Being A Foster Home

Foster homes are incredibly important to ARF and we are always in desperate need of them. You see, we can only rescue, rehabilitate and re-home as many animals as we have room for. The majority of animals rescued by ARF have never been inside a home before and many have not always been treated very well; therefore, they need someone to teach them how to be a part of a family.

Our foster homes care for an animal and attend to all of it's needs including: taking the animal to the vet as required, feeding, walking and training the animal, having potential adopters in your home to meet the dog/cat, making the final decision on who adopts your foster animal, and in the case of a dog, visiting the potential adopters home to see if their yard is secure and bringing the dog to PetSmart some weekends to be viewed by potential adopters. All food, supplies and medical care are paid for and provided by ARF, so you don't have to worry about purchasing food or paying for vet bills.

I was lucky to be a foster home for a short while. I can say that I wasn't a foster home failure, I didn't adopt my own foster dog, but I did adopt an ARF dog. I stopped fostering because the additional dog was more than enough for my dog-reactive border collie. I managed to foster 4 adult dogs and it was the greatest thing I have ever done with my time. Not all adult dogs that are rescued have 'baggage' so to speak, but a few of mine did. I was lucky to be experienced enough to know how to help them and when I didn't, there were resources in place so that I didn't fall flat on my face. ARF's Dog Program Coordinator is incredibly knowledgeable about the canine species and we have great trainers willing to help with special cases. Of course, they never would have placed these dogs with me if I wasn't confident I could handle their issues and it's not like the issues were massive. One foster had separation anxiety and another was fearful of people, and only because he'd never had any good experiences. Once he figured out I was a magical treat dispenser, he thought I was great.

So many people are afraid to foster for various reasons and there are so many myths involved in rescuing stray dogs. I always hear people say that 'They'd fall in love with every dog and wouldn't be able to adopt them out'. Well, that simply isn't true. You don't fall in love with every human you meet and you sure don't fall in love with every dog you foster. I liked everyone of my fosters just fine but I definitely didn't want to keep them all. They just weren't 'me', too small, too big etc., they just weren't dogs I wanted to live with for the rest of their lives and you know what? I found excellent homes for each one of them, homes that love them to death. That right there is the BEST feeling in the world, you can't feel any better than that!

It is so rewarding to watch a dog grow, thrive, flourish and learn to trust while in your care. To see that light come back in their eyes, to learn how to play with a toy and to find the perfect home that will love them like they deserve to be loved brings unimaginable joy into your heart. Let me tell you, if you've thought about fostering for even a second, I highly suggest you give it a try, the rewards are immeasurable!

Information on fostering for ARF can be found here.

Kya the first day she came to our house.

Kya shortly before she got adopted.