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Here are some common questions that people ask about being a foster parent. Please take a moment to review them and, if you think fostering might be for you, one of our members will be happy to talk further with you about joining our team!
What are the Responsibilities of a Foster Home?
A key component of AGaG is our foster homes. Without them, we would not be able to operate the way we do and have dogs placed with loving families temporarily until a permanent home can be found. Without adequate numbers of foster homes, we are limited in how many Goldens we can take in at one time. Our foster homes provide information about habits and behavior in daily life so that we can provide as much information as possible to the adoptive family.
Foster families are not expected to incur any medical costs for the golden in their home, but are asked to use vet facilities As Good as Gold has relationships/agreements with – except in emergency circumstances. We ask foster families to give the dogs a great deal of affection; feed the dogs a high quality dog food; and note the dog’s behaviors so that we can determine the best forever home for that dog. Foster placement could last a few days, a few weeks, or a few months.
What Will I Need to Do as a Foster Parent?
Foster homes are responsible for daily care of the foster dog, including feeding, exercising, socializing, transporting to and from an AGAG veterinarian for basic medical care, brushing and grooming, as needed; reinforcing basic obedience commands, observing and reporting general behavior and temperament, and of course, providing love and security to a special golden at an often difficult time in his or her life.
Is Training Provided?
To ensure every foster family has a safe and positive experience, all foster home volunteers are required to participate in basic and/or intermediate trainings which may be held in-person or offered online.
How Long Does a Dog Stay in Foster Care?
The length of foster care varies with each dog. AGaG places all dogs into foster care for a minimum of two weeks for initial evaluation. Dogs with behavioral or medical issues may need to stay in foster care for a period of months. While the length of foster care depends upon the dog; the number of adoption applicants, their living situation, and their preferences are also important factors.
Do I Have to be Home With the Dog All Day?
No. Many foster family members are employed outside the home and still provide a quality environment for the dog. We do suggest that any time you are unable to directly supervise the foster dog, he must be confined to a small, secure area, preferably a training crate. This results in a safe, secure place for the dog and keeps concern for the foster family’s safety and home in the forefront.
Do I Need a Fenced Yard?
A fenced yard is not required but is preferred. The foster dog must NEVER be allowed to run free. If your yard is securely fenced, the golden may be exercised there off leash. Outside the yard the dog must be on leash at ALL times.
May I Choose Which Dogs I Foster?
The AGaG Foster Application allows you to set limits on the kinds of dogs that you are willing to foster. You may always decline a dog, and if your foster dog proves too much for you to handle he can be placed elsewhere.
How Much Does it Cost?
Lack of funds shouldn’t prevent you from fostering, but you will have some expenses: a good quality dog food, telephone calls, and any toys you choose to provide. All necessary veterinary care is provided by AGaG authorized veterinarians and paid for by AGaG. Medications including monthly heartworm preventative are provided as well.
What if I Have Questions or Problems with a Foster Dog?
All foster homes receive an AGaG Foster Handbook that provides guidance on handling all aspects of fostering. The Foster Coordinator and Foster Assistants are also available for telephone consultation on problems not covered in the manual. Being a foster home is extremely rewarding. However, you should keep in mind that most, but not all rescue dogs are housebroken, some may be ill, or may have had little socialization or obedience training. We find that when given a chance these dogs not only improve, they flourish while in foster care.
What If We Want to Travel?
If you are fostering a dog and want to go away for a weekend or take a vacation, you can simply contact the Foster Coordinator who will arrange for an AGaG member to dog-sit your foster dog. Just arrange in advance as soon as you know and we’ll take care of the rest.
Will I Become Attached to My Foster Dog?
Yes, of course. But, when you meet the new family who’s ready to provide a permanent loving home you will feel more than satisfied to see him move on to his new life.
What If I Want to Adopt the Golden I Am Fostering?
If you decide to be a foster home, it should be with the understanding that you are working toward helping a deserving golden to a final home. If you think you might like to adopt a golden, you must make the Foster Coordinator aware within two weeks of receiving the foster dog that you are considering adoption. If a family is looking at your foster dog, you will not be able to adopt that dog unless the family decides not to go through with the adoption.
I’d Like to Foster. What Do I Do Next?
Once the home visit report is completed and submitted to the Foster Coordinator, the family is ready to foster and will be contacted as incoming dogs need to be fostered (could be the next day or several weeks). If you do not have access to the internet, or if you have trouble with any of our online documents, we would be happy to mail or fax the membership and foster home applications.