Fostering dogs

Battersea has temporarily suspended applications to foster whilst we prioritise working with our existing staff and volunteers to provide ongoing care for our dogs and cats during the Covid-19 outbreak. Please check back on our website for further updates.

Becoming a Dog Foster Carer means you are providing invaluable support in caring for lost, abandoned and unwanted animals by preparing them for their new homes.

Fostering dogs also gives Battersea 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 stress or medical 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.

They are often Staffordshire Bull Terriers or Greyhounds. It is a huge plus if our foster carers have had experience with these breeds. In some cases, foster carers need to be willing to follow behaviour training programs to help dogs resolve unwanted behaviours.

What are the requirements to become a Dog Foster Carer?

  • No young children, but those with older children may be considered. We are looking for families where the minimum age of children is 13
  • You need to be 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
  • Due to the nature of dogs in need of foster homes, we are looking for foster homes with no other pets in the home.
  • Living within one hour of one of our three centres and be able to travel to a centre when required, sometimes at short notice
  • Experience with owning dogs, ideally Bull breeds or Sighthounds. Many of our foster dogs are Staffordshire Bull Terriers or Greyhounds so it is beneficial if you have owned them previously and understand the breeds
  • Enthusiasm for training your foster dog
  • Compassion, empathy and the appreciation that every dog is an individual

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 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 difference to a dog who might be struggling in a kennel environment. It is, however different to rehoming. If you’re interested in owning a dog, find out how to rehome a dog.

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 centres to attend Clinic or rehoming appointments, which may be last minute

What support will a Dog Foster Carer receive?

  • Training in dog behaviour and welfare
  • Regular contact with our Fostering team
  • Veterinary and behavioural support provided throughout the foster period
  • All supplies needed for your foster dog will be provided

How do I become a Dog Foster Carer?

1. Application

Complete the application form. Please provide as much information as possible.

Before applying we recommend that you read our fostering FAQs.

2. Phone call

A member of the fostering team will call you for an informal chat and to answer any questions you may have.

3. Home visit

We may want to arrange a home visit. This is in no way to judge your home. It is only to check that it is a safe environment for our animals.

4. Induction

We will invite you to an induction for training.

Unable to foster a dog?

From animal welfare roles to office duties and events staff, we strive to ensure that our volunteers are involved in all aspects of our work.