Flexible fostering options to suit everyone
Fostering is very important here at Dogs 4 Rescue. As much as we try and create a home from home environment here for our dogs, time spent in a ‘real home’ is invaluable and provides enriching experiences for them that they would only get outside of a rescue environment. Here are just a few ways you can get involved – and three amazing benefits of fostering for our dogs for you and for them.
Foster as much or as little as you like….
Pictured – Connie with Dawn. one of our chief fosterers of our very timid doggies.
Many people who foster for us aren’t ready to make a full-time commitment to a dog. We love these people – as they recognise that they’re not in the right place to have a dog for life, but can help out at times when they have the space and capacity to do so. Our foster families come in all different shapes, sizes and ages. We have single people, families with kids, couples and older people. Others are curious about rescue and want to ‘dip their toe in the water’ – again we love this, as openness to try something new is the first step to changing perceptions.
We know that many of you lead busy lives – and we also know the hugely positive impact just a day away from rescue can have for our dogs. This is why we are very flexible when it comes to fostering. If someone approaches us wanting to help, but can only have a dog over the weekend, that’s fine! Days out are also great for our dogs. You don’t need to commit indefinitely or have a dog for weeks or months – although if you want to do that we’d be incredibly grateful! Our fostering fits around you, which in turn maximises valuable opportunities for experiences in the home for our doggies.
We’ll match you with a dog that fits in with you
When you decide you’d like to foster for us we’ll work with you to match you up with a dog that suits your lifestyle, whether you’re going out for the day or fostering indefinitely. Many of our dogs don’t have special requirements, but some do need quiet homes, another dog or child or pet free environments. We’ll have a chat with you first to determine which type of dog would be a good fit for you.
Fostering for us is the very first stage in the adoption process. We always strongly encourage people who are hoping to adopt from us to treat each trial placement as a foster, to avoid the heartache often caused if things simply don’t work out. Through matching as best we can and encouraging fostering in an open-minded and more flexible way, we hope to find more homes for our dogs.
Some people specifically ask to foster certain dogs they see via Facebook – which is fine, as we often post details of their temperament and needs beforehand. But it is really wonderful when we meet people who are open-minded. Sadly we have certain dogs who always get offers for foster, whilst others are left behind for no apparent reason. If you would like to foster for us please consider one of these lovely doggies – it could mean so much more to them and makes a huge difference to their lives.
The benefits of fostering a rescue dog – for them and for you
1/ Experience in the home and other environments
Experiences shape dogs, just as they shape us. Our dogs all have different backgrounds – but many of the street dogs we take in from overseas have never known the comfort of a loving home. Some adapt to it very quickly, others need time to understand and adjust to life with people who love them and care for them. For these reasons foster placements are invaluable for our dogs. Many of the experiences they encounter whilst out on foster help them to feel more confident and happier in their future homes. Foster carers can take them out, get them used to human contact and affection, and most importantly allow them to just be a dog, without anxiety, fear or worry.
2/ An opportunity to gain confidence
For dogs who are new to the life of a loved, cared-for pet, fosters can at first be quite strange. They may be unsure of new people, unsure of a new place and anxious about these new experiences. These dogs require patience and love – but many quickly grow to love being part of a family. We have seen dogs spend just a week or weekend in foster with the right people who have come on in leaps and bounds. This goes to show that even if you only have a few days to spare you can make a huge difference!
3/ A break from rescue
For those who thrive outside of rescue a foster offers more than just a learning experience. We have dogs here who simply don’t enjoy being around so many other dogs – and instead love to be with humans being spoiled. For these dogs regular fosters are absolutely invaluable, as it gives them breathing space and a chance to be pampered and spend time as a single dog. For new dogs or dogs who are still unsure of what life might be like at home the break can also be fantastic – as they have an opportunity to learn that being part of a family can be fun!
4/ Good for them, good for you, good for us
Fostering is positive for so many reasons. It benefits our dogs, it educates many people new to rescue and it also helps spread the word about the work we do and our amazing doggies. Many people who foster for us say they learned such a lot about rescue dogs and their needs. Many are surprised by just how quickly these dogs adapt and fit in perfectly with family life. It’s great publicity for us and for our rescues, as we continually challenge the stigma and negative perception that unfairly surrounds them. We must warn you, though – lots of our foster carers fall in love with our dogs and go on to adopt!
‘I would…but I couldn’t bear to give them back!’
This is one of things we hear the most when discussing fostering with visitors and followers on social media. We understand that there’s a possibility that you could get attached to the dog you’re fostering – especially if you’re with them for a week or more. It happens to us, too! But we have to be strong and focus on the fact that what we do is for the dogs. This is something we share with our foster carers – they put their own feelings aside and they go for it, knowing that what they do is going to make a wonderful difference to each dog they take. Surely it is better to think about the positive impact your foster placement will have on the dog, whether it’s for a few days or a few weeks or months – rather than focusing on the slight sadness you’ll feel once you bring them back to us. We can reassure you that any sadness will also be met with a sense of satisfaction and happiness when you consider the difference you have made to that dog’s life! Fostering ensures that you can make a difference over and over again too, to many more.
Lots of people also say that although they dread bringing their foster dogs back, it is comforting to know that they are happy and well-loved here – and won’t be returned to solitary confinement in a cell or kennel. Lots of our dogs are incredibly happy to see us (and their doggy friends!) when they arrive back here – so much so that foster carers feel much better leaving them! So please, please don’t let this stop you.
Make a difference and foster for us today 🙂 Get in touch for more information.