Fostering dogs

Battersea is happy to announce we are progressively resuming our Foster Carer recruitment. We are currently only recruiting Cat Foster Carers willing to foster cats and mums & kittens.

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 require a foster home for behavioural or stress reasons. Many are not coping in the kennels or are displaying unwanted behaviours. They may be shut down or nervous. 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.

Our foster dogs tend to be medium to large sized so being comfortable with handling this size of dog is important. In many cases, foster carers will need to be willing to follow behaviour training programs to help dogs to resolve unwanted behaviours.

What are the requirements to become a Dog Foster Carer?

  • Only families with children aged 13 years and over will be considered. This is to ensure the best chance of success for the foster dog
  • Foster dogs require a lot of time, patience and commitment. Foster carers will need to keep their dog with them at all times, especially at the start of the foster period. They are not permitted to go to workplaces or daycare
    After the settling in period, depending on the individual dog, time alone can be built up slowly
  • Due to the nature of our foster dogs we are looking for calm 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 or looking after medium to large dogs is ideal. Working with dogs who have separation anxiety or are displaying unwanted behaviours is desirable
  • Willingness to follow our guidance. Every foster dog will have a behaviour training program that will need to be followed. This will ensure the best chance of their success.
  • 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 interview and to answer any questions you may have.

3. Home check

We ask that you kindly send in footage of your home. This is in no way to judge your home. It is only to check that it is a safe environment for our animals and to determine the best match for you and your set-up.

4. Inductions

We will invite you to two inductions for assessment and training. These sessions will be online at this time.

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.