What is foster care?

14 February 2010 | Library

Foster families are very important to us as they help us rehabilitate as many animals as possible in order to make them available for adoption. With the help of our dedicated volunteers, we support dogs and puppies that need a safe place and extra care in order to make it to their adoption day. Fostering a pet is a life-saving mission, because it addresses with priority:

  • Puppies are too young to be spayed/neutered. They are also unable to survive through the heavy conditions in the isolators and the infections diseases with which some of the more mature dogs could cope.
  • Dogs who are nursing their litter of puppies and need to raise them in a home environment where they can all receive proper socialization.
  • Dog who are being treated for an illness such as upper respiratory infection or kennel cough and require daily medications.

An animal may need a foster home for a variety of reasons including age, illness, injuries, and socialization, or to help provide needed space at the shelter for incoming animals. Foster parents provide a clean, safe, loving environment for the animals in their homes.

In a sense, foster parents are our shelter space – by providing temporary housing for our dogs who have not yet found that perfect “forever” home. More importantly, fostering provides socialization and training, as well as immediate security and confidence to our rescued dogs.

Foster families would usually help the puppy with some socializing and training, including:

  • Housebreaking, if necessary
  • Walking on a leash
  • Responding to his/her name
  • Appropriate behavior indoors and outdoors
  • Proper interaction with other pets
  • Proper play techniques with adults and children

The foster dog’s personality will slowly develop and bloom. We always consult with our foster families when getting a profile of the dog’s personality so that we can match him or her with the right adoptive family.

What is a foster parent?

A volunteer foster parent assists in the rehabilitation of an animal by providing in home care. Foster Parents are adults age 18 and older.

How foster care works:

  1. There are constantly adoptable dogs waiting at Seslavci – some of them puppies – in need of immediate foster care.
  2. Foster parents can either get the dog from us, or go to Seslavci with one of the volunteers who feeds the dogs and knows them.
  3. The animal goes to the foster home until ready for adoption. You may need to bring the animal to the vet to get checked periodically, treated for any existant illness or to receive any necessary vaccines or treatments. The adult dogs we keep in the “ARS cages” of Seslavci are vaccinated and dewarmed, but puppies are fragile in the deadly environment there and may need immediate vet care.
  4. The animal is returned to ARS for adoption once a home has been found for it. Animals coming out of foster care are spayed/neutered unless already done so or are too young to undergo surgery.
  5. ARS looks on a daily basis for new owners of the fostered dogs, while in the meantime it expects regular feedback and coordination from the fosters and gives them any support they need.

How long is the foster care commitment?

The length of foster care for each animal varies depending on its needs. Fostering may last from two weeks to a couple of months. We have a need for foster parents throughout the year.

What are the expenses for a foster parent?

Foster Parents are in fact not only committed volunteers, but also generous donors to the pet rescue cause, as they provide most of the supplies needed to care for foster animals. This includes food, litter, bedding, toys, and medical care. When possible, Animal Rescue Sofia covers some of those expenses.

What are the requirements for foster parents?

Prospective foster parents are encouraged to go through our Website, contact us and make themselves aware on the crucial issues they need to know before committing to the cause. Right after that they are welcome to pick up their first foster animal.

Things to consider

When outside, puppies and dogs must be supervised in an enclosed yard or on leash. Kittens and cats much be kept indoors at all times.

READ MORE on what you need to know when becoming a Foster Parent.

You’ll need to answer honestly to yourself the following questions:

  • Are you at least 18 years of age?

Due to safety concerns only people over 18 can become foster parents. Junior Foster Parents are also welcome, as long as they are backed up by an adult relative.

  • Are you able to to separate the foster animals from your own?

Foster animals may need to be isolated from your own companion animals for some period of time. A separate room or enclosed area without carpet will work best.

  • Are you able to monitor the health of the foster animals?

You will need to pay attention to signs of illness or worsening of symptoms and call a us and your vet. ARS team can help you find the best veterinarian for the treatment.

  • Can you get to the veterinary quickly in case of an emergency?

If the animals you are fostering need medical attention, you will need to make an appointment with the veterinary and transport the animal for care.

  • Are you emotionally prepared to return the animal to ARS after the permanent new owners of the pet appear?

It can be difficult to let go once you have become emotionally attached to the animals. Have in mind that there are others waiting for a chance to leave the horror of Seslavci – “this one is safe, but others are in urgent need of help”.

  • What if I find somebody to adopt my foster?

We will need to make sure that the pet and its new owner would make a perfect match. If you know of a person that is seriously interested in adopting the dog, please contact ARS.

If you are unable to open your home to an animal at this time, you can still make a difference by making a DONATION to those who need it most.

In addition to in-home foster parents, we need help at the pound with medicating, cleaning and feeding the foster animals in our care.

14 February 2010 | Library

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