What Exactly Is a Foster Home?
A foster home is simply a temporary home for a dog until the dog’s "forever family" is found. At NYC Shiba Rescue, we expect our foster homes to provide a safe, loving and healthy environment for our foster dogs and we support you fully in doing exactly that!
What follows is an Overview of NYCSR’s Foster Program. We also strongly recommend this great article Foster Care for a Rescued Dog which has guided us in building many of our foster policies.
NYCSR’s Foster Program
The Process to Become a Foster Volunteer
NYCSR tries to get to know each potential foster family as well as possible. Our application process includes a home visit and getting to know you, your family, and your dog(s) if applicable. Once a foster home is approved, we work to match up foster dogs with compatible homes. We take multiple factors into account including the dog’s personality, training, socialization, and needs and the home’s environment, experience, resident dog personality, and daily schedule. We pride ourselves in putting the right dog with the right foster.
When Your Foster Dog Arrives
When you receive a foster dog, you also receive basic supplies if necessary, such as a crate, 2 bowls, a leash, collar or harness and an ID collar. (Our ID collars have a stainless steel NYCSR tag on them and MUST remain on your foster dog at ALL TIMES.) If the dog is moving from another foster, you should receive an initial supply of food as well. (If the dog is being transported from a shelter, you’ll need to get some food before they arrive.) Our Foster Team will advise you on appropriate foods taking into consideration allergies or other health concerns.
While You Are Fostering
- the foster team
- NYCSR Foster Team is a group of people you will contact if you have any questions or concerns while fostering. If one of us isn’t able to answer you right away, one of the others may be able to. The list includes our Vet Liaison, who coordinates vet visits, and an experienced Trainer, should there be any need.
- fostering expenses
- NYCSR covers all medical and other major expenses. We generally expect the foster home to cover the day-to-day expenses like food and toys. The Foster Application and Agreement states "I understand that I am personally responsible for any and all financial expenses that I incur in my efforts to foster dogs for NYCSR. Although NYCSR may reimburse my expenses, I agree that each expense must be supported by receipts, must be pre-approved by the Foster Program Director, and that any expense over $200 for a single dog must also be pre-approved by the Board of Directors. I accept full responsibility for any expenses incurred by me that fall outside of approved expenditures. I will always remember that I represent a nonprofit organization and in no way can profit from any activity related to the organization." Whenever in doubt about an expense, just ask!
- Veterinary Care, Preventatives, Microchipping, Etc.
All of NYCSR’s foster dogs must complete an initial vet check within 10 days of intake into the program. Some foster dogs will also require additional medical attention, microchipping, or a spay/neuter. Please give us the most convenient day(s) and time(s) for you to take your foster dog and an appointment will be made for you with one of our approved veterinarians. You will be informed of any additional treatment/vaccinations/tests/microchipping that your foster dog may need beyond the basic check prior to the appointment.
If your foster dog requires a spay/neuter, a vet as local to your address as possible will be selected and surgery will be scheduled based on your availability for a morning drop off and a pick up that evening or the next day. Please note: No food after midnight the day before surgery and no water the day of.
When at any vet appointment, no additional treatment, vaccinations or medication should be prescribed or approved without the Foster Program Director’s consent.
You will be given all necessary doses of flea/tick, heartworm preventatives, and other medications for your foster dog from NYCSR. Do not purchase these directly from the veterinarian.
- Training and Behavior
We rely on our foster homes to, not only let us know what our foster dog’s training and behavior needs are, but to also work on teaching them basic manners and commands (house training, no jumping on people, nice leash walking, sit, stay, etc.) if needed. Please review this great article Foster Care for a Rescued Dog for more information on what foster homes can do to help their foster dog find the right forever home.
If our fosters need assistance or advice with training, we have a couple volunteers who are dog trainers and also a few other trainers that we rely on for help in special circumstances.
- As a foster, you must be able to commit to having your foster Shiba for a minimum of two weeks before a vacation or in any way needing to leave the dog with another party. When going out of town, please give the Foster Program Director ample notice (we request at least 2 weeks). If you cannot take your foster dog with you, any self appointed dog-sitter MUST be pre-approved as a foster home by NYCSR. No NYCSR foster dog is to ever, under any circumstances, be left in the care of anyone who is not an approved foster. If you will be in need of a temp foster during your absence, let the Foster Program Director know with ample time to schedule.
- Foster Status Questionnaire
- By the end of your second week of fostering, you will receive a request to complete the Foster Status Questionnaire. Please fill it out as thoroughly and completely as possible. Every two to four weeks following, you will complete a shorter version of the questionnaire. This helps us to monitor any changes in your foster Shiba’s behavior, temperament, health or training and allows us to make informed decisions regarding your foster Shiba’s welfare and future forever home.
- Potential Adoptive Family Meetings
- All potential adopters must complete an adoption application which will be processed by NYCSR. After a potential adoptive family has been selected and approved, they meet with your foster Shiba. We will put you and said family in touch to coordinate a date, time and location based on mutual convenience. Potential adopters should travel to a park or dog run local to your home.
- for how long do I get to foster?
Ideally, a dog lives with a foster family until a forever home is found. Should there be an issue, incompatibility or changes in the foster home, we will make all efforts to find a more suitable home as quickly as we can.
If you are not ready to commit to fostering for an extended period of time, please write in the application that you prefer to be a short term foster home. These are homes that can take over during holidays, vacations or emergencies.
- What Happens If I Fall In Love With My Foster Shiba?
- Fosters sometimes realize that their foster Shiba is their perfect match and want to go from Foster Parent to Forever Home. Fosters always have the first opportunity to adopt. However, they still must complete and submit an Adoption Application.
How Do I Apply?
- Complete and submit the online form http://manage.nycshibarescue.org/webForms/foster/
- If you prefer, you can always download the form and either
- fax it to 212-658-9657
- or mail it (USPS) to
P O Box 20271
Greeley Square Station
New York, NY 10001
We hope this answers any questions you may have had about NYCSR’s Foster Program. If you have any further questions, please contact us.