How does a foster dog come into the care of Peace4Paws?
Peace4Paws receives the dogs directly from a shelter, a laboratory, or from a surrendering owner.
The dog is transported to the foster home and lives there until it is transferred to boarding (hopefully not too often), another foster home, or adopted (ideally).
Foster homes will be called. If we contact you to foster an animal and you cannot do it for any reason, we will find another foster home and call you the next time. It is always okay to say you are not available.
What are the responsibilities of a foster family?
As a foster family, your primary responsibility is to love and take care of the dog as if it were your own.
This dog will need time to feel secure and therefore be his or herself.
Slowly integrating the dog into your desired lifestyle is the key to a happy, fulfilling transition and foster experience. Slowly is the key.
You will also be asked to make your foster dog available to prospective adopters.
What is meant by “ease them into any new foods”?
Some our dogs from come fostering situations where they have been used to a certain food.
New food and environments can be stressful for the dogs. They should be introduced to a new food gradually.
Dogs right off of transport are stressed, so taking your foster dog out a lot in the beginning really helps them adjust to the transition before moving into a routine. Please take note of how they are adjusting to their new foods. It may take a little time for them to adjust.
We suggest that for the first night you sleep in the same room with them. They usually cry the first night. You being near them comforts them.
What medical treatments am I responsible for?
Your foster dog will need be treated with a flea and tick protection such as Frontline and a heartworm/worm protection such as Heartguard (or the generic equivalent) once monthly.
If the dog travels with any medication, such as an antibiotic, then you will be responsible for administering the necessary medications.
Our dogs all have a health certificate and are deemed safe to travel.
The puppy or dog may need another round of puppy shots, or a followup on a condition. You will be responsible for bringing them to the vet or letting us know if you need another volunteer to help.
How should I prepare my pets for the upcoming foster dog?
Your animals should be up to date on all their shots and vaccinations and deemed in good health to be around any other animal.
They should be " dog friendly " to the best of your knowledge.
The resident dog should be kept separate from the foster dog in the beginning so they get used to being in the same space together. Crating your foster dog will help accomplish that.
What kind of training can I provide to help my foster dog be ready for adoption?
You will want to train the dog in ways that will make him or her adoptable. Adoptable qualities are when the dog is: housebroken, crate trained, able to walk on a leash, able to follow basic commands, and is socialized. If you need help with this, we will be here to help you. If the training issue is extreme, we will discuss formal training. Many of the abandoned dogs were neglected, and therefore never received any training. These dogs just want to please you, and will be very receptive to your efforts to provide them with structure.
The first step is crate training .
The second milestone is housebraking if the dog or pup is not already housebroken.
The first week is not a time for any significant training or expectations. The pups or dogs need time to decompress to the new environment before they can concentrate on new commands,etc. They need to feel loved and secure. That expedites decompression.
What is involved with medical care?
Our dogs will come to you spayed or neutered and fully up to date on all shots and vaccinations.
If they are traveling with a medicine we will inform and advise you in advance. Please be sure to get the medicine from the transporters before they leave your house, just in case.
How much will it cost me to foster a pet?
There is no cost to fostering other than providing food and shelter to your foster pet. Peace4Paws will provide most of the supplies that you need, including crates. You will play a special role in the life of this dog, so we ask you to donate your time and attention to help him/her feel safe and loved. Anything else you choose to give is a donation.
Peace4Paws will cover costs for the dog's medical care. We will provide assistance to you to get the dog to the vet if necessary. We request that you use one of our associated vets, as they typically discount their fees. In non-emergency situations, we ask that you obtain prior approval before seeking medical attention for the dog. In emergency situations, Peace4Paws will reimburse any expenses.
Can I foster if I have my own pets, and is it safe? What are the medical concerns?
Every animal brought into Peace4Paws program is examined by a veterinarian. All dogs will be up to date on their shots. If the dog has not yet been fixed, Peace4Paws will make arrangements to do so. If you have additional pets in your home, please follow the quarantine guidelines to ensure the health of the foster pets and your own pets. This means that the foster dog may have to be kept separated from other animals in your home for up to two weeks. Those two weeks go fast, and while we are always so eager to integrate proceeding through the quarantine should be observed when necessary.
Can I adopt my foster dog?
Absolutely! You will have the first option for adoption.
How do I become a foster?
Fill out our online application and a volunteer will contact you to schedule a home visit. When that is completed, the foster coordinator will contact you to discuss what type of dog might be best for your home.
Will I get ‘stuck with’ the dog?
Peace4Paws will never leave a foster ‘stuck with’ a dog. We want your foster experience to be rewarding. If you foster period is getting too long, or the foster situation is not working out, we will make arrangements to move the dog to another foster. We hope that you will be patient with your foster dog and give him or her the time they need to meet your expectations. We hope that you will be able to work with the dog under most circumstances, unless there are extreme circumstances.
What does it mean to make the dog available for adoption events?
Periodically there will be adoption events that will showcase Peace4Paws’s dogs. We ask that you work with whatever volunteer will be able to transport and show the dog, or even better, when possible bring the dog yourself and or stay with the dog at the event, as you will be the expert on the dog and he or she will be most bonded to you. But, we do keep a list of volunteers who want to participate in adoption events and can help keep your foster dog good company.
How else can I help make the dog more adoptable?
You can help make your dog more adoptable by keeping some records of its progress (training and medical) in a file in your computer and sharing reports and anecdotes about the dog that we can put on the website and Facebook.
You can help make your dog more visible by sending us some pictures you have taken from your cell phone via text or email. Short videos also are very helpful in giving people an idea about your dog's personality, temperament and appearance. People start sending in applications after seeing videos on Facebook. So, taking pictures or videos with your phone and texting them to us really helps create matches!
Any training or socialization you can give helps make and keep the dog more appealing to the potential adopter.
I am excited! How do I get started?
We are happy to hear that you are interested in fostering a dog! Please fill out our foster application and we will contact you to schedule a home visit and kick off the process.