We are always in need of loving foster homes! Below are some common questions that people ask about being a foster parent. Please take a moment to review them and, if you think fostering might be for you, please complete our Foster Home Application. A link to the application is at the bottom of this page.
What are the Responsibilities of a Foster Home? A key component of GRRACE is our foster homes. Without them, we would not be able to operate the way we do and have dogs placed with loving families temporarily until a permanent home can be found. Without adequate numbers of foster homes, we are limited in how many Goldens we can take in at one time. Our foster homes provide information about habits and behavior in daily life so that we can provide as much information as possible to the adoptive family.
Foster families are not expected to incur any medical costs for the golden in their home but are asked to use vet facilities GRRACE has relationships/agreements with – except in emergency circumstances. We ask foster families to give the dogs a great deal of affection, feed the dogs a high-quality dog food, and note the dog’s behaviors so that we can determine the best forever home for that dog. Foster placement could last two weeks, several weeks, or a few months.
What Will I Need to Do as a Foster Parent? Foster homes are responsible for daily care of the foster dog, including feeding, exercising, socializing, transporting to and from a GRRACE veterinarian for basic medical care, brushing and grooming, reinforcing basic obedience commands, observing and reporting general behavior and temperament via a weekly foster report submission, and of course, providing love and security to a special golden at an often-difficult time in his or her life.
How Is Veterinary Care Handled? GRRACE provides all veterinary care for our fosters at our approved veterinary clinics. Because we are ultimately responsible for the foster dog’s well-being, we must authorize all treatment for our foster dogs at our approved veterinary clinics.
Foster dogs must go to the vet in the first week to 10 days to get a wellness exam, vaccines if needed, any bloodwork deemed necessary, and scheduled for their spay/neuter surgery if needed. The foster family and chosen veterinarian will receive copies of any medical records GRRACE has obtained from the shelter or previous owner. It is the foster family’s responsibility to arrive at the vet appointment prepared with records and knowledge of what services the foster dog is there to receive. If the vet wants to repeat any recently performed tests, the foster family must contact GRRACE for approval before scheduling them.
What Information and Help Are Provided? To ensure every foster family has a safe and positive experience, a detailed Foster Packet is provided by our Foster Coordinator. We expect every foster family to read this comprehensive handbook as it provides guidance on how GRRACE expects foster families to handle situations, from basic to complex. Additionally, a Foster Representative is assigned to every foster family and stays with the foster family throughout the entire foster process. The Foster Representative is the foster family’s primary point of contact for questions, concerns, updates, and to send their weekly foster report to. Additionally, a crate can be provided if a foster family does not currently have a crate of adequate size.
How Long Does a Dog Stay in Foster Care? The length of foster care varies with each dog. GRRACE places all dogs into foster care for a minimum of two weeks for initial evaluation. Dogs with behavioral or medical issues may need to stay in foster care for a period of months. While the length of foster care depends upon the dog, other important factors are the number of adoption applicants, their living situation and preferences, and your preferences on the type of adoptive home that may be best based on what you’ve learned about the dog while fostering.
Do I Have to be Home with the Dog All Day? No. Many foster family members are employed outside the home and still provide a quality environment for the dog. We do suggest that any time you are unable to directly supervise the foster dog, at least initially he should be confined to a small, secure area, preferably a training crate. This results in a safe, secure place for the dog and keeps concern for the foster family’s safety and home in the forefront. We require that all foster dogs be housed inside the home only. A garage, backyard or outdoor run is not a suitable accommodation for a foster dog.
Do I Need a Fenced Yard? A fenced yard is not required but is preferred. The foster dog must NEVER be allowed to run free. If your yard is securely fenced, the golden may be exercised there off leash only after a two-week acclimation period. Outside the fenced yard the dog must always be on leash.
May I Choose Which Dogs I Foster? The GRRACE Foster Application allows you to specify certain traits you are willing to foster (i.e., a certain age, gender, medical/behavioral needs, etc.). When the Foster Coordinator contacts you asking if you are interested in fostering a specific dog, you will be given as many details as we know about the dog at that time. From there, you can choose to foster the dog, or if it is not a good time for you to foster or you don’t think the dog is a good match for you and your family, you may always decline the opportunity to foster that dog.
How Much Does It Cost? Lack of funds shouldn’t prevent you from fostering, but you will have some expenses: a good quality dog food and any toys you choose to provide. All necessary veterinary care is provided by GRRACE authorized veterinarians and paid for by GRRACE. Medications including monthly heartworm preventative are provided as well.
What if I Have Questions or Problems with a Foster Dog? All foster homes receive a GRRACE Foster Packet that provides guidance on handling all aspects of fostering. The Foster Coordinator and Foster Representatives are also available for telephone and/or email consultation on problems not covered in the manual. Being a foster home is extremely rewarding. However, you should keep in mind that most but not all rescue dogs are housebroken, some may be ill, and some may have had little socialization or obedience training. We find that when given a chance these dogs not only improve, but they also flourish while in foster care.
What If We Want to Travel? If you are fostering a dog and want to go away for a weekend or take a vacation, you can simply contact the Foster Coordinator or your Foster Representative who will arrange for a GRRACE member to dog-sit your foster dog. Just arrange in advance as soon as you know, and we’ll take care of the rest.
What If We Have Children? As with our adoption policies, children must be 5 years of age or older in order to have a foster dog placed in that home. Many of the dogs we rescue have unknown pasts and putting them into a home with young children could be a safety issue for the children.
I’d Like to Foster. What Do I Do Next? Please complete our Foster Home Application.
If you have any questions after reviewing our FAQs, please feel free to contact us!