We always need to find new volunteer dog foster carers who can provide temporary care for our dogs most in need of a break from kennel life.
Becoming a Dog Foster Carer means you are providing invaluable support in caring for lost, abandoned and unwanted animals who really need that second chance with a new family. Fostering dogs also gives us a valuable opportunity to see how our dogs behave in a domestic environment so we can find them the right new homes.
What type of dogs will I foster?
Most dogs tend to require a foster home for either medical or stress reasons. We will always ensure the dog is suitable for you and will discuss all the details of the dog with you first so you are fully informed.
We will on occasion have maternity dogs and puppies that may need hand rearing, however this is very rare.
What do I need to do as a Dog Foster Carer?
- Care for all the dog's needs – feeding, walking, grooming, training, socialising
- Be willing to follow our guidance and regulations on training and handling
- Be happy to play a part in the rehoming process by providing photos, videos and regular updates via email
- Be able to get to our centre to attend Clinic or rehoming appointments, which may be last minute
What are the requirements to become a Dog Foster Carer?
- Compassion, empathy and the appreciation that every dog is an individual
- Enthusiasm for training
- Experience with owning dogs, ideally Bull or Guarding breeds. Many of our foster dogs are Staffordshire Bull Terriers
- Living within one hour of one of our three centres and be able to travel to a centre when required, sometimes at short notice (in some cases taxis will be provided to help transport the animal to and from the centre once on foster)
- Able to keep a dog with you at all times, especially at the beginning of the foster period. After the settling in period, dogs should not be left for more than 4 hours, and in many cases for less time
- Do not have young children (those with older children may be considered). We are looking for families where minimum age of children is 13
- Have no other pets – most of our foster dogs are looking for homes with no other animals in the home, although in a few cases, if you have a dog with no behavioural or medical issues they may be considered as a role model for a foster dog so do still get in touch
Ideally, we would like people to commit to us on a long-term basis as the dogs that need fostering require a nice stable environment which in turn requires commitment from the Dog Foster Carer. Each individual foster case will vary; they can range from two to three weeks up to three months and sometimes even longer if the dog is struggling to find a home. Fostering is an incredibly rewarding experience and a chance to make a real invaluable difference to a dog who might be struggling in a kennel environment. It is, however a little different to rehoming. If you’re interested in owning a dog, find out how to rehome a dog.
What does a Dog Foster Carer get?
- Training in dog behaviour and welfare
- Regular contact with our Volunteer team
- Veterinary and behavioural support
- Most importantly, you will know you are helping to support some of our most vulnerable dogs while they wait for happy homes.
What is the process to become a Dog Foster Carer?
1. Submit your application
Please fill in our application form with as much information as possible. You will receive an automatic email as confirmation that we’ve received your application. Please note that although we accept applications throughout the month, we only assess them in the first week of each month. We will be in touch during this week to conduct your informal telephone interview.
You can apply to foster both dogs and cats but it is very unlikely you would ever have them at the same time.
2. Arrange a home visit
If you are successful, we will arrange a home visit. These usually take around 20 minutes and are carried out by one of our friendly Home Visit Volunteers. They will be noting things such as how secure your garden is and which animals would be best suited to your home environment. Home visits are generally very relaxed and help us establish your needs as a foster career and which animals you may be able to help the most.
Ideally we look for homes that provide a nice calm environment without too many people living in the house and not too many coming and goings. Preferably we would like our dogs to have access to a secure outside area, either a communal or private garden and enough space for them to be able to roam and take themselves off on their own if need be.
If your home visit is passed, we will email to confirm and put you on our foster list ready for a dog to be fostered.
All food, equipment, support and training is provided before taking a dog home and throughout the foster period.
If you're ready to become a Dog Foster Carer, get started by filling in our application form with as much information as possible.