LSWR desperately needs foster homes and we are asking for everyone’s help. We don’t want to turn one Westie in need away. If you have ever thought about fostering a Westie please go to our Application menu and complete a Foster Application.
Fostering: What’s It All About?
- What exactly is “fostering” a pet? Foster homes are the backbone of any rescue organization. The number of animals a rescue can help is only as good as the number of good foster homes an organization has available to it. Foster parents are essentially temporary dog adopters. Fosters agree to take a dog into their homes and care for them as if they were their own, until they can be adopted by “forever” homes. A pet foster parent provides a safe and loving environment until they are adopted. In addition to affection, the foster parent provides basic care for the animals such as food, water, and shelter. When fostering a dog, the pet foster parent may teach him basic house manners. As foster parents, your observations and feedback about the dog’s needs and temperament will help us place the dog in a suitable home.
- What would I be expected to do as a foster parent?The main responsibility is to provide a clean, nurturing home, playtime and socialization until a permanent home is found. Food is provided for your foster.
- Would I be responsible for my foster’s vet expenses? No, LSWR will pay for all medical bills and food during the foster care period.
Intake is the first step of the process. All incoming animals must be coordinated into the rescue program by one of the Directors. All rescues are seen by one of our vets to ensure they get the medical attention they need. They will be cleared by our vets allowing them to go into their foster home.
GETTING YOUR FOSTER DOG
Most of the time dogs will come in to your home directly from the vets’ office.
EVALUATING YOUR FOSTER DOG
The next step is to evaluate your foster dog for all kinds of things. Firstly, you need to ascertain any medical issues that need to be addressed while the dog is in foster care. For example, if the rescue dog had an ear infection when he/she came into the program and you notice that it’s not improving even after the medication, then inform LSWR so we can have a follow up appt with the vet that is treating him/her.
LSWR will pay for the medical care of the dog during the time it is being fostered, to include routine check-ups, vaccinations and treatment of emergencies should they arise. In order to control our expenses; however, the foster parent will utilize a veterinarian provided by LSWR and will notify appropriate LSWR Board Member prior to any medical treatment for the dog to ensure finances and treatment options are appropriately aligned.
Aside from regular day-to-day care (feeding, grooming, exercise), the responsibilities of a foster home may include basic training (housetraining, walking on leash, sit, down); behavior modification (to correct problems such as jumping, mouthing, barking, socialization and temperament evaluation (to determine whether the dog is good with different types of people and other animals); medical care (dispensing medication), and of course plenty of playtime and snuggling.
Keep us updated on your dog—Foster parents are expected to provide updates on the status and progress or news with your dog that we should know about.
After the dog has been nursed back to health and evaluated, LSWR begins the search for a permanent home. Sometimes, LSWR has prospective adopters in mind so it may be a very quick turn around.
Never hand over the dog without consent—Foster parents should NEVER turn over their foster dog to a potential applicant
Fostering a dog may seem like a formidable task, but it is a very tangible way to make a difference. Everyone benefits: The foster volunteer gets to spend time with a special dog, The foster dog gets a second chance at becoming a cherished pet. The new owners get a dog that is better adapted to home life, and therefore has a better chance of remaining in the new home permanently.
WHAT IF I GET ATTACHED?
Getting attached to your foster pet is normal. After all, all of us at LSWR do this because we love pets! The most common question we as foster parents are asked is how we can give them up. The answer is simple. It saves lives. It is hard to say goodbye to a pet we’ve fallen in love with, but the alternative is even sadder. We get the satisfaction of helping a previously lost and unwanted animal find a loving forever home. That makes it all worth it. The trick is to get attached with velcro and not glue.
So please, won’t you open up your home to help save a life?