Common Concerns About Fostering

“With the holidays coming up, I can’t foster right now.”

The holidays are super busy for most of us, but the homeless dogs we’re trying to help have no idea the holidays are upon us. All they know is that they’re cold and alone in a shelter kennel. However, if you make a little space in your hectic life to help one of our dogs in need, they WILL know what it’s like to be in a loving home during this amazing time of year, and what better way to celebrate a season that’s all about love, family and giving? We honestly think the holidays are the very BEST time of year to foster a dog, because it’s a hands-on lesson in giving of oneself that pays back the giver in beautiful and unexpected ways.

If you’re planning to travel for the holidays, that’s OK. We can accommodate foster families’ travel plans with a bit of advance notice.

And if you’re planning to have out-of-town guests in the home, what better way to keep everyone entertained and break the tension of icky family dynamics than an adorable foster dog?

“I could never give up the dog once I’ve brought him home.”

It’s true that once you’ve settled a dog into your home and family and started falling in love with him, it can be heart-wrenching when the dog finds a forever home. But this protest to fostering never considers the alternative—that the dog stay in the shelter, where he may or may not have a chance to find a home. Can’t you bear having your heart broken temporarily so that a dog can have a chance at a happy life?

We think it’s absolutely worth a little heartache to help a dog, as well as see the happy faces of the family that eventually adopts that dog.

“My kids would want to keep the dog.”

Of course they will! However, we have found that a firm and consistent “no” ends all whining and begging. Maybe not immediately, but soon enough. It’s been an important lesson for our own kids to learn that sacrificing for an animal in need isn’t always easy, but it’s worthwhile. They’ve seen the happy families who end up with our foster dogs, and then they understand why we give up the dog. Plus, that makes space for the NEXT foster dog to come home!

“I’m too busy right now.”

We keep hearing the sage advice, “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person,” so that’s why we’re asking you. We understand it’s hard to make space in one’s life for yet another responsibility, but this is a responsibility that will bring a smile to your face every single day. This is a responsibility whose furry little life you’ll be saving. We promise, it’s worth the extra work.

“I’ve got a trip planned soon and won’t be able to take the dog.”

Bon voyage, but also, we can accommodate your travel plans. Just give us a week or more notice so we can find a temporary spot for your foster dog while you travel.

“I work full time.”

That’s OK! We can help match you with a dog that can handle your work schedule and living situation.

“I can’t afford the cost of another pet in my home.”

You won’t have to pay for a thing when you foster. The shelter provides all necessary supplies, including food and medical care.

“My dog/cat doesn’t get along with other animals.”

That doesn’t mean fostering is impossible. A careful plan of crate-and-rotate can mean a happy foster experience for all involved. This simply means you use crates and closed doors to keep animals separate throughout the foster experience. It sounds more difficult than it actually is! We have some foster homes who crate and rotate even when their animals DO get along, because they find that it makes for a more peaceful household. (And don’t worry, even if your foster dog has to spend some hours a day in a crate, they’ll find it FAR better to be in your home than in a shelter kennel.)

“It would be too disruptive to our home.”

Fostering is usually only a disruption to the household schedule for about the first few days to a week. After that, the dog has usually settled in well enough that it feels like they’ve always been there!

“I wouldn’t want a strange dog around my small children.”

Most dogs, with proper guidance and supervision, are great around respectful children. The key to managing children and dogs together is just that — management. It doesn’t take a lot of extra work, but it does take following a few common-sense guidelines that we will happily share before placing a dog in your home.