What Fostering Is All About
– by Bill Hyde, ECGRR
No dog rescue can exist without the dedicated volunteers that provide foster homes .. a very special place for those we rescue while they await placement in their forever home.
Families that foster are just like yours! They share a love for these wonderful creatures and offer them the care and attention they need to prepare them to meet their new forever families. In many cases, the foster home is actually the first time the golden has actually experienced a caring and loving environment. Some foster homes have other animals as part of their family and others don’t.
As a foster home, you provide the food, a safe place and love to the rescued golden. ECGRR pays for any pre-approved medical treatments and medications if needed. A foster dog may stay with you from a few days to a few months. The average is around 2-3 weeks. Should you have a vacation or trip planned during the time you are providing for a foster … don’t worry … we’ll find a place for him/her to stay while you are away!
When you foster one of our rescued dogs, we ask that you treat him/her just as you would treat your own dog … like a member of the family. Getting to know your foster dog is very important since your observations and insight will help us in the forever home placement decision. Each golden has its own unique personality and our goal is a placement with the best matched family.
The Down and Dirty
Something I always make clear to any potential foster home – some of the dogs we rescue do not always come into our organization in the best condition. Most have been rescued as strays or from animal control/shelter facilities. They may desperately need a bath or need special attention for cuts and scratches. There is the possibility of having to deal with a period of recovery time after needed surgery (i.e. spaying or neutering). On the emotional end, being in a shelter or control facility can be stressful for any dog. He/she will need some time, along with your understanding and assurance, to adapt to your home.
Here’s the upside: You will experience a wonderfully warm feeling that is hard to describe as you tend to a recently rescued golden’s emotional and physical needs. They are like a sponge and will absorb all the love you can spare. Seeing them recover to their full potential is very rewarding!
NOTE: We have some Successful Foster Parent Tips that you’ll find helpful
On occasion a particular foster dog may not fit in with your family situation. Some dogs may not get along very well with children, or cats, or with dogs of the same gender. This is not to scare you off from fostering, but to simply advise you of the reality. Should this be the case, just let us know and we’ll move him to another home. Like people, goldens come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. We’d rather keep you in the foster program (there is always another golden around the corner) than lose you because of a bad foster match.
We fully understand that some families interested in fostering may possibly have restrictions such as only older dogs, or only males, etc. That is great with us – just let us know of your preferences …. We’re just happy to have you as a foster!
Oops – Can We Keep Him or Her?
This does happen – the foster has become such a part of your family and you just can’t let go. Standard adoption procedures apply, including adoption contract and donation. Since goldens tend to be great when a foster is staying at their house, we do hope you will still continue to foster.
My Fostering Experience
My wife and I have been involved with ECGRR for several years. While we do not foster on a regular basis, a number of goldens have stayed with us and our own two goldens (plus two cats!). Most fosters have been great house guests and caring for them has been a wonderful experience. On several occasions, an extra special golden has graced us with his/her presence and it has been especially hard to say goodbye when it came time to pass on the leash to the next foster or his/her forever home. The thought that helps is this: the golden we just cared for is heading off to a loving, caring family and we now have room for the next golden that needs to be rescued.
Are you ready to join us? If so, CLICK HERE