Dachshund Rescue of Houston
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Become a Foster Parent
As a foster parent, you have the opportunity to help many dogs. You give them a place to stay and be loved until they are healthy enough to be adopted. Fostering isn't always easy, but it can be very rewarding. We have tried to address some questions about fostering below.
Some of our foster parents are folks who have adopted from us already. Other foster parents are individuals who have a space in their heart to care for a needy dog. Most all of our foster parents work full time. Most foster parents realize that LONG term they could not keep a third or fourth pet, but in their current house they have space and time to help out. If you already have two dogs, you probably know that two is much more fun that one. So imagine how much fun 3 or 4 dogs would be! Coming home from work at the end of the day is a noisy and loving experience. A bad day a work can be transformed into a good one when 16 padded feet are stumbling all over themselves to be the first to give you a kiss. Fostering is a very rewarding experience.
What Does Fostering Involve?
If you already have a dog, it doesn't involve much more than you are used to. You provide food, water, shelter, and love. For first time foster parents, we try to start you off with a dog who has been in our program for a while. You will foster that dog until he is adopted. Once you have fostered your first dog, and you've enjoyed the fostering experience, we'll bring you another dog.
For repeat foster parents, you will probably pick up your foster from the vet after her medical work (spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm test or treatment) has been completed. About 60% of our dogs come in heartworm positive. We will let you know what follow-up medical care (i.e. dental, stitches removed, booster vaccines) will be needed. Your dog may need a bath when you get her home. The first day is usually the hardest. The dog will most likely not be housetrained, so expect accidents and be prepared to work on housetraining.
If your dog's medical care is not complete, we will schedule the necessary appointments to have all issues addressed before she can be adopted. You should not take the dog to your own vet unless it is an emergency. We have specific vets we work with which makes it affordable to continue our rescue work. Completing the medical work on a dog can take anywhere from a week to many months. If we tell you your new foster dog is heartworm positive, expect to foster her for several weeks before she can be adopted.
How Much Does It Cost To Foster?
All you need to provide are food, water, shelter and love. So you will need to buy a little extra dog food when you go to the store. You'll also need to consider how you will arrange care for your foster dogs while you are on vacation. DRoH will attempt to make accommodations for the foster dog, however we cannot guarantee accommodations will be available. Talk to your local kennel about free boarding for foster dogs. Some kennels have a soft spot for rescue dogs if they will stay in the same run as your personal dogs. It doesn't hurt to ask. Love doesn't really cost anything until adoption day. We may occassionally ask you to drive somewhere to pick up or drop off the foster dog for medical care. A tank of gas here and a bag of dog food there doesn't add up to much for the average foster family.
Adoption Day: Can You Do It?
The end is near. An applicant has been approved and you must let the dog go to his "forever home". How on earth can you give up a dog that you have loved for so long? Well, its not easy the first time. I failed "Fostering 101" (I kept my first foster dog; I couldn't give her up). This is a common occurence with many first-time foster parents, which is why we are constantly on the search for more foster families. But now, as I foster other dogs, I think about how much more attention my foster dog will get at her new home. I think about how the new family is so excited to have a new "kid" in the home again. I realize that I can save another dog from euthanasia by allowing my foster dog to go to his new home. The adoption process is very rigorous and we deny many applications along the way. But, in the end, we are confident that all our dogs go to wonderful, caring homes. When these dogs were at the shelter, no one was their advocate. Now you and DRoH are their advocates.
I Want To Try Fostering, What Do I Do?
Fill out our foster application (the link is at the bottom of the page). We will put you through the screening process as if you were adopting a dog. I know. You only want to foster and you are SURE you will not keep the dog... just like I was sure I wasn't going to keep my foster. So, just in case you decide to adopt from us, we put you through the entire adoption process (vet check, interview, home visit).
Thanks for considering fostering!