Dear Potential Foster,
If you are considering taking on the rewarding and incredibly helpful task of fostering a homeless Rescue Animal for Paws Up 4 Rescue, we ask that you carefully review the following guidelines to help you in making your decision.
Paws Up 4 Rescue recognizes that the foster parents and families form the backbone of the work we do. We cannot exist as a rescue organization if people are not willing to bring rescue animals into their homes while we search for permanent homes for them. There are never enough foster homes to go around, so each is precious to Paws Up 4 Rescue and the rescue animals we are trying to save. But as rewarding as fostering is, it will change the pattern of your life so please consider the following:
1. Introducing a Rescue Animal to Your Home: We would never want you to put your own animals in a position that makes them uncomfortable or puts them in danger so we recommend you arrange to introduce the new animal to your household slowly. Keeping both the Rescue Animal and your own pet on leashes initially is one way of doing this. Give them a chance to check each other out and supervise all animals closely for the first week or two. Do not leave the animals alone together until you are certain all animals are comfortable with each other. Do not try to make the foster an immediate part of your family. Let the Rescue Animal(s) settle into the new place, and help the Rescue Animal(s) learn the rules of the house as soon as possible.
2. Once the Rescue Animal is Home: The use of a martingale training collar is the recommended collar of choice to walk a Rescue Animal(s) so that they cannot slip from the collar and run away. Many Rescue Animals need to be taught leash manners. The use of prong collars while fostering your Rescue Animal is heavily discouraged. We also support the use of harnesses and head halters but warn that dogs have been known to back out of a poorly fitting harness. The rescue animal should wear some form of identification on the collar in the event it gets loose. We recommend taping your name and phone number to the collar. If you need instructions on how the collar should be worn, please ask.
3. How to Find an Adopter for Your Rescue Animal: It important for the rescue animal to come to as many adoption events as possible. Because we do not have a shelter where potential adopters can view the rescue animals, the adoption events are how they meet the public. We typically have 4 adoption events a month, always on a weekend day. While we understand that you may not make it to every event, we recommend attending at least two a month. The more events the rescue animal is seen at, the better their chance of finding their forever home.
4. You Will Be Your Foster Animal's Marketing Agent: Be mindful of what you tell potential adopters. Do not mislead inquirers, when in doubt ask for assistance - you do not need to feel like you should know all the answers - let the inquirers know that you need to check and will get back to them as soon as possible. Always recommend that potential adopters do as much reading about the rescue animal breed and traits, if applicable. Encourage them to sign up for obedience training with a reputable trainer.
5. Vet Care and Emergencies: Paws Up 4 Rescue does the majority of its vetting at Timberline Animal Hospital in Joliet, Illinois. If this vet is too far from you should an emergency arise, please find a vet close to you and discuss the use of them for emergencies with the myself.
6. Rescue Animals in Vehicles: Whenever transporting a rescue animal to and from events or the vet’s office, we ask that you ensure that the animal(s) are confined either by harness or crate while in the vehicle. This is essential for your safety and theirs as accidents can and do happen when animals are loose in the car. Prong collars are explicitly prohibited to be used on any of the rescue animals while they are being transported.
7. Adoption Process: If you find a prospective adopter for the Rescue Animal you are fostering, they must fill out an Adoption Application at PawsUp4Rescue.org. The adoption process is the same for everyone, even our Foster themselves!
As the foster, we value the input of our fosters about potential adopters. You will get to know the rescue animal the better than anyone else and will come to love the rescue animal like your own so your blessing on whom the rescue animal goes to live with matters to us. We will never make you adopt the animal to anyone you have doubts about.
Falling in love is a side effect of fostering, but we are blessed with many great adopters who keep us updated on the progress of our former fosters. We are Facebook friends with many! Fostering will change your life, but it’s a good change and we hope you take the next steps to join us in our mission to save as many lives as possible.
I would like to personally thank you for your interest in becoming a Foster Care Provider for Paws Up 4 Rescue.
Tana Labuda, Owner