What is a foster parent?
A foster parent provides a safe and loving environment for a dog until adoption. In addition to affection, foster families provide basic care such as food, water and shelter. Hope Animal Rescue pays for all vetting and preventatives, and can provide crates, toys and food when needed. Foster parents are expected to teach basic house manners such as crate, leash and house training. It is helpful if foster families can transport adoptable dogs to events or vet visits, but is not required.
Why do you need foster families?
We can only rescue as many animals as we have room for. Not only do foster families maximize the number of dogs we can save, they help care for animals that would unlikely survive in a shelter environment: orphaned puppies with compromised immune systems, dogs recovering from illness or medical treatments, or pets needing one-on-one behavior rehabilitation. Many shelter dogs would never make it to the adoption floor due to fear or anxiety, but once in a foster home, they feel safe and blossom in their new environment.
Who should foster?
Someone who isn’t in a position to adopt a pet right now, but has the time to care for one.
A person who isn’t sure how a dog would get along with their current pet(s).
Someone who never had the chance to have a pet but would really like to experience one.
A family who has some room in their home to welcome a rescue dog.
How long will I foster?
We generally expect foster parents to care for a dog until adoption. Foster times may vary according to the breed and age of the dog. For example, puppies usually get adopted much quicker than adults. In some cases, the foster parent may decide to adopt the pet themselves. We find that most foster families want to continue fostering because they come to have an established routine and it is fitting smoothly into their lifestyle. Plus, they want to be part of the process of helping pets find their forever family. If a foster family runs into personal situations where they can not foster until the pet is adopted, we will search for another foster home to take the foster dog. Please remember that in these cases, we need time to find alternate placement.
What if I need help?
We value our foster families and make every effort to be available to help, especially for the first time foster parent. That means an assigned foster coordinator will make sure you have a phone number and contact information to reach them, should you need their help along the way. We try to guide you along the way, so you shouldn’t ever feel alone.
What does it cost?
Hope Animal Rescue covers the cost of all veterinary care. Some families choose to provide food, puppy pads, toys and treats, but we will provide supplies when needed.
I’m in love! Can I adopt my foster dog?
Yes! Foster families who wish to adopt go through the same screening process as adoption applicants. However, we do require foster parents to foster two pets before adopting their foster dog. It is normal for the new foster to fall in love with theirs and want to adopt the first one. With time, you learn it is a wonderful thing to love them and let them go, and we promise, it does get easier. Always remember, letting them go to their forever family opens up space in your home for another life to be be saved.
A Special Message to Foster Applicants Re: COVID-19
We are so grateful for our canine-loving community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and all of the wonderful folks interested in fostering! While we are continuing to accept and review new foster applications, we do want to share that there may be some delays with onboarding new applicants as we manage the positively overwhelming number of new folks interested in fostering with HAR. We are still determined to pull as many dogs as we can and place them into foster homes, but must also consider the rescue’s financial viability and pace of adoptions, so it may take some time for us to connect each of our willing foster families with an appropriately matched pet in need.
To help the animals of HAR and of our community, here is what you can do now:
- Foster for your local municipal shelter if possible! Click below to learn more about your town/county’s foster program:
- Consider “virtually fostering” one or more pets with Hope Animal Rescue. Check out our listing of adoptable pets to select a pet and help them get adopted– advertise them on social media (and tag us!), talk to friends and family who are considering adoption, and find unique avenues for sharing information about the pet. Our seniors, large-breed adults, and special/medical needs dogs are most in need of virtual fosters!
- If you have the financial means to do so, please consider a one-time or recurring donation! Along with adoption fees, donations power the rescue financially and make it possible for HAR to continue to take in pets in need.
- Support our sponsors and community partners. A number of our partners are in the service industry and have been hit hard by the economic impact of COVID-19. These businesses have been generous over their years in supporting the dogs of HAR; it’s our time to return the favor.
- Take on other volunteer opportunities within HAR! Whether your talent is in fundraising and development, marketing and creative endeavors, community outreach and advocacy, data entry and editing, or you are ready and willing for whatever, there are numerous ways to get involved.