HOW TO FOSTER
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
You can save the life of an abandoned pet simply by temporarily opening your home to one. It may be a puppy, a mom with puppies, a senior dog, or a dog undergoing medical treatment before being ready for adoption. In other cases, it may be one who needs a break from the stress of the shelter. Without a foster home, many loving dogs are surrendered to shelters and often are put to sleep simply due to lack of cage space or a pre-determined time limit. A stay in your home is the difference between life and death for many of them.
Foster period lengths depend on each dog’s unique needs. Miller’s Cause prefers a dog be in foster care for a minimum of three weeks to allow them to decompress from the shelter or loss of their home. This gives the foster home a chance to learn more about the dog and make the best recommendation for a new adoption home. Some pets only need a temporary foster family for a week or so. (ie while they are waiting to be transported to a foster, adopter or rescue group out of the area.) Other pets, such as moms with babies, pets undergoing medical treatment and pets who need permanent foster homes until they are adopted may take two to three months or longer. Talk with a Miller’s Cause Volunteer who is caring for the pet to find how long they think they will need you to foster.
Keep in mind that sometimes things don’t work out as planned. A foster pet may need unanticipated medical care, or recovery time may take longer than expected. Pending adoptions can fall through or fail. Or it may take longer than expected to transport an animal to their rescue or adopter. If you are asked to foster a pet and have a limited time frame due to an upcoming vacation, etc., please discuss this with us up front
DO I NEED EXPERIENCE?
While it can be helpful to have experience with pets, it’s not always necessary. Many adult and senior dogs have lived in a home before and need little to no training. Of course, there’s always an adjustment period while they get to know your house rules, schedule, etc., so you want to set them up for success from the start. Other dogs (particularly puppies, younger pets and some who may not have been given a good start) will need your gentle guidance in learning what it is like to be in a home.
Don’t hesitate to talk with us about your experience with pets and what you feel you can comfortably handle regarding behavior and training. While many foster dogs have lived in a home before, always take precautions to protect your valuable items and make a slow introduction to other pets in your home. In addition, even if a pet is housetrained accidents may still happen as he adjusts to your home.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS TO FOSTER?
While all rescue organizations differ, Miller's Cause will assist with medical care that is needed for the pet. Supplies such as collar’s, leashes, food, toys, and crates that you can supply while the dog is in your home may be considered a donation and can be tax deductible and will enable us to help even more animals. Depending on need and donations Miller’s Cause may be able to help in some situations.
Miller's Cause will provide you with a point of contact for medical needs, emergency medical care or behavior questions.