Find out how to foster a Golden
What does a Foster Home do?
Foster homes provide a safe, clean, nurturing family environment to a Golden who has been abused, abandoned, neglected or surrendered by its owner. As a foster family, you are asked to provide a Golden with indoor living conditions, some basic obedience skills, and of course love. We ask that you provide the same care and love to your foster Golden as you would your own dog.
How much time does it take to be a foster parent?
From an hour or two a day to however much time you are able to spend with the dog.
How much does it cost to foster a dog?
Lack of funds should not prevent you from fostering, however you will have some expenses: telephone calls and any toys you choose to provide. You will be reimbursed for expenses such as food and mileage (at the prevailing government rate) or if you would rather, these can be tax deductible expenses to the extent allowable as we are a 501(c) (3) organization. Necessary veterinary expenses, including heartworm and flea and tick preventive, are provided and paid by GRRCC.
What will I need to do as a foster parent?
Foster families are responsible for daily care of the foster dog, including:
• Socializing/Includes inside lifestyle with family
• Brushing and grooming, as needed
• Reinforcing basic obedience commands
• Observing and evaluating general behavior and temperament
• Providing love and security to a special Golden at an often-difficult time in his or her life.
GRRCC foster homes play a significant role in facilitating the dog’s adoption to a new home. As a foster parent, you will make recommendations to help select the best adoptive family for your foster Golden (you know him/her best). Potential adoptive families may come to your home to meet the dog and you may be asked to help with paperwork.
How long does the dog stay in foster care?
If the Golden is healthy, three to four weeks are typical. Sometimes a week is all that is needed; other dogs may need months. It depends on their background/medical condition and the number of pending applications. Your update on the Golden helps to expedite the process since potential owners check our web site regularly for new information on available dogs
What if I have other pets?
Most Golden Retrievers enjoy the company of other dogs. If you are unsure about how to introduce your pets to your foster dog, we can help you with that. We will never, knowingly, place a Golden that does not get along well with other animals in a home with existing pets. Should problems arise, the dog will be removed and placed with another foster family. Dogs that are aggressive toward people are not taken into our program.
What happens if I have questions or problems with the foster dog?
The Intake and Adoption Coordinators are available for telephone consultation. Being a foster family is extremely rewarding, but you should keep in mind that some rescue dogs are not housebroken, may be ill, or may have had little socialization or obedience training. In spite of these challenges, our foster families have found that, when given a chance, these dogs not only improve, they flourish.
What if I want to adopt the golden I am fostering?
If you decide to become a foster family, it should be with the understanding that you are helping a deserving Golden to be placed in a forever home, and not with the goal to “pick or choose” a Golden you may wish to adopt. However, all foster families are required to go through the same approval process that we use for adoptive homes before they can foster for GRRCC. If an approved foster family wishes to adopt a dog, they must notify the Adoption Coordinator and be placed on our waiting list.
Do I have to be home with the dog all day?
No, many of our foster family members are currently employed full or part-time and still provide a quality environment for the dog. However, our first concern is safety; for you, your family, your own animal(s) and the rescue dog. Therefore, dogs must be inside when you are not at home. Young dogs and some others may need to be confined to a small, secure area, like a training crate or a confined area in the home. (GRRCC will supply a crate if you do not have one.)
Do I need a fenced yard?
A fenced yard is required except in special cases and the dogs must NEVER be allowed to run free. The dog has to be on a leash at all times when outside of the secured yard.
Will I become attached to my foster dog?
Yes, you undoubtedly will – they bond quickly, and give so much back in return for your care and attention. When you meet and/or talk with the new family who is ready to provide a permanent, loving home for the dog you have helped rescue, you –like the rest of GRRCC’s foster families – will feel more than satisfied to see him/her move on to a new and better life. This also enables you to open up your home and heart to another needy Golden.
May I choose which dogs I foster?
The online application allows you to set limits on the kinds of dogs you foster. If you are asked to foster a dog that does not seem right for you, you can say no. If a foster dog you have accepted proves difficult to handle or doesn’t get along with your pets, we can give you expert advice and help or he/she can be placed elsewhere.
I would like to foster. What do I do next?
Once your family has decided to foster a Golden Retriever, the next step is to fill out GRRCC’s online Adoption Application, and indicate in the application that you want to foster. Our foster homes are also required to read and agree to the Adoption Eligibility Requirements just like adoptive homes. If you have more questions, you may email us. Once your application is received, you will be contacted for a phone interview and then a home visit will be arranged. After you are approved to foster, you will be asked to sign our Foster Home Agreement.
IMPORTANT: GRRCC uses the same application for adoption and fostering. Please indicate on your application that you wish to foster a dog for GRRCC.
If I cannot foster, is there another way to help?
YES! You can volunteer in many ways. Volunteers transport Goldens to our veterinary facility or to the foster home from the veterinarian, help with fundraising and events, contribute to the club newsletter and assist with many other activities. Just visit our Volunteer section and email us your contact information, availability and interests.