What is a foster and what is the purpose of a foster home?
A foster is a temporary placement for our dogs. The foster family is responsible for basic housetraining, socialization, transportation, and temperament assessment of a placed pet. The foster family is the "advocate" for the dog to potential adopters.
We rely on our foster homes to assess the personality of the dog, identify any behavioral issues that need to be worked on, and so forth. The foster family will walk the dog (How is s/he on a leash?), socialize with other pets and people (How is s/he with children? Other dogs? Cats?), and so on.
Some dogs may need to be housebroken or crate trained. This makes the dog more easily adopted. The more information a foster home can provide to us, the more likely the dog will have a successful placement with a family.
What about expenses?
HavaHeart Rescue covers the cost of veterinary care. We are usually able to provide a donated collar, leash, and crate. HavaHeart Rescue also provides monthly heartworm treatment and flea/tick preventative. Fosters can access any donated food for their fosters, if necessary, though most foster parents usually provide their own food.
How long does a foster dog stay?
This can vary. Fosters stay with you until they are adopted. An easy-to-place puppy may only be in your home for a few days. A harder-to-adopt older dog may be with you for several months. We also have a great need for PRN and emergency fosters who can only commit to short amounts of time.
Do I get to choose the dog I foster?
Our dogs are placed based on need, temperament, and your abilities. You can identify preferences in the application process. The more often you foster, the better we can appropriately place the right foster with you.
What if my foster isn't a good match?
If this happens, please notify HavaHeart Rescue immediately. We will help you overcome the situation, whether it requires additional training or another placement. We take care not to place a dog with you that you are not ready to handle or that does not fit within your family.
Am I able to adopt my foster dog?
Absolutely! Our foster families have the first right to adopt their foster dog before the dog is made available to the public. It's lovingly called "foster failing," and many of our volunteers are victims! Foster failures happen quite often, and we suspect this is one of the reasons foster homes are in short supply. Our policy requires that you complete the appropriate adoption paperwork and pay the standard adoption fee.
What if I have to go out of town (work, vacation, etc.)?
Please notify us ahead of time so we can plan respite care for your foster dog while you are away. Some foster families (who have other pets) have dog sitters who also watch their foster dog. Other volunteers like to travel with their foster dog. Others may have a boarding facility they work with.
We are open to ideas but generally cannot afford to cover the costs of dog sitters or boarding facilities. If you wish to pay for these options once they are approved by HavaHeart Rescue, that is great (and is considered a donation)! If you are unable to do that, be sure to give us enough lead time so we can help you make arrangements and find respite care. Keep in mind that holidays are difficult to find space and can be expensive. The more advance time we have, the better!