As well as those available to adopt, the Pet Adoption Website also has a section for animals requiring foster homes. Foster homes are critical to many of our rescues but a lot of people don't know it's a possibility! We've answered the top questions we're asked to try and spread the word about the joys of fostering. We also popped in some photos of our foster doggos so you can get an idea of the types of dogs available to foster.
What is fostering?
Fostering is when you welcome an animal into your home as opposed to them being in a shelter kennel or a pound. This has advantages as it allows the animal to get used to a “normal” home environment, and give the fosterer the ability to assess the ideal home for that animal. One of the primary roles of the fosterer is to determine what potential future home would be perfect for that animal, and determine the home requirements for their forever home. You are one of the first steps to their new life, so the most important thing is showering them with love.
Why do people foster?
Different fosters have different reasons but a common thread is that fosters just love animals and want to help out the wee animals in their journey to find their forever homes. Others would like a pet but maybe can’t commit to one long term due to work or travel commitments. It also may be a good way to "test the waters" to see if adopting an animal is a good fit for your family.
I already have other animals, is that ok?
That’s excellent, determining whether they are good with other dogs, cats, kids, ferrets, is all part of the process!
What if they don’t get on with my animals?
If a foster placement isn’t working out then the charities can find an alternative foster home.
I don’t have other animals though.
We do often have wee animals who prefer to be the only animal in the home. And in these situations we actually struggle to find animal free foster homes because most of our foster homes are animal mad and have loads! Even for wee sociable animals it’s no problem to have no other animals in the house, they get even more attention from you!
Is it not really difficult to give them away?
Sometimes, but since the foster family are the ones who set the requirements for the forever home, you always know they are going to the best place for them. The adoptive families tend to keep in close contact too, sending photo updates. If you do decide you can’t possibly part with the animal then the foster families always get priority as potential adopters. In this case they are called “failed fosters”. Here's our failed foster Izzy (left) with a foster pup (right).
What’s the process?
You can see rescues and animals who are looking for foster homes here. Here you can fill in their fostering application. The requirements change per rescue but they tend to include:
Having a secure garden (some of the wee animals arrive a bit frightened so they can be potential escape artists until they realise they are safe)
Having someone around a lot (this really helps them settle in, especially if they are nervous, so if you work long hours then now wouldn’t be the right time for you to foster)
No young children (we have no background on these animals, and they are often nervous and require quiet homes. So for that reason the ideal foster home is without children or with older children who are good with animals).
Can I choose which animal I foster?
Absolutely! The charities will ping you with any animals that are looking for foster homes and you can decide if it’s a good time and that animal is a good fit. The charities will also tend to learn which type of animals you prefer, i.e. young animals or old ones, large or small, energy levels etc.
Are all the foster animals nervous?
Not at all, some are, but others are looking for a new home because there has been a change of circumstance in their family. Some reasons include moving home, or owners passing away. Izzy who ended up staying with us, was our most nervous foster. To be honest most of ours have just been down on their luck but are absolutely perfect wee dogs.
How long would I have each foster?
This varies based on the animal. Older animals tend to take longer to find a forever home, and animals with behavioural or health issues can take longer. You can factor this in when you decide which animal to foster.
What costs do the rescues cover?
The rescues will always cover the vet bills and medication, but you will need to be able to bring the animals to the vet when needed. Most rescues will supply things like bedding, bowls, toys and food if needed. Puppy crates will be available for lending, and the charities will do everything they can to support you.
Can I foster for more than one rescue?
Yes but you cannot have foster animals for multiple rescues without the permission of both charities.
How do I get started?
Check out https://www.petadoptionwebsite.com/foster for animals looking for foster homes. Complete the application and the rescues will be in touch.