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Thread: Dog Fostering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tasmania
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    432

    Default Dog Fostering

    I have to admit before coming across this forum I had never heard of fostering, but I think it's a great idea and something I'd really like to get into down the track when a) my dogs are a bit older and more settled b) I'm better equipped to deal with problem behaviours and c) *fingers crossed* I have more time on my hands. This is unlikely to be anytime soon!

    So I have some questions for all you foster carers out there...

    What makes a good foster home? Obviously it should be secure, sheltered etc same as any dog environment but are there any other considerations?

    What sort of time commitment is involved? Would it be suitable for part-time workers or is fostering a dog a full-time job?

    Costs? Obviously food, veterinary care, probably leads/harnesses/food bowls

    How hard is it to let go of a foster dog? Do you always know the dog is going to a good home?

    Do any of the rescue organisations in Tasmania foster out dogs? The only ones I know of are RSPCA and the Dogs Homes and if they do use fosters, I'm not aware of it.

    Thanks! And remember, this is not something I'm going to rush out and do right now or possibly ever, just fishing for info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Hawkesbury, NSW
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    2,001

    Default

    Meegs, what makes a good foster home is kind of like asking how long is a piece of string, but yes basically, where the dog will get a good feed, a warm bed and some one-on-one attention. Can't help in terms of Tassie, but can talk in general terms.

    If someone enquires about fostering I will ask them the same questions as if they were enquiring about adoption - in other words find out about the home that is on offer. Things like fencing, where the dog will sleep, how much exercise it will get each day, other dogs, how long it will be on it's own (without human company) etc. Then I will try to match an appropriate dog to that home.

    The main difference is that often foster carers will take dogs on directly from the shelter/pound, so it is unknown what they are like in a home environment. But that's the point, dogs being fostered in a home are more likely to be adopted as there is a better idea of what they are like. Even being able to say the dog is house-trained is big plus!

    Most rescue groups will cover vet costs, but you provide the food. The rescue group should work with you, keeping in contact to see how the dog is settling in so they can update it's profile as more becomes known. Yes, you do need to be prepared to take on possible issues, however for first time foster carers I try to give them a dog that I think will be relatively easy to cope with. As more experience is gained then you can take on the less easy dogs.

    Fostering is incredibly rewarding, I still cry when one goes to a new home, tears of sadness as I get attached, but also tears of happiness. Each foster dog that gets adopted means another one can be saved.

    As to rehoming, that should be done by the rescue group, but they will also value YOUR input. Each group has it's own policies so find out what they are.

    Hope that helps!

    In My Home Dog Minding
    www.greyhoundrescue.com.au

  3. #3

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    We fostered, and than adopted our greyhound as we couldnt part with him

  4. #4
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    Apr 2010
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    Tasmania
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    Default

    I used to wonder what a 'foster failure' was!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SE Suburbs - Melbourne
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    Default

    BINGO - foster failure is where the foster parents adopt the dog as they can't bare to part with them...

    Fostering is very rewarding... I just got an email for the parents of the last dog a fostered. It makes me proud that he has adapted so well to his new family.
    Dogs Aren't Our Whole Lives, But They Make Our Lives Whole


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
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    Chopper and Trixie are both foster failures, woops! We did manage to foster one other dog and not keep him. I would've though, he was awesome!

    Seems timely to post this link here. Pet Rescue just launched a new initiative called Pet Foster.

    Across Australia, animal rescue groups are saving lives with the help of pet foster carers // PetFoster

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Victoria
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    Default

    I've always considered fostering, but I can tell, I would get too attatched.
    Education not Legislation

  8. #8

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    I think that what makes a good foster home is anyone who would consider fostering dogs. I say this because as any good dog owner knows, a dog requires a lot of time, effort, money, etc. Foster carers need to be people who love dogs and enjoy spending time with them, walking them and most of all seeing them happy People who don't care would not consider fostering.

    I can only foster puppies because I have two dogs of my own and don't want to bring an adult dog into the pack.

    I work full time which means I have to spend every weeknight (at the moment) at home so I can give puppies and my own dogs the attention they need. I think if you are fostering an adult dog (depending on the dog's background as far as training, socialisation, etc) you could easily do it working full time. I think the main thing is having the dogs with the family when they're home. I put the pups in a crate in the lounge room while I'm watching TV and take them out every hour for toilets and a drink.

    They are hard work but I know when they're gone I miss them because all of a sudden I don't have to clean up after them and feed them and play with them, etc.

    Costs probably depend on the rescue organisation you foster through, my foster's vet care is all covered but I supply food, worming, fleeing, bedding, etc. They do get donations though so it's not always the foster carer's expense. There are very few vets in my city who will do a discount rate for rescue groups so we sometimes have to drive a fair way to take them to the vet.

    With the rescue group I'm with, the foster carer chooses the new home so if I don't feel that my foster will be in a good home, it doesn't go there. I always shed a tear when saying goodbye, but it's kind of a happy/sad feeling because you put so much into them, but you're also really happy to see them go to a good home. I also have the contact details of my adopters so can ring them to make sure dogs are ok if I want to.

    Fostering is hard work but very rewarding. I imagine it would be quite different for people who have fostered an older dog that has been mistreated and they've put in the hard yards to make the dog happy and trusting because the forever family would need to be VERY special. I'm not sure how I would cope with saying goodbye in that situation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
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    3,082

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    Quote Originally Posted by meegsndogs View Post
    I used to wonder what a 'foster failure' was!
    This is my definition of a 'foster failure'.
    Take one friendly rottie, 3 yrs old.
    Add one rottie x kelpie foster at the dog homing place, all is well, they like each other, look like they are gonna be inseparable.
    Take both home.

    She bullied him, she bit him, she tore at his chops. She would never let him snooze in his favourite place on the deck, stole his food, hounded him, quite literally, till one day, he snapped at her. Gave her a heamatoma the size of a tennis ball on her back where he bit. Made no difference.
    our dog became depressed, took to the bottom of the garden, submitted to her alpha status, never grinned, never ran, tail between his legs when she was near.

    We returned her after 4 months. A foster failure id say.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tasmania
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    432

    Default

    Ok. I like the other definition better.

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