18 Feb

The truth about fostering

Are you unsure if you’re the fostering kind? What does fostering a dog really entail? Have you contemplated fostering but thought “It would be too hard for me. I’d get too attached. I could never give them up.” What happens if the foster dog doesn’t get along with the pet(s) you  currently have now? How long would you have the foster dog for? You’ve heard it time and time again ” Fostering saves lives” but how exactly does it save a life? Did you know that approximately 350 dogs are euthanized each hour in the United States in overcrowded shelters simply because there is not enough space at the shelter for them? These are adoptable, loveable, purebred amazing dogs whose time is up strictly because there is not enough room for them at the shelter anymore.  I’ve had the honor and privilege to interview three dog rescue owners here in south Florida to get their input on fostering, ask questions and find out the truth about fostering.

Jana Bradburn is the owner of Tails from the Barkside Pet Rescue.

Tails from the Barkside is a 501c3 rescue organization, based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They work to save abused, neglected and discarded dogs from the streets and local shelters in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.They believe in quality over quantity and take in one dog at a time, working with our fosters to learn about each dog and it’s personality and abilities to ensure that each dog is eventually placed with the correct family. They are forever shining light on those left in the dark! 

Why is fostering dogs a crucial part of rescue?

Jana B: Fostering is an essential part of rescue. Without foster homes, rescues can’t continue to pull dogs from shelters. We require a safe place for them to go, while an adopter is found. For most rescues, boarding is used as a last resort, not as a “foster” home/facility.

Are there any costs involved in fostering?

Jana B: The only costs involved with fostering are those that the rescue will incur. Medical care, food, preventative medicine, crates, bowls, tags, collars, leashes and toys are all provided by the rescue organization. We are also happy to provide training when needed. The only thing that a foster needs to do is provide proper care and a loving environment for the animal.

What should a foster home expect when the dog first arrives?

Jana B: When the dog first arrives, it is critical that proper introductions be done between the foster animal and the existing animals in the home, if any. Caution should be used when introducing a new member to the family, whether fostered or adopted, fur baby or human. Foster dogs are often scared, nervous and unsure of their surroundings. We have no idea of what they may have endured before coming to us. They will need love, comfort and reassurance.

What happens if a foster home falls in love with their foster dog and wants to adopt the dog?

Jana B: Wonderful!!!  We hate to lose a good foster, but the ultimate goal is to find a safe and loving home anyway. The foster would need to complete an adoption application and agreement and pay the appropriate adoption donation.We love a good happily ever after!

Is it difficult to give up a foster dog when the time comes for the foster to move to their forever home? 

Jana B: Before starting my own rescue, I fostered for a few others. I was really concerned that I would fall in love and keep any dog that I took in. Going in with the mindset that it’s only temporary, helped to keep me from getting too attached. I also knew that I was helping to prepare a dog for a home life with someone else, and that once that dog was adopted, I would be able to assist with that transition for another. Each one certainly left paw prints on my heart.

How long do fosters usually stay in their foster home?

Jana B: There is no set amount of time for us. We would always hope that a foster would be open to keeping the animal until an appropriate home is found.

 
How are fosters promoted to find their forever home?
Jana B: We have our dogs posted on several social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit, as well as promoted on our website. They can be found on national sites as well, such as Adoptapet.com, Rescueme.org and Petfinder.com. We also attend local adoption events.

 

Rey

Tails from the Barkside received a call about an injured dog that was found in a yard after her owners moved out and left her behind.  When they arrived at the home, Rey greeted them with a wagging tail and kisses galore!  Rey is a sweet, funny, playful and loving girl who’s sure to steal the heart of everyone she meets. She is currently looking for her forever home. Please call 754-702-TAIL if you are interested in opening your heart and home to this sweetheart.

 

Cynthia Clements is the owner of Luna’s Paws Rescue, Inc.

Luna’s Paws Rescue is a 501c3 local South Florida dog rescue. They are a small volunteer foster-based rescue. Their available pets are sometimes owner surrenders, homeless, abandoned, or come from a kill shelter.Their pets are up to date on vaccinations, have been tested for heart worms and other parasites, are on flea/heartworm medication, microchipped and spayed/neutered.  Luna’s Paws Rescue is committed to finding their rescues their forever families one paw at a time.

Will I ever get updates or pics of my fosters once they are placed in their forever home?

Cynthia C : I pride myself in developing a relationship with my adopters and love to share pics and updates with fosters and others thru social media. It has been my experience that most adopters love to send pictures and updates.

 Why is fostering a crucial part of rescue?

Cynthia C: Fostering is crucial to saving pets in need in several ways.In emergencies an overnight foster is needed if a pet is awaiting transport the next day. A temporary foster is used while a pet is recovering or is sick and can’t be around other animals, sometimes a few days to a couple weeks or longer if a extended recovery period is required. An permanent foster is one who is committed to fostering the pet until a forever home is found, usually a couple of weeks, sometimes as long as a couple months, occasionally even longer. Fostering pets is the backbone of any rescue, especially for ones such as myself who do not place their pets in boarding facilities.

 
Are foster parents encouraged to bring their fosters to adoption events?

Cynthia C: Yes, it is part of fostering to bring or arrange transport to adoption events. Fosters are encouraged to advertise their foster pets for adoption, one way are adoption events. They are encouraged to stay with their foster during the events, a big reason is so they can meet potential adopters and be able to tell them about their foster dog(s). Also, the pet would feel more secure being with their foster parent during an event.

 
Can you foster if you have your own pets?

Cynthia C: Absolutely, it is actually a good thing. Imagine fighting to survive, having no rules or boundaries, not having a safe place to eat or lay your head? Sometimes they have to learn how to live inside a house again, to live with a family, how to love and be loved, to play, to be a dog again. It takes understanding and compassion from the foster parents but for the other pets in the house it’s much simpler, they don’t know what life was like before, all they know is your a dog, and they can show you what dogs are allowed to do, where to pee, how to play, where to nap and how to get the best treats!

 
What happens if the family fostering has an emergency or has to go out of town?

Cynthia C: Transport to another foster would have to be arranged, either myself or a volunteer if the foster cannot transport to another foster. If another foster can’t be found and I can’t immediately take in the pet then I would have to place in boarding at a predetermined veterinarian. So far this has only happened once while I was out of town.

Does fostering really save lives?

Cynthia C: Absolutely! As much as I want to take every pet in need whether they are owner surrenders or homeless or in a shelter it’s just not possible to do it alone. In 2015 I fostered about 50 dogs and one cat on my own, some for a few days and others up to 6 months. I would never expect a foster to take care of more than they could handle of course, other people who would agree to take in one or two fosters at a time would be amazing! It really is rewarding to see how pets change from when they first arrive to when they find a forever home. To be able to witness this change has brought me to tears several times, even as I write this remembering some of my loves. To be part of their forever families is one of my greatest joys. We have play dates, catch up thru social media. You definitely make a connection with people who adopt your foster.

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Antolin is about 3 years old and weighs 17 pounds. He was put into boarding two years ago when his owners health was failing. Sadly his mom passed away and his father asked us to find him a new family.  He is a little shy but is very sweet and quickly warms up. He loves playing fetch, LOVES squeaky toys, is crate trained, potty trained, and gets along with most other dogs. He would make an excellent addition for someone who can be a little understanding and give him a couple days to bond. if you are interested in opening up your heart and home to this cutie please call 786-708-9738.

 

Teri Fainberg from Saving Grace and Her Furry Friends Rescue 

Saving Grace and Her Furry Friends Rescue isa 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Animal Rescue Organization that is dedicated to rehabilitating and finding loving homes for unwanted, sick, injured, abused, and neglected dogs.

What are the rewards of fostering?

Teri F: The rewards of fostering a dog is that the person who is fostering the dog gets to know and take care of the dog. If the dog is sick they help get the dog better. If the dog has emotional problems they help socialize the dog and make it more likely that it will be a dog that will be adoptable. Fostering is also important because if you’re interested in a particular dog it gives you the opportunity to try and see if that dog might be the match for you.
What happens if my foster dog isn’t working out?
Teri F: If the foster situation is not working out we try to look into why this might be possible and see if this problem can be remedied. If not we remove the dog as quickly as possible to try and eliminate unnecessary stress for the dog and for the foster family.

Why is fostering dogs a crucial part of rescue?

Fostering dogs is the most important part of any rescue. Most good rescues put only foster dogs in homes that they have done home checks on. Our rescue just not believe in boarding dogs. It is very important to foster a dog because when the dog is ready to be adopted the foster family knows about the dogs personality. This helps make the match a success!!

Are purchases made for foster care tax deductible?

Teri F: Yes if a foster purchases items for the dogs we can give them a receipt and they can use it as a tax deduction.

What happens if my foster needs veterinary care?

Teri F: All foster dogs go to the vet to get checked out for a number of different reasons. Number one all dogs get their shots that they need. All dogs get an examination by the vet. All dogs are spayed and neutered. In addition any other veterinary  needs are covered under our rescue.

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Bear is a 3 month old male rat terrier mix black with one white Paw and a little white on his chest. He is one of the larger of the litter and extremely playful and can be assertive. He’s also very lovable and loves to give kisses. He looks like a mini, mini version of a black lab. Mom (Star) weighs 14 lbs. and dad unknown. Bear should weigh around 15 lbs. If you are interested in giving this sweetheart a home please call 954-562-8813.
 

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