a 'forever' home.

Depending on the dog, I will also do a home visit prior to placing the dog just to make sure I have peace of mind that it's the right home.

I'm trying to save dogs, not hurt people's feelings!

Don't worry about them...placing the dogs in the best home environment is your goal

sparkysable posted 2/26/2014 09:20 AM

My rescue group has us do meet & greets, which are also considered a home visit. The president of the rescue values our opinion highly, and will base the decision on our recommendation. What is surprising to me is how attached these people get to the dog before even meeting the dog in person. And then, are so upset and disappointed when another family is chosen instead of them. And then I feel bad. These people get so excited! The thing is, these are all really great families and they would definitely be a loving home for any dog, but the competition for dogs around here is so intense, with the exception of pit bulls. Pit bulls tend to sit in shelters or rescue longer. Meanwhile, other places around the country can't get homes at all and are euthanizing great, amazing dogs.

I'm hoping it will get easier in time.

thebighurt posted 2/26/2014 20:46 PM

You're doing a great thing, ss. Sorry you've lost Sable. No other dog can ever take the place, so it's wonderful that you can help other dogs like this.

Several in my family also foster dogs in 3 different states. Some have their own dog/s in addition. It's a special, loving person who can do this, especially when you know from the outset that you *shouldn't* get attached.

Best to you and your daughter in this project.

phmh posted 2/26/2014 21:22 PM

I have fostered parrots in the past and have been involved in helping to decide which home a parrot goes to (so, also not dogs, but the same idea.)

My goal when dealing with disappointed potential adopters was to make sure to not turn them against rescue. So I'd be as honest as possible from the beginning ("we already have one approved application for Oscar but if the in-person meeting doesn't go well, you're next on the list"), try to find another parrot that would be a good fit, and remind them that they're going to love any animal that comes into their home, etc. In your case, I'd reiterate how, by adopting from your rescue, they are literally saving lives, and you expect another shipment in X days, etc.

It is tough, but you have to keep in mind that you're doing what's best for the animal and there are just some people who are going to be upset no matter what you do so don't let them bother you.

Thanks for fostering :)

Also, sorry to hear about Sable. (((SS)))

Livingalie2014 posted 2/28/2014 01:27 AM

We fostered a dog before, and solved him so much we adopted him. Love love love. I'm so happy that these programs exist. It's sad to think these precious animals could be put down if not adopted. Wish we could foster more dogs!

Livingalie2014 posted 2/28/2014 01:27 AM

We fostered a dog before, and solved him so much we adopted him. Love love love. I'm so happy that these programs exist. It's sad to think these precious animals could be put down if not adopted. Wish we could foster more dogs!

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