Dog fostering

Although we do everything we can to make things as easy as possible for the dogs in our care, some of them find it very difficult to cope in our busy, noisy kennel environment and we use Volunteer Fosterers who provide a loving and calm environment for these dogs as we try to find their future home.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – Dog Fosterer

We’re always looking for some exceptional people to offer foster care to some of Battersea’s dogs from all of our sites.  Our dogs sometimes require special attention if they need medical treatment, are feeling stressed in our kennels or we need to see how they get on in a home environment.  Our Fosterers offer invaluable care whilst gaining skills, experience and an opportunity to give dogs the best opportunities to find new homes.

It takes a lot to be a Fosterer, and we’re so appreciative of those who give up their time and commitment to help us. By helping one of the UK’s best loved animal rescue charities you will be playing a huge role in the lives of the dogs who come to one of our three centres looking for their new home. 

We are experiencing an increase in the number of dogs who require foster care, particularly bull breeds who really don’t enjoy a kennel environment.  This means that some dogs who are put out to Fosterers do have behavioural issues and need to follow special programmes as they settle into a home environment.

The benefits of being a Fosterer

By being a Fosterer you are contributing so much to the lives of the dogs in our care; in addition to the feelings of pride and fulfilment you will receive, we also offer:

  • Training in dog behaviour and welfare
  • Veterinary and behavioural support
  • The knowledge and an opportunity to help our dogs find new and loving homes
  • Advice on how to communicate the rehoming process and answer questions about Battersea from others
  • Increased fitness levels through dog walking
  • All of the food, equipment and advice you need to take care of our dogs
  • We will pay appropriate travel expenses to and from the Battersea site closest to you
  • Regular contact with our dedicated Foster Co-ordinators  
  • Regular training sessions
  • The opportunity to work with the most famous and best-loved animal rescue charity in the world

What we look for in a Fosterer

With over 151 years of experience under our belts, we know what it takes to make a great Fosterer.  We ask every applicant to complete our Dog Fostering Application Form (198 kb) [doc]  and we’ll only be able to take forward those who have answered all of our questions. Successful applicants will be asked to attend an information day and will receive a home visit.  Before you can start fostering Battersea dogs, you will have to attend a compulsory training session.

  • Experience and confidence with owning dogs, particularly Bull and Guarding breeds
  • Living within 2 hours travelling distance from our sites, and prepared to travel regularly (preferably by car) to our sites, sometimes at short notice
  • Able to keep a dog with you at all times, at least initially – with some dogs you will be able to build up leaving time gradually
  • No children (although sensible older children who will follow instruction and training may be considered)
  • No other pets (in some cases an older dog with no medical or behavioural issues may be considered to act as a good role model)
  • An interest in training and following Battersea behaviour programmes  
  • Prepared to follow Battersea’s guidance, advice, programmes and regulations including house-training
  • Be willing to play a part in the rehoming process through providing regular updates, photographs and behaviour as well as being our ‘shop-window’ in your local area when taking a foster dog out.
  • Have access to a PC and equipment for taking photos of the dog in your home environment
  • Have compassion and empathy for the dogs needs whilst accepting that our dogs won’t be with you permanently
  • Able to nurse a sick or injured dog back to health
  • A large dose of common sense to make judgement calls in certain circumstances

You can read about what it’s like to be a Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Fosterer in our Day in the life of a Dog Fosterer

What's Next?

If you are interested in applying to be a Fosterer, please think carefully about the time and environment you have available and whether you feel able to offer temporary care to dogs who need it.  If you do feel able, please complete our application form as fully as possible and submit it to [email protected] – if suitable, we will contact you to arrange for you to attend our next information day.  All new fosterers will be required to attend a compulsory induction session with the Home. 

Fill out our Dog Fostering Application Form (198 kb) [doc].

Please note that we receive large quantities of applications for volunteer positions and we ask that you fully complete our application form as we will be unable to process or respond to incomplete forms. 

If you have any further questions, please email [email protected]

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