Welcome to Fostering 101

First, we want to thank you for considering becoming a foster home for ABCBHR!  It’s probably the most challenging job in the organization, but also the most rewarding. You’re giving each dog you foster another chance at having a happy life, starting with you! Not everyone can say that they made a difference in a dog’s life AND also in the lives of the people who adopt them.

What is a foster home? A foster home is a family who takes into their home one of ABC’s homeless basset hounds. They care for and evaluate the dog’s temperament until a new forever home is found. Foster homes are essential to a successful adoption. They have the first-hand experience with the dog and can aid our Adoption Coordinator in placing the dog in the right home.

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about fostering for ABC:

Q: What is the process to become a foster home?

A: First you need to submit a Foster Application . Once your application is processed, a volunteer will arrange for a home visit. The purpose of the home visit is to get to know you face to face and answer any questions you have about fostering.

Q: What kind of requirements are there to become a foster home?

A: We look for a loving, dog friendly place where a basset hound will be nurtured and cared for. Chances are if you already own a basset bound, your home will do just fine.

Q: Once I’m approved to foster, how long will it take to get my first foster?

A: Depending on our current situation and the influx of dogs, it could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before you are called on.

Q: How much notice will I have before a dog is placed with me?

A: Being in rescue, unfortunately, does not give us the luxury of advance notice. It depends on the dog’s situation. Sometimes we can give you a week or more notice. Other times it can be a matter of hours.

Q: What are my primary responsibilities as a foster provider?

A: We ask that you provide a safe, loving environment for your foster hound. You are responsible for feeding, shelter, and exercise for your foster hound. We ask that you evaluate the dog’s temperament and help determine what type of forever home would best suit this dog. We require that you bring your foster hound to the vet for any medical care the dog needs and provide periodic updates to the Foster Care Director, either by phone or email. You as the foster home have the first-hand experience with the dog and know the dog best. Your input is vital to a successful adoption. We ask you to talk directly to approved adopters about your foster dog.

Q: Who is responsible for vet costs?

A: ABC is responsible for all veterinarian costs. We have a network of veterinarians across New York we work with. You simply choose the most convenient vet from the list of ABC approved vet clinics. If there is not a vet clinic with 30 to 40 minutes of your home ABC work with to find a vet in your area to work with.

Q: What are ABC’s responsibilities?

A: The Adoption Coordinator will work diligently to find your foster dog its new forever home. ABC is here to give you advice and support you while the dog is in your care. Our volunteers have a good knowledge of the breed, an online resource library and when needed will consult with professional dog trainers.

Q: What happens if the foster dog does not work out in my family?

A: Don’t worry! Dogs, like people each, have unique personalities and may not do well in new environments. Contact the Foster Care Director and they will make every effort to move the dog to another foster home as quickly as possible. Please be aware that ABC is an organization run by volunteers who have jobs outside of rescue. It may take a day or two to pick up the dog. Don’t feel bad – this happens sometimes.

Q: How long will my foster basset stay with me?

A: It all depends on what we refer to as the “adopt-ability” of the dog. We require that all dogs coming into the ABC organization stay in foster care for a minimum of one week. This gives you an opportunity to evaluate the dog. Beyond that, a dog can stay in foster care for as little as that one week or as long as a few months. It’s really hard to say. Younger dogs tend to be adopted quickly and are in and out of the program in the matter of a few weeks. However, older dogs, particularly 8 or 9 years old and up, as well as special needs dogs, can take longer to place. The more information on the dog you provide, along with photos and updates, can get the dog adopted much quicker.

Q: What happens if I would like to adopt my foster dog?

A: That happens all the time. We called it “Foster Failure”. Our foster homes are given time to decide if they want to adopt their foster dog or not. However, please note that Fostering will NOT help you adopt a dog faster. We have a waiting list of approved adopters.

Q: Now I have my foster dog, what next?

A: Whenever a new dog comes into your home, it can be exciting and sometimes an overwhelming experience. ABC is there to help you every step of the way. All dogs that come into our care must be taken to a vet for a checkup, vaccinations, spay/neuter and heartworm tested. In some cases, that may already be done. However, every foster dog must have a check-up by one of our approved vets prior to adoption. ABC will cover all of the dog’s medical expenses.

While the dog is in your care, it is the foster families’ responsibility to ensure the dog is nurtured and well cared for. Please bear in mind if you are taking a foster for the first time, patience is the key to being successful. Remember, many of the dogs that we get have come from unstable situations and are understandably scared and unsure. It is not uncommon for your foster dog to exhibit shyness or fear at first, as well as having some accidents before he or she becomes accustomed to the new environment. Keep a close eye on your foster dog until they have had time to settle in and feel comfortable in your home.

Foster homes are the backbone of any rescue. Without families like you, there would be no rescue.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email our Foster Coordinator.