The Foster Parents' Bill of Rights
Whether you are preparing for your first foster dog or you are a seasoned foster parent, it is always good to keep your rights as a foster parent in mind. Your well-being is just as important as the foster dog’s.
Work with a rescue group or shelter you trust
One way to get to know a rescue organization is by volunteering with them before you begin to foster. There are many rescue organizations out there, and you should be able to trust that the organization will be there to support you. Foster parents are invaluable resources to the rescue and you should feel comfortable working with them.
Be flexible, but stand up for yourself and/or your foster dog
Rescue groups can be hectic organizations– coordinating volunteer efforts, having to make a lot of daily decisions, dealing with vet emergencies, etc.– and representatives from the organization might not always be available or responsive. Be understanding and flexible, but make sure your needs as a foster– and that your foster dog’s needs– are met. Speak up if you have any issues. If the rescue is unresponsive, reach out to Foster Dogs and we can help facilitate communication.
You are not and should not feel obligated to adopt your foster dog
You are still providing your foster dog with a loving home while they find their forever home. Good fosters are invaluable volunteers, so keep on fostering over and over; you’ll become addicted!
Know where to find helpful information and resources
While you can find tons of information on the internet, it is a good idea to have a few trusted sources. Foster Dogs’ Foster Forum is a great place to start if you have any fostering questions. You can also talk to your rescue group to find out their preferred vets, trainers, and boarders; how to deal with situations that may arise during your time fostering; etc.
You can be part of the adoption process
Many rescues will let you be a part of the adoption process, especially if you have been with the dog for an extended period of time. You can meet potential adopters, and sometimes even be a part of the home visit. If you want to be a part of the adoption decision, don’t hesitate to ask!
Stay in touch
Once your foster dog is adopted, it’s ultimately up to the adopter whether to stay in touch with you or not. However, if you want an update on how your foster dog is doing, offer your contact information to the adopter. Especially with email and social media (Instagram, Facebook, etc.), it’s increasingly easier to stay in touch!