Questions & Answers
Q: How will being a foster parent benefit you?
Here are just some of the ways that you will benefit from fostering a dog:
- You can feel good about knowing that you have played an active role in saving a dog. All of the dogs that we admit into Almost Home Rescue would have otherwise been euthanized. You can honestly say that you have saved that dog and every dog that you will foster.
- For those of you who are considering dog adoption, fostering can help you decide if this is a lifestyle that you will be able to commit to for 15-18 years. It can also help you decide what breed and age best fits your lifestyle.
- Foster parents will benefit from the knowledge and experience of the Almost Home Rescue volunteers and fellow fosters. They will act as your support system in the process and will continue to share new ideas and training skills.
- What fostering is NOT:
- A way to get a free dog. All foster homes that choose to adopt their foster dog, must pay the full adoption fee.
- A way to “try out” a dog until they find one that fits and keep it. Many times adoption coordinators may have a potential home for a dog before it goes into foster care, therefore the dog may only be there for short period and may never be available for you to adopt.
If a dog is not pending and a foster home would like to adopt, foster homes usually can adopt if they have found they just cannot part with their foster dog. However, we caution against emotional decisions. You may have never wanted another full time dog. You may no longer be able to foster. Carefully consider your commitment to saving more dogs through foster care and what you can truly handle before making a life changing decision. We don’t want our fosters getting burned out! Foster homes are the lifeblood of rescue. We cannot save lives without you!!!
For more foster information email us at: email@example.com
Q: What is involved in becoming a foster parent?
Complete the foster application. The application can be found on this web site.
- An Almost Home Rescue representative will contact you after receiving your application.
- We will set up a convenient time with you to set up a home visit to learn more about you and your lifestyle. Please note that foster homes go through the same process as adoption candidates. Can you blame us? We want to make sure that our dogs will be in good hands.
- After your approval, the foster resource will contact you with a welcome letter, introduction to the foster program and information about fostering. She will also invite you to our private groups site that all other AHR fosters have access to.
- The foster coordinator will then match you with an appropriate dog. The adoption coordinator assigned to the dog will work with you to find information out about the dog, update pictures and will be responsible for finding the dog a permanent home. You are not responsible for placing the dog.
- Having you on board will allow us to save yet another dog! We look forward to welcoming you to the Almost Home Rescue Foster Program!
Q: What is involved in Foster Care?
Once you fill out the foster application and become approved to be an active foster home, we will place an appropriate dog in your home based on your lifestyle and current animals and ages of children in your home. We will be responsible for any medical bills for that dog. However, we do ask that our foster homes provide food, treats, accessories and toys.
We also ask you to be responsible dog caregivers. Always keep current identification on the dog to allow for his safe return if the dog gets lost. Always walk the dog on a leash. Never let your foster dog go ‘off-leash’. Finally, the most important part of being a foster home is to provide the love and attention that these dogs need and deserve.
Q: Why is foster care so important to Almost Home Rescue?
Our organization relies on foster homes. We do not have our own kennel facility so foster homes are a necessity to enable us to save lives. Through their dogs, our foster parents help to educate hundreds of people about responsible rescue, responsible dog ownership and common breed misconceptions.
Q: What is a foster home?
A foster home is a temporary home in which our dogs can live outside of a shelter environment and as companions – until they are adopted. A foster parent gives the same care that an owner would provide. They are responsible for the safety and care of the dog. A foster family provides playtime, socialization, veterinary care (paid for by Almost Home Rescue), nutritious food, plenty of exercise, training and companionship. The foster parent plays a very important role in making the dog more adoptable while he is in their home, foster parents also help the adoption coordinator determine what type of home would be the best match for the dog.
Q: How do the dogs get here?
A: Our dogs arrive on Saturdays on a huge transport trailer. This temperature controlled 5th wheel trailer is USDA inspected and approved. P.E.T.S.: Peterson Express Transportation Service, is the transport service we use. This transport trailer can hold approx. 80+ dogs. It is a converted horse trailer hauled by a large pickup truck. This service is a paid service. We hire their service because of the strict guidelines they adhere to, the safety rules they follow and the extent to which they will go to make sure our dogs arrive safely and in good health. They pick up “our” dogs in Arkansas and transport them to New England. All dogs getting on the transport must be either quarantined from the general population or out of their physical shelter for 2 weeks, receive all appropriate vetting and be issued a Health Certificate from a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel. After being picked up at a pick up location on Thursdays, our dogs are placed onto the trailer along with all of their paperwork required by the USDA., they overnight at the home of P.E.T.S, and begin thier long journey on Friday morning. The dogs are watered/fed and walked in the morning and evening by the transportation staff. Some dogs are picked up along the way; others are dropped off to adopters and other rescue groups. Our dogs have the longest travel time, ending in Hampton, NH where AHR’s volunteers will pick up and bring them to Saco, ME where by law, they are placed in foster care for the appropriate quarantine days.
Since this service is hired by rescues and shelters up and down the eastern seaboard, and there is not enough space for the large amount of needy dogs going to the Northeast, we must reserve space for our dogs, sometimes two weeks in advance. This can be tricky, since we must also reserve the “size” crate needed ahead of time. So, while most of the dogs we list, are either in a quarantine area, not in a shelter or already in foster care in Arkansas, we can generally get your dog here within 1-2 weeks, but sometimes can take up to 3.
Q: We have never used a crate before, should we?
In a word: YES! Yes! Yes! Yes! We highly recommend a full year of crate training for puppies, and 6 months of crating for a new adult to the home. Puppies may ‘seem’ trustworthy at about 8 mos old, but it only takes a few minutes alone to eat your couch! Trust me! After replacing 2 sets of furniture you would think I would have learned!!! Until your dog is at least a year old, you should not even try to allow them free reign in the house. Even 10 month old dogs are too much like 3 year olds…they are mischievous creatures and think the dirt in your houseplant would be really fun to dig up and spill all over your new carpet and those new boots you forgot to put in your closet -consider them chew toys, and that is not even to mention the legs on that expensive antique table in the kitchen that makes for hours of chewing entertainment!
Crated dogs are much less likely to be returned/surrendered for not being able to housebreak, chewing, and in general just destroying the house. Crating is NOT inhumane when done appropriately. 1 hour per month of age up to 8 hours is the appropriate time a dog can be in a crate without a potty break (small dogs max out at about 5-6 hours). For dogs over 25 pounds, crating should NOT be done more than 8 hours in any day (excluding sleeping). Crating is taking advantage of a natural den instinct in a dog. They will LIKE their crate and use it on their own when trained to one correctly. More crating information in the links below.
Q: Will it be okay to leave my dog alone?
A: NO! For everyone safety including your dog’s. No dog should ever be left unsupervised or unattended outside or inside with your cat, other dogs, children or the home. They should always be crated when not supervised. Please make sure your schedule allows for plenty of exercise and potty breaks during long periods of crating (6-8 hours). Please see Crating for more information on appropriate crating. No dog should EVER be left alone with children.
Q: Does this dog get along with kids?
A: Unless a dog is already in foster care: we are not able to kid test the dogs, and even then, we can only tell you this dog does well with these specific children. How well a dog will get along with a child sometimes depends on how dog savvy a child is. Puppies will jump and bite, that is what they do. If you have a 2 year old, your child may not understand or appreciate puppy teeth and may become afraid of your new puppy. Puppy obedience training should be considered a must for all families adopting a puppy. Adult dogs should also go to obedience training along with all members of the household so that everyone knows how to handle/correct/praise and reward a dog for its behavior the same way. Consistency is the key to a well trained dog..from Dad all the way down to the 6 year old telling the dog to get down.
A GOOD DOG IS NOT BORN THAT WAY, IT IS TRAINED THAT WAY.
ALL children no matter the age, and adults as well, should know proper dog etiquette when getting to know any new dog. Everyone in the household should be educated to place the hand palm up for the dog to sniff when approaching the dog, let the dog come to them to be pet, do not approach suddenly from behind or over the head, not to ever try to pick up the dog, avoid touching feet, stomachs, back hind legs area and rib cage area and to not crawl on all fours in front of the dog, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS stay out of a dogs face -NO MATTER WHAT, dogs view eye to eye contact as aggressive behavior.
KIDS SHOULD NEVER TOUCH A DOG THAT IS EATING.
BONES: Rescue dogs should NOT be given raw bones or marrow bones for the first year after placement, they have been deprived of most “good things” for most of their lives, and marrow bones seem to rate at the top of every dogs list of highly coveted items. These bones seem to bring out their innate sense of protectiveness, which should not be allowed or encouraged -especially around children. Instead, introduce your dog slowly to life’s luxuries and rewards, let them get used to the fact that no one is going to take away “their” stuff and you should be able to introduce marrow bones slowly to their treat list in about a year.
Communicate to all family members this rule: AT NO TIME should ANY dog of ANY age EVER be given bones of any kind (including rawhides) around children, or children allowed to be around any dog with a bone. No matter how we may view and love our dogs…it must be understood that they are still animals, they do not view their world in the same way we do, nor will we ever fully understand what they are thinking and must always be treated with that respect. EVERY dog has the capability to bite. It is our responsibility to make sure they don’t.
Occasionally some dogs or puppies will also feel protective about stuffed animals and toys, if your dog seems to ‘tense’ up or go ‘still’ if it has a toy and you are approaching it, wait until the dog leaves the toy alone, then remove it. DO NOT TEST YOUR DOG JUST TO “SEE” IT IT WILL BITE!!!! This is asking for disaster, both for you and your dog. Trust needs to be built, this destroys your bond and the trust on both your part, and the dogs. Watch your dogs body language, stiffening, putting the toy out of reach, underneath its body, holding the toy away from you, growling, giving you ‘the look’ any of these things indicate protectiveness of an item. This does not mean it is a forever behavior…these dogs are used to having nothing of thier own, and may only behave this way initially…however: if your dog is acting protective around it’s stuff, either food or toys: contact us for advice, we have volunteers who work with dogs daily that can give you advice on how to introduce these items to the dog appropriately.
Q: How will this dog do with my cat?
A: Most dogs will adjust to cats with a little help. More than likely the dog will want to ‘play’ with your cat, before it figures out your cat may not want to play with it. Usually a couple of swipes from the cat will teach a dog a lesson. But some cats won’t stand their ground and will run and though this “chase” may be viewed as unacceptable to owners, it does not usually mean your dog will hurt the cat, but your dog may view it as a fun game. HOWEVER, dogs with a high concentration of a particular high prey drive breed may not adjust to cats -ever (shepherds, huskies, some herding breeds and hounds). We will put in their bio if they have been cat tested. Most of the time, we just do not know if they already get along with cats or not and it is the responsibility of the new owner to help the dog and cat adjust to each other. Many times this can be done by putting your new dog in a crate in the middle of the room where the cat can smell the dog, and the dog can get used to the cats smell, after they become acclimated to each others presence, introduce slowly and while the dog is on a leash.