Rescue dogs come from a variety of backgrounds. Some of them come from good homes where the owner was simply no longer able to care for them. Others have been neglected or abused, or have been puppy mill dogs. Many have spent time in shelters and have “failed” to find new homes there.
What they all have in common is that they’ve just come through a huge change in their lives. And they all come with baggage. Some have bad habits like barking or jumping. Some have never learned to walk on a leash. Some are anxious, some are needy.
Fostering a dog means welcoming that dog into your home and helping it adjust to the changes so that it will be able to find its “furever” home.
Rocky Road Rescue provides food, crate, collar, leash and toys. We also pay for all of the dogs’ medical needs and periodically offer training through Street Wise Canine.
Read this article on the Lucky Dog Rescue blog about why we can do what we do:
Fostering is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s given me more joy, laughter, and love than I deserve. At the end, there’s always heartbreak. But never for a second does the sadness outweigh the joy. Never do the tears outweigh the laughter. And never does the pain outweigh the love. Heartbreak heals… but love is forever.
We ask our fosters to treat the dog as they would their own pet:
- Walk – we will help ensure that the dog learns to walk politely on a leash
- Groom (but we do not expect you to clip the dog’s nails)
- Take the dog to veterinary appointments as required (if transportation is a problem, let us know)
- Train – basic “lifestyle” skills like heel, sit, stay, down, and come, to help your dog fit into a maximum number of households, increasing the odds of being adopted.
- Stay in regular contact with the foster coordinator and other volunteers.
Dogs often come out of their shells after they’ve been in a home for a couple of weeks, so the initial assessment of a dog may change. So, we rely on your feedback about the dog to know whether we need to provide more support for you or medical treatment for the dog.
We also ask that you help us find the dog an adoptive family. This may mean:
- Your updates, photos, and details about the dog’s personality and behaviour help get the dog adopted, and help us find its perfect home! The more you tell us about the dog, the better we will be able to find a perfect fit for it. Does he like to cuddle? Need lots of exercise? Get anxious if no one is home all day?
- Sharing pictures and videos of the pet that we can share on social media.
- Bringing the dog to “adoption events” that we sometimes hold at pet stores.
- Letting the foster coordinator and the potential adopters visit the dog in your home. This is easiest on the dog as it is a familiar place.
- Be available for meet&greets, as well as the home visits. Foster’s are welcome to drive their foster dog to the home visit if they wish to be there, or the Adoption Coordinator can transport and do this stage on their own. (Some fosters find this part too sad, so you are by no means obliged to participate. In fact, sometimes the dog adjusts better without their foster there).
Your assessment of whether the dog and adopter are a good fit is extremely valuable! It’s worth noting that there may be several “meet & greets” before an adoption is finalized.
You can expect to have the dog in your home for a few weeks. Sometimes, but rarely, it goes longer than that.