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Fostering a Rescue Dog

Do you know someone who adopted a rescue dog? If so, they may have told you that before they adopted their new family member, he or she was living with a foster family. When you are looking to adopt a dog, you have a few options as to where to find a dog for your family. You can go to your local SPCA or you can contact a rescue group. There are several to choose from and, by doing some homework, you can find a rescue group that meets your needs.

Most rescue groups are not-for-profit, volunteer based and depend on donations to continue operating. They also depend on people who are willing to provide foster homes for the dogs that need to be rehomed. These can be hard to find and are in short supply but the people that do open their homes to rescue dogs are providing a valuable service to dogs that are often unwanted and/or abused.

Have you ever considered fostering a dog? Here are some benefits for you to think about:

  • If you are not ready for a lifetime commitment, this would be a good way learn about different breeds and provide an essential service in the rehoming process

  • You may have your foster dog anywhere from a few days to a few months so you can choose how long you want keep a dog in your home

  • You would be providing a safe, loving and comfortable temporary home until a permanent home can be found

  • You would help to determine the personality and character of a dog which is important to anyone who is considering adopting a rescue dog

  • Most rescue groups will provide food, toys, a crate and they will also cover any medical expenses including vaccinations, spaying or neutering

  • Some rescue groups will have volunteers experienced in behavioural training who can assess and help to correct any behaviour issues a dog may have

  • You may decide to adopt your foster dog and provide him with his forever home

While fostering a dog can be emotionally challenging, it can also be a deeply rewarding experience for both you and your family.

If you are considering fostering a dog from a rescue group, talk to your family first and make sure that everyone is willing and able to help when your foster dog arrives. Do your homework and check out a few rescue groups before you choose one you want to work with. There are some rescue groups that work with a single breed like German Shepherds or Golden Retrievers, and others that work with various breeds of dogs or only small dogs. One such rescue is Toronto-based Adopt-A-Dog/Save-A-Life. Beverley Bardell has worked with this group for many years and has adopted several of the dogs that were originally fostered in her home.

Have you or anyone you know every fostered a dog before? Please share your experience with us.

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