WHAT IS A FOSTER HOME?
Foster homes are temporary homes for the dogs accepted into our rescue program. The foster parents care for the dogs as their own, but for a limited length of time — just until we find a permanent home for them. A length of time cannot be determined. The foster home provides shelter, food, toys and human (and sometimes other dog and animal) interaction. At times, NCSR can provide food if needed. Sometimes foster homes need to administer medical care, such as giving medicines, changing bandages, or applying salves or special shampoos.
Foster homes provide love, attention, food, water, and shelter for rescues. All foster dogs must live indoors and be able to go outside for potty breaks. You have first hand knowledge of the dog’s personality and any “quirks” and therefore help in assessing the dog to assure the best possible adoption for that dog’s needs.
ALL rescued dogs should remain in foster care for a minimum of 2 weeks before being adopted. This allows for thorough personality assessment, as well as to allow healing from spays/neuters that usually need to be done.
No more than 2 foster dogs will be allowed in any NCSR foster home at a given time (except in case of temporary emergencies. “Temporary” means a week or less.)
No more than 3 owned dogs should be in a home where an NCSR dog is being fostered. We want each rescue to get 1 on 1 attention and assessment, and if there are too many dogs already in the home, that 1 on 1 attention cannot be given.
Foster families are responsible for getting exposure for their fostered friend (taking the dog to pet fairs whenever possible, going out in public, etc.)
WHAT ARE FOSTER HOMES RESPONSIBLE FOR?
NCSR has a foster home agreement, which the foster parent and NCSR sign before a dog is placed into their foster home. The main points of the agreement are that the foster home will: provide fresh food every day provide clean, fresh water every day, provide shelter and a clean, dry place for the dog to sleep, provide clean bowls to eat and drink from, adequate potty breaks and exercise, provide baths, brushing and toenail clippings as needed ensure the dog is clean and available for its appointments to meet prospective adopters, and make an effort to attend adoption events, if the locale is convenient to the foster home.
Basically, Foster homes are responsible for daily care of the foster dog, including transport to & from the veterinarian for basic medical care, as well as:
- Brushing & Grooming as needed
- Reinforcing basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, come and the dog should be able to walk on a lead or leash.
- Observing and evaluating general behavior and temperament.
- Writing and periodically updating the schnauzer’s Petfinder bio and also provide photos for the website.
- And, of course, providing love and security to a special mini schnauzer at an often difficult time in their life.
DOES IT COST MONEY TO FOSTER?
Not really – NCSR pays for the foster dog’s vet bills (pre-approval is required), medicines, medical supplies (salves, special shampoos, bandages, etc.), and provides the dog with its vaccinations, a collar and an ID tag. NCSR supplies monthly heartworm preventative as a rule, and will try to supply flea & tick preventative if we have the money or supply available. The only real cost you may incur is food for the foster dog, and if that dog requires a special diet, then NCSR may attempt to pay for that for you if the rescue has the funds.
NCSR provides on-going support for our foster homes regarding training, crate training, medical questions, house training and much more. NCSR can provide you with a crate if you do not have one available to use for your foster companion.
WHAT ARE THE DOGS LIKE?
When rescue dogs are first brought in, they can sometimes be shy or timid, or be starved for attention. Each dog has a different personality – some are outgoing and demanding, others take some time to warm up to you. Many of them will soak up love from you like a sponge.
Sometimes they are not housebroken (or may need time to “adjust” in a new environment) and some have minor behavior problems (no training, bad manners of some sort, etc.) When we accept a dog into our foster program, we give a first pass evaluation of the dog to be sure it has a temperament that will allow it to live in a home safely. Dogs that are uncontrollably aggressive towards people and/or are deemed dangerous are not accepted into the NCSR foster program. Some dogs may be accepted that are not other-dog or cat friendly, and some dogs may not be good with children. If a dog in foster care becomes aggressive to an extent that the foster home cannot deal with it, we can remove it and re-evaluate it for placement.
NCSR provides foster parents with advice and on going guidance on solving any behavior problems that might arise. We also have a number of trainers we work with that can provide us with advice and hold training classes for foster parents to attend. NCSR can also provide you with a Foster Mentor to help you every step of the way.
HOW LONG DO DOGS STAY IN FOSTER HOMES?
It’s not possible for us to predict how long a dog will be in foster care before its permanent home is found. How quickly a dog can be placed depends on a number of factors, such as physical beauty, age, health and training.
For many dogs, we’ve found that foster families who provide basic training (obedience and good manners) to their foster dogs make those dogs easier to place, and they tend to get adopted more quickly. Frequent updates in pictures and online profile descriptions of the dogs for the website help as well, so the foster family should try to send in updates as frequently as possible. Older dogs or dogs that have behavior problems the foster home does not work on with them tend to be in foster for a longer time.
WHO FINDS THE ADOPTERS?
NCSR is responsible for finding the adopters. The foster home takes care of the dog while NCSR looks for, screens, interviews, completes home-checks, and approves the permanent homes. NCSR has many ways to find homes for foster dogs, and you may also want to help with this process – just let us know!
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 & still provide a quality environment for the dog. However, our first concern is safety: for you for your family, for your own dog(s) and for the rescue dog. Therefore, any time you are unable to directly supervise the foster dog, you should confine him or her to a small secure area, preferably a crate or baby-gated in a safe area of the house.
DO I NEED A FENCED YARD?
No, a fenced yard is not necessary but the rescue dog must never be allowed to run free. Outside of the house, the dog must be on a leash at all times and must have a collar on with the NCSR identification tag attached.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO BE A FOSTER PARENT?
From an hour or two a day to however much time you care to spend with the dog. The time you spend with the dog is a very important part of socializing him to new people & environments.
WILL I BECOME ATTACHED TO MY FOSTER DOG?
Yes, you undoubtedly will – – they bond quickly & give back so much in return for your care & attention. But when you meet the new family who’s ready to provide a permanent, loving home for the dog you’ve helped rescue, you will feel more than satisfied to see the dog move on to a new & better life.
WHAT IF I WANT TO ADOPT THE SCHNAUZER I’M FOSTERING?
Foster homes are given preference to adopt the Schnauzer they foster. However, please alert us as soon as you know that the rescue you have has found his forever home with your family so that we will not entertain other applicants for him/her. For highly adoptable dogs that may have several good candidates for adopting them, the foster home should make a decision and commitment to adopt their foster dog within 2 weeks. This assures the dog has the best chance to go to his/her permanent home as soon as possible.
NCSR supplies the following to foster homes:
- Monthly heartworm preventative (but due to limited funds, we cannot always provide flea & tick preventative, but we’ll try to when we can)
- NCSR tag (collar and/or leash if you need them)
- NCSR business cards
While in your care, we ask that you treat your foster dog as a member of your family, and give your foster dog LOTS of love and attention. You may need to help your foster dog with basic training that may include commands (like “sit”), crate training and house training when needed. If you are uncertain about how to do anything, please let us know and we will get someone who can help you or direct you to resources that can help.
To begin the approval process to become a member and/or foster home, please go to Membership Application.