The foster family is a very important part of our organization. It’s through the generous hearts and homes of our volunteers, we ensure that animals who come into our care will never again be alone, hungry, sick, or afraid. All we ask is for you to open your heart and your home to a dog in need of a second chance. Please complete a Foster Application and we will contact you to discuss the next step in fostering a WAG Rescue dog.
What is a Foster Home?
A foster home provides a safe haven for a rescued dog. The foster home is vital to the socialization and training necessary to help our WAG Rescue dogs become adoptable thus making it possible to find a permanent home with the right family.
What WAG Rescue Needs in a Foster Home
The most important requirements are time, patience and compassion. You must be willing to include the dog in family activities, allow the dog to live as a member of your home, provide much human companionship, provide some daily one-on-one time with your rescue, including cuddles, play, and walks on leash. You are helping this dog become socialized which makes for a good companion animal, and then easier to find him a home.
We are a new organization, but we have seen an average time of 56 days for our dogs to be adopted. We have had dogs adopted in 7 days and then we have had sick or less adoptable dogs for months. We ask that the foster family commit to keep the foster dog until there is an adoption, but we understand if this is not possible. The more a foster dog is moved around, the harder it becomes for the dog. For puppies the adoption rate is usually within a few weeks, however WAG Rescue requires that the puppies stay with litter mates until they are 10 weeks old. This provides a puppy with the chance to become well-socialized.
Our dogs are indoor-outdoor pets. Please do not leave the dog outside over night. Dogs must be contained in a fenced, secure back yard and at no time are our dogs to be chained. A fenced yard of appropriate height (5-6', as some dogs are jumpers) is required with almost all foster dogs. Exceptions are apartments with small foster dogs.
The foster will need to administer heartworm preventative, flea and tick preventative and sometimes prescription medications. We count on our foster homes to evaluate temperament and observe behaviors in a variety of situations, and we welcome those updates so we can assess the dog and enhance the description on the web site.
The dog may not be completely house trained, in which case we will count on the foster family to work on this. We recommend using a crate and take the dog out on a leash regularly, giving praise and a treat reward when the dog is successful. Crates/kennels are available from WAG Rescue for each foster dog as needed. Crates can be a cozy den and a place of refuge for most dogs. Please never use the kennel as punishment.
All Wag Rescue foster dogs are taken to the Vet, examined, vaccinated and dewormed. WAG Rescue requires that all resident dogs in a foster home be fully vaccinated.
WAG Rescue requires that all resident dogs in the foster home are neutered or spayed as we support only professional breeding of purebred dogs, and sometimes when our dogs are very ill, we need to wait to spay/neuter them until they are well. But, also, spaying and neutering your dogs is better for them both medically and behaviorally. Talk this over with your own veterinarian, if you have any doubts. We do make an exception for knowledgeable, professional breeders, who want to work with our program to help our dogs. In these cases, to avoid accidents, of course we would only place a rescued dog that had been spay/neutered already.
What WAG Rescue Provides to our Foster Homes
WAG Rescue provides all food, medical care and medication, collar & leash, grooming, bedding, kennel, toys and treats. We ask that you feed the food provided so our dogs have a consistent food regime.
WAG Rescue provides behavior assessment for our dogs and training resources available for each foster dog.
How Expenses Are Handled
If you provide toys, treats, etc., we are happy to provide a donation receipt for expenses and will reimburse for professional grooming and any additional purchases for the dog; please keep your receipts for all expenses.
Finally, WAG Rescue will reimburse you for approved emergency veterinary care and medications (again, save all your receipts).
The foster will be included in the adoption process, evaluating potential adopters, reviewing application and home visit if needed. The Canine Director or designated representative will approve an adopter.
If a prospective adoptive family comes to see your foster, we will get your permission first, only after we have reviewed their application. The best place to meet will be determined. If a family and dog are a match, the home visit is performed, the family signs the final adoption agreement form and provides WAG Rescue with a donation check.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
"Don't you get attached to the dog?"
Yes, and that is what we want for both you and the dog. It's fun to get to know new dogs, and for your foster dog and resident dog(s) to make new friends, too. Often, your resident dog will be revitalized in the presence of the rescued dog, and you will witness amazing developments in both dogs. It's educational to see how different dogs react to training, how they play with and teach one another. It's also educational to see when any territorial problems develop and learn to deal with those, usually allowing the dogs to work things out within reason, calling for crate time when the problem needs to be dealt with. You will fall in love with your foster dog, which is necessary to his or her rehabilitation and also leads us to the next question.
"How can you give him up?"
This is probably the number one reason why a lot of caring people do not offer their homes for foster care: they are afraid giving the dog up will hurt too much. However, it's a hard truth, but without enough foster homes, we cannot rescue and save these dogs: they will die in the shelters if we don't have space for them in our program. It helps to think of your foster dog as your neighbor's dog that you are keeping during a vacation. Sure, you like him and will take really good care of him, but when your neighbor gets home, you will give the dog back! Some of us think of ourselves as the rescued dog's 'aunt' or 'uncle,' a loving guardian for the dog on his or her way to a permanent home. This is a dog that ultimately belongs to someone else, who is in our care for only a short time. When you give him or her up, it will be to a 'forever home' that this dog has been waiting for--and you will be opening a space for the next rescue that needs you so desperately. There is ALWAYS another rescue dog. But, also, after many years of fostering, your fellow volunteers can assure you there is nothing quite as moving as seeing your beloved foster dog happy, healthy, loved, and cherished by the forever home that really wanted him or her and in some cases really needed your dog. It's contagious, and we hope you will be hooked on fostering, too.
"What if I don't think I have enough room for a foster dog?"
Our rescued dogs come in all sizes. If you lack space you can volunteer to foster a small dog. Small dogs take up very little space, and are usually adopted quickly. You might be surprised by how quickly they work themselves into the family situation and your hearts.
"What if I want to adopt my foster dog?"
This does happen. Sometimes the "perfect dog" comes along, and everyone in the family just seems to agree that theirs is the "perfect home." Fortunately, qualifying as a Foster Home usually qualifies you as an Adopter as well. Should this happen, and we all agree, then the foster home will pay the adoption fee, complete the Final Adoption Agreement, and assume ownership of the dog. Please think about this carefully, and make the best decision for your home and the dog.