But I'd want to keep them all!
Most people that foster are dog lovers so naturally it's hard to imagine caring for a dog and then giving it away BUT you are not giving YOUR dog away. You are sending your canine houseguest HOME with a caring, loving family that is beyond excited to welcome their new family member. You will see the look on their faces, their absolute joy and know that the dog you cared for, loved and helped is going to a great home, that they'll never be homeless again.
You will feel blue for a few days afterwards for sure but it's not a crushing grief, like when your own pet passes away. It's a happy feeling inside, tinged with a bit of bittersweet. When you think back to your foster dog, you will truly not remember the sadness you may have felt when they were adopted. You will remember the happy times, trust us on this one. Once you receive the first update from the adoptive family your heart will soar, your day will be made and you'll know without a shadow of a doubt that you did the right thing. YOU helped a dog when they needed it most. YOU were unselfish enough to allow the adoptive family to benefit from your efforts. YOU cared enough to do something.
How Fostering Works
The process to become a foster family is similar to adopting. It begins with the submission of an application, followed by a telephone interview, vet reference check and home visit. The screening may sound rigorous but we like to make sure our dogs are well cared for in their foster homes. Who wouldn't?!?!
Once you are approved to foster, you will join our online private group. Dogs that need fostering are posted there with pics and information. Foster dogs are matched to their foster families. For instance, we would not send an 8 week old puppy to a foster family where the people were out of the house all day. But an older, trained dog would be fine with their foster family working all day. If you see a dog you'd like to foster that would suit your lifestyle and situation, you pipe up and say "Hey, I'd like to foster that one!" Voila, you get your first foster. All dogs are completely vetted (spay/neuter/vaccines/checkup/deworm etc) before moving to their foster home. A foster dog is sent with leash, collar, food, any medications, a crate if needed and any other necessary supplies (such as a brush or food dishes). Any expenses incurred for your foster dog are paid by HART.
When a dog is moving to a foster home, a transport is arranged. Volunteers each take a leg of the trip and the dog is moved. We currently have foster homes all across Ontario; from Bancroft to Ottawa to Sudbury to Guelph to Niagara. It's a finely tuned operation!
While the foster dog is in your care, we ask that you treat it as you'd treat your own dog. Walks, playtime, discipline, socialization, cuddling, etc. Once the dog is in your care for a few days and you've gotten to know it, we will contact you for information for posting the dog on Petfinder. We also ask the foster family to take 3 good pictures and a video if possible. We write the bio, post the pics and the promoting begins to find your foster a great home. Dogs with good pics and a video generate far more interest than a dog without. Most dogs are in foster care for 3-6 weeks. HART is always available via phone or email to answer questions or help with any issues that may come up with your foster dog.
Once an approved family is found for your foster dog, we will send you their contact info to arrange a meet and greet with the approved family. If it is a good fit and the family likes the dog, the adoption takes place, with you completing the paperwork and receiving the cheque. Your foster dog found his own home and you helped him get there! Yay! You then mail the paperwork and cheque to HART and the process begins again when you’re ready for your next foster.
This is a brief overview of the fostering process. If you have specific questions, they will be answered during the telephone interview.