Confused about fostering

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forever loved
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 1:11pm PST 
I'm a bit confused about something & was wondering what ya'll thought before I agreed to this or how to say no...sorry, this is going to be a long post...

There is a rescue a little over an hour from me, and I noticed on FB that they were posting over and over how they were desperate for fosters because of some dogs that had just been dumped. It sounded like an immediate, temporary need, so I offered to foster. In my mind, I thought it would be something like give a dog a place to stay for a few days or weeks until they found a home or other place for it. There were multiple dogs they were asking fosters for, some in boarding, one they don't even have that is 'in a bad situation' but can't take because they don't have room.

So I emailed the rescue, and asked what the foster process was like (I thought they would have me fill out an application or something). She replied that they were having an adoption event the next day (yesterday), and that they would see from what dogs were left who needed a place to stay, and invited me to come up. I let her know that I can only foster ONE dog temporarily, and that dog had to get along with other dogs. I brought my sister's dog Echo with me because I wanted to be sure they would get along (and I don't want to force a dog on her, apparently she was attacked by a large dog several months ago, I wasn't here when that happened). I also let her know I am only staying with my sister until mid-August, so really could only foster for the next 4-6 weeks. She still seemed to want me to foster, and wanted me to foster a specific poodle.

When I finally got there (after getting lost having no directions & the wrong name for their location), I greeted them and met the dogs and pups still there (this was at the end of the event). The dog she asked me to foster was not there. I asked her again about how the fostering works and she off-handedly just said she would bring by the poodle, or both of them to where I lived. Turns out it is a poodle pair that was used for breeding, and I just noticed in another FB post that they will fear-bite. All she had told me was they weren't doing good in boarding, and I assumed they were scared and shy. That I can work with, but I don't have the experience to deal with fear-biters. I also don't have permission for more than one dog (my sister, who owns the house, also thought it would be one of the puppies that were just dumped on them, not an adult with issues). I would assume that it would take longer than 4-6 weeks to work with a dog like this. I'm a bit confused by all this, and feel bad that I'm not really wanting to foster this dog, or really any dog with this rescue since I feel they aren't being very informative...I'm not really sure what to do or say to them now. The lady in charge is expecting me to email her with when would be a good time to bring the dogs over (and my address). I mentioned it would be after Tuesday, mostly to buy me time to think about all this. That didn't seem to bother them, so I wonder just how much they really need me to foster. I kinda also feel that I wasted my time and money driving all the way up there, esp since they didn't really talk to me much or give me much info besides saying they would bring it over, and I didn't get to meet the dog they want me to foster, so I still don't know how Echo would do with it, which is why I brought her on the long trip in the first place.

Sigh. I'm starting to think I was just wanting a dog to help me get over Twister being missing, but it's not fair to Echo, or my sister, to force them to accept a dog that could possibly bite them.silenced I think the poodles need to go to someone who has more experience and can keep them longer than what I can. What do ya'll think I should do? I want to help, but I also want to make a rational decision, not an emotional one. Thank you, sorry for the long post.

Wasn't sure if I should say the name of the rescue, but it is Route 66 Rescue, Inc.

Edited by author Sun Jun 23, '13 1:20pm PST


Awesome Dog
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 2:18pm PST 
IMHO, a rescue should be willing to work with you and not give you a dog you cannot handle. If you aren't looking for a project foster, they shouldn't give you a project foster. The rescue I volunteer with is very good about moving foster dogs around if they don't work out with a specific family and they know who is comfortable dealing with what. Me, for example, would not like any sick dogs or ones who need to be quarantined in my home. I just don't have the proper setup. My preference is for the crazy herding-types that are a bit too active/brainy for the average household. BUT they should be able to get along with my resident dog as well. It's much easier for me to have the two dogs out together though it hasn't always worked out that way.

If this group makes you feel uncomfortable about fostering then I wouldn't foster for them. You don't want to get stuck with a dog you can't handle if they aren't supportive of your thoughts BEFORE you even get the dog.

There are plenty of rescue groups out there that you can connect with that may be more open and willing to match you with a dog better suited to your situation. It'll be a much better experience for you and the dog if you connect with a different group. smile

(And I wish you the best of luck locating Twister!)

Edited by author Sun Jun 23, '13 2:19pm PST

Pamela - - - Adopted!!!!

Slave to food!
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 5:33pm PST 
Some rescues are wonderful and responsible and very well run.
It's one is not.
You should have been directed to fill out an application and expect a home visit.
They should have asked about the dog you have now to be sure it was friendly with other dogs.
Any dog with behavior problems like biting has no business in the hands of anyone unless...
1. They know ahead of time and are prepared to deal with it.
2. The foster parent has the knowledge and training to deal with the problems.

I bet you can find another rescue that is well run.
There are so many ways to give your time!
I fostered thru Labs4rescue. A very well run group based in Connecticut. They move dogs up from southern kill shelters. They are always looking for foster homes both in the south and north. Give them a try.
I hope you find a good fit.


forever loved
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 9:07pm PST 
Thank you for your responses. I really thought they would be more in-depth, not just show up at my house with a dog I might not be able to handle. I wish I could help the poodle(s), but I also wouldn't want to inadvertently make them worse.silenced

I have noticed they have been getting a lot of shares/responses on FB for offers of help fostering or adopting since they posted the story about the dumped mama dog & pups. I'm probably going to email her politely to say I won't be able to foster for them...hopefully they have enough offers they can go on to the next person in line, I guess.

I'll look into other rescues closer to me; but this time I think I will wait until after school starts back up and I move so I know exactly what I can and can't do, and not have just a few weeks to offer. Lesson learned about looking into the rescue before offering help as well, that was my fault. meditate I'll try to make more rational decisions from now on.smile
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 11:19am PST 
When I first went to volunteer with the local Beagle rescue, I was considering fostering, but was new to even volunteering with a dog rescue, let alone fostering with them, and while I had plenty of canine experience, I was also living in a rental at the time. I let them know I would talk to my landlord, but that I was interested.

My landlord gave the okay. I emailed the rescue. Unfortunately... They weren't upfront with me. First, they asked what I thought of Beau, the foster dog at the adoption event that I had volunteered at. I said I had liked him quite a bit. They said they were looking for a new foster home for him. They knew I lived in a basement suite, and they knew Beau's issues. I did not know Beau's issues.

They brought him over, introduced him to Charlie on neutral ground(they got along great!), and we tested them in the house(they were still great together). THAT was when they began to tell me Beau's issues - when they had his stuff and were ready to leave him. He had a bite history - and a severe one at that. He was a resource guarder(not the biggest issue for me because I'm great with working on that problem), he was a chronic barker, he had separation anxiety, he was fearful and untrusting of people(although you wouldn't know it until the moment you did something wrong that caused a bite), he didn't give warning signals, etc..

So, naturally, I felt a little overwhelmed and when seeking assistance with some of his issues with the so-called 'behaviorist' with the rescue, she told me certain things COULD NOT be changed(such as him escaping my dog run constantly) because they were INSTINCT. ?!?!?!?! I reinforced my dog run and he never escaped it again. It was not instinct so he could go hunt rabbits. He was escaping because I left him in there, and was looking for me!

Anyway, several months, and many of Beau's issues were worked through - he was safe around his food again, knew several commands, could safely be put into his kennel without getting snapped at, had learned to bark if he was uncomfortable instead of bite... Unfortunately, the chronic barking did not change, and my landlord grew quickly tired of it, as did the neighbors who were filing complaints. I contacted the rescue, told them the problem, and asked that they start looking for a new foster home where Beau could stay, because I needed the roof over my head. The so-called 'behaviorist' began immediately GUILT-TRIPPING me, telling me 'not to give up' on Beau, etc etc... She made me feel inadequate, like I hadn't done my part, like I should be adopting this poor dog, instead of sending him off onto the next step/person.

I'll honestly say I DO still volunteer and foster with this rescue, HOWEVER, only when -I- can(I've made it clear that volunteering and fostering are ON MY TIME, and I will only do what I can when I can), and I no longer deal with said 'behaviorist' anymore either.

There ARE good rescues out there that will be up front. You have to be up front about what you CAN and CANNOT handle, what you're ready to take on, for how long(if it's temporary, give them an approx. temporary time frame - a couple days for emergency fostering, or a few weeks for temporary fostering til they find the dog another, etc) and don't be afraid to tell a rescue when they're giving you something you aren't prepared to take on. It is a VOLUNTEER thing, it is NOT a job. If they're not willing to work with you to get the best suited dog fostered in your home, then they don't really need you and aren't worth your time.

forever loved
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 11:58am PST 
I completely agree, Charlie, thanks for telling me your story. When I read about the fear-biting, it just really felt I was not being told everything up front. Hopefully one day I will be able to help more.dog

Edited by author Mon Jun 24, '13 11:58am PST


High-flyin' Pup!
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 1:04pm PST 
Just adding to what others have said...I've fostered for an excellent rescue, and last summer I fostered for what turned out to be a terrible rescue.

When I fostered chinchillas, the rescue was up front 'he bites', 'she sprays', etc, and someone was always available to answer questions via email within a few hours. I told them from the beginning that four chinnies was my limit, and there was never any question of me taking on more than four. They were all thoroughly vetted, and any concerns I had were taken very seriously by the lady who runs the rescue.

I've always fostered kittens just on my own...people bring them to the pet store I manage because I've put the word out that I like to foster them...I bottle feed, get them neutered and vaccinated, and place them myself. Last year, after spending well over $1000 out of pocket on a kitten who needed an eye removed, I decided to try fostering through a rescue organization so that I wasn't going broke in the process.

I should have done more research into the organization. They kept trying to guilt me into taking on WAY more kittens than I had agreed to, and when my kittens got sick, they would not grant permission for me to take them to the vet, and instead insisted that I try various home remedies. I did try them for three days before taking them to the vet with my own money, and I am convinced that the delay in getting medical care is why all of the kittens I fostered through them died. One kitten brought in a respiratory infection, and the whole group was dead less than two weeks later. It was a horrible experience. I went from only having lost one kitten in five years to losing seven in a week.

Someday I'll try again, but I'll research the group better and talk to other fosters before I agree to take any animals home. Right now, I am taking a year off to recover from last year.

forever loved
Barked: Mon Jun 24, '13 2:27pm PST 
In the past all the animals I've fostered have been strays or animals that weren't wanted anymore by neighbors or people I've known. My sister has fostered for the local humane society, but they don't do that anymore. I thought it would be better to go with a rescue since they would take care of the expenses, but I guess that isn't always true either, poor kitties.

Beauty and the- Beast
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 1:51am PST 
I wanted to mention that if you are unable to bring in an additional dog to your home, the SPCA and so many shelters do need volunteers to take these shelter dogs out for walks. So many of these poor dogs are locked up and the staff do not have the time for all of them. It certainly enables their chances for adoption if volunteer time is spent with them by relieving the stress and socializing.

forever loved
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 9:50am PST 
Seela, yeah, I am planning on doing that. I actually live pretty close to the local shelter.dog walk
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