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A.k.a. Jennifer.
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I have been thinking of becoming a foster for rescued dogs. I know that many of you do this and I think it is wonderful. Frankly, I have been inspired by all of you.

I have some concerns, though, and I wondered if some experienced fosters would be able to address them.

First, my dog is very healthy and I wouldn't want to put him at risk of getting anything from a foster dog. How do you deal with this?
Second, I don't have a ton of extra money for vet bills. Do the rescue organizations usually pay for the veterinary care for foster dogs, or would I have to pay for that? I am happy to pay for food but I know Jupiter's vet bills have been expensive and I couldn't pay the same amount for a second dog right now (hence the wish to foster, rather than adopt).

And, of course, I am concerned that I will fail as a foster and want to adopt my foster dogs. I know that there is probably no way to avoid this, but I guess I'm curious about how you let go.
Thanks,
Jennifer
 

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I have been thinking of becoming a foster for rescued dogs. I know that many of you do this and I think it is wonderful. Frankly, I have been inspired by all of you.

I have some concerns, though, and I wondered if some experienced fosters would be able to address them.

First, my dog is very healthy and I wouldn't want to put him at risk of getting anything from a foster dog. How do you deal with this?

Be sure to keep your dogs vaccinated on an annual basis, they should have bordatella every 6 months to help protect them against kennel cough. KC is like the cold though, the vaccine may not prevent every strain, but most and if your dog should catch it the vaccine does help make it less severe. Use flea prevention, Frontline Plus or some other vet quality treatment. And of course always use heartworm preventative.

I have never had my dogs catch anything from my fosters, but you need to be aware it's a possibility.

Second, I don't have a ton of extra money for vet bills. Do the rescue organizations usually pay for the veterinary care for foster dogs, or would I have to pay for that? I am happy to pay for food but I know Jupiter's vet bills have been expensive and I couldn't pay the same amount for a second dog right now (hence the wish to foster, rather than adopt).

Most rescue groups pay for the vet care for their foster dogs, but that is a question you should ask. I could not foster if I had to pay for the vet care, so I understand your point.

And, of course, I am concerned that I will fail as a foster and want to adopt my foster dogs. I know that there is probably no way to avoid this, but I guess I'm curious about how you let go.

Everyone always worries they will want to keep all their foster dogs. Just keep in mind, if you adopt and don't have space for a foster dog there is one less foster home available to save a dog from a shelter. You will love your foster dogs, but a lot of them will not be the right fit for your family and lifestyle, and finding the right home for them is very rewarding. And it is so fun to be able to get to know lots of different dogs and love on them. Fostering is really rewarding for me.

Thanks,
Jennifer
DO IT! You won't regret it.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Your dog is vaccinated, should be on heartworm prevention, and should be on flea/tick prevention. Any new dog should be bathed, treated for any parasites, and vaccinated before coming to you. I don't do it that way- I bring whatever home and treat it then- but I have to say with the exception of occasional harmless kennel cough or minor eye **** episodes, I've never had a rescue bring my dogs anything, and I've fostered TONS AND TONS of dogs from horrible conditions and shelters.

If you go through a group, they will pay the vet bills, and usually you just pay for food. When I foster for Heidi's Legacy, I had the option of getting food donated, but it was a low quality brand so declined. However, that is a personal choice.

Foster failing, well it's easy to do
That's why I have five, instead of just two
It's just one more bowl, one more crate
Sometimes it happens- I call it fate
Less room than before
More hair hair on your floor....

The first few lines I wrote sounded like a poem, so I got a little carried away.

Anyway, I think it's the best thing in the world. I love it. I suggest you start by offering to help a rescue. Check some out. See if you are in agreement with their policies. Talk to them. There are so many ways to help!

Here my current fosters. Zip is a Sheltie x Mini Aussie (Tail-less and so cute) and Marlow is a Great Dane x Golden puppy.
 

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A.k.a. Jennifer.
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230 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jupiter is definitely current on vaccinations, including KC, and I intend to keep it that way. I wasn't planning on keeping him on flea/tick or HW through the winter since the Maine winter generally kills all bugs, but if I foster, I will definitely keep him on the meds. Thank you both for your responses.

@AquaClaraCanines
1. I love your poem! Keep going!
2. Your two fosters are GORGEOUS! (I am especially in love with Mr. Marlow...what a heartbreaker). Those two represent reasons why fostering might be dangerous for me. But it's true, if I adopt a dog, I won't have room to save a dog.

Almost Home Rescue of Maine is the organization I am hoping to work with, because they partner with a kill shelter in Arkansas. Now I just have to make sure that my beau is OK with this.

-Jennifer
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Good luck! If we get transferred to Maine this Spring, we'll have to hook up. (We put Maine on our wish-list).
 

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A.k.a. Jennifer.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Absolutely! Feel free to look me up if you end up here. :)
 

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I think my dogs caught kennel cough once and got hookworms once (before I changed my HW preventative to include fighting hookworms). Other than that, we have had great luck, no matter how sick the foster may be.

Our group pays all of the vet bills and will even pay for your dog food if you can't afford to pay for it yourself (if you itemize on your taxes, you can write off food, leashes, dishes and mileage to and from the vet and adoptathons).

I have foster failed twice out of over 40 dogs, so it does happen to most of us, but not as easily as it seems it could. You just happen to know when THAT dog is your foster and you can't let him/her go. You will still love all of the other dogs and the best thing you can do is let them move onto their forever home and take in another one. There will always be those very special ones, and if you are lucky, your adopters will stay in contact with you. I have watched several of my puppies grow up and when they see me, they turn into puppies all over again. Squealing and crying. It's really so rewarding!
 

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My experiences in Blue

I have been thinking of becoming a foster for rescued dogs. I know that many of you do this and I think it is wonderful. Frankly, I have been inspired by all of you.

I have some concerns, though, and I wondered if some experienced fosters would be able to address them.

First, my dog is very healthy and I wouldn't want to put him at risk of getting anything from a foster dog. How do you deal with this?
My rescue does a complete vet check before releasing them to a home. And if you have an animal they will not place a contagious dog into a dog home. It will stay at a non dog home until it is well. Then it comes here. Also if the dog and your dog dont get along, the rescue will take the dog and move her/him to a non dog home. I have had that happen and it isnt anything against you. The rescue also makes sure all the potential adopters are approved and checked out before they ever come to you.

Second, I don't have a ton of extra money for vet bills. Do the rescue organizations usually pay for the veterinary care for foster dogs, or would I have to pay for that? I am happy to pay for food but I know Jupiter's vet bills have been expensive and I couldn't pay the same amount for a second dog right now (hence the wish to foster, rather than adopt).
My rescue pays for all the vet bills and dog food. And it is the same food my dogs eat so there isnt any problems if they eat each others food. It feels good to walk into a vet's office and to walk out without paying. They take care of all the things like heartworm meds, flea meds.

And, of course, I am concerned that I will fail as a foster and want to adopt my foster dogs. I know that there is probably no way to avoid this, but I guess I'm curious about how you let go.
It is hard to not fall in love with the fosters but when you see the love between the adopter and the dog, it makes it all worth it. I am a two timed failed foster with Daisy and Pawley. My Daisy was special because she had heartworms and I had to stay up with her on the couch and floor after her last two heartworm shots. They were really hard on her. And Pawley came to me after my Beau died. I would be on the couch or bed crying and he would come and put his head on my lap or shoulder and just lay there knowing when I needed alittle extra love. He still does it.
One example: I had a foster that was so sweet but clingy. When the adopter came to meet her after being approved, the dog went right over to her and leaned into her, looking at her with love. The lady then got down on the floor and they were giving each other kisses. When the lady walked out to the car with her, she jumped in the backseat and didnt even look back at me. I knew they were a perfect match. I was sad but happy knowing she was getting a loving home.
Thanks,
Jennifer
 

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A.k.a. Jennifer.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am so grateful to all of you for your replies. I contacted Almost Home Rescue of Maine last night, and they do pay for vet treatments, flea/tick and heartworm meds. I did not ask about the food, but that is something that I could probably afford to provide. So I talked to my bf about it and he is on board, and I am submitting my foster application today! I won't be able to start fostering until after Christmas, but I thought I would get the process underway since they have to come to my house and do a home visit. I also found out that they do vet check the dogs before they are placed in foster care. All of their dogs come from a kill shelter in Arkansas, and they transport and save as many as they can. This is going to be an amazing adventure. :)
 

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Jupiter's Human - I want to thank you for deciding to foster. (A big Thank You to those who are fostering now).
Any time a dog leaves the shelter for a home it's a big win for me.
 

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I am so grateful to all of you for your replies. I contacted Almost Home Rescue of Maine last night, and they do pay for vet treatments, flea/tick and heartworm meds. I did not ask about the food, but that is something that I could probably afford to provide. So I talked to my bf about it and he is on board, and I am submitting my foster application today! I won't be able to start fostering until after Christmas, but I thought I would get the process underway since they have to come to my house and do a home visit. I also found out that they do vet check the dogs before they are placed in foster care. All of their dogs come from a kill shelter in Arkansas, and they transport and save as many as they can. This is going to be an amazing adventure. :)
Thanks so much for wanting to become a foster. I hope it all works out and shortly after Christmas you are approved and able to start your first of many fostering. Keep us posted.
 

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A.k.a. Jennifer.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have to let you know that I was inspired to do this by all of the foster and rescue folks on this forum. Please keep sharing your stories! You might inspire other people to foster, too!
 

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Most Rescue groups strongly suggest your dog(s) has had a Bordetella shot also prior to bringing another dog into your home. When I adopted my golden girl from CFGRR, I had my other Golden vaccinated for Bordetella prior to her arrival. All groups are different however, you should check with the group you may be fostering for to see what they recommend.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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I never do that vaccine anymore. In fact, my Whippet (who is 12) has NEVER had it, and he's the only one of my dogs who NEVER picks up kennel cough or the eye crud thing. It could be unrelated, but I think his immune system is just really strong, and minimal vaccinating could be part of the reason why.

That said, absolutely do what you are comfortable with, and what your vet and the group suggest.
 
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