Are you thinking of offering your home and heart to foster and help rehabilitate discarded puppy mill dogs. Our goal is to give these dogs a life worth living, help teach them that the world can be kind and ultimately find them wonderful forever homes. We hope volunteers find fostering a great experience. We are committed to working closely with our volunteers to support them in every way possible.
Fosters are expected to take their role very seriously. It takes a team to get each animal adopted but we depend on the foster homes to give each one the love, care, and training they need to prepare them for their new homes.
Basic supplies that fosters should have include: crates, dog food, dog bowls, a slip leash, regular leash (no retractable leashes please) and various size harnesses/ collars. The geographic locations of our foster homes are far and wide. There is an opportunity to get donated items from other members of the team, but it might take some coordination and driving to make it happen.
Here are some responsibilities of being a foster home
- Know your limits and stick to them.
- Stay committed to your foster pet from beginning to end; adoption of your foster could take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months.
- Take your adoptable animal to the veterinarian as directed.
- Work with your foster to make them feel safe and trusting of you and your family. Basic training will be very important for foster homes to accomplish. Puppy mill dogs come with little to no socialization and typically zero house skills. Work on trust first, then dog skills. More on rehabilitating a mill dog will be provided.
- Promptly return phone calls/emails to potential adoptive homes. We do not rush adoptions, but we do expect fosters to email/call potential adopters to answer questions and set up appointments for them to meet the dog in a timely manner. Dog rescue is an emotional experience for the animal, the foster, and the applicant. We want to be respectful of all involved.
- Please send digital pictures of your foster pets as well as a written description of them as soon as possible to the rescue’s email (email@example.com) so they can be posted on our adoption sites. Include: age, weight, breed, skills, history, and preferences (good with children, other dogs, cats, fenced yard, etc.) .
- When completing adoptions please consider the comfort level of the foster dog before the impatience of an adopter. We prefer to do adoptions when the adopter has a few days off so the foster animal and his/her new humans can bond appropriately before being left on his/her own. Adopters will wait if they know that it is in the best interest of their new dog to have someone home with it for his/her first few days.
When your foster pet has had vet work done we also wait before doing an adoption. We want to make sure the animal is healing as expected and feeling well.
Benefits and risks
Dogs taken into foster care are often the most grateful of animals, but they can pose some risks to humans, other pets, and to your home. It is important to understand that the Puppy Mill Rescue Team makes no guarantees as to the temperament and health of the foster animal you will be taking in.
- Foster animals may have illnesses/parasites (ex. Kennel cough, fleas, or worms) that are common in the neglected population that can be transmitted to your own pets. To provide the best protection for your own pet/s we recommend that:
- Your own pet/s be current on their vaccinations, parasite preventatives, etc.
- Pick up dog feces regularly to avoid contaminating your yard with worms
- After each adoption, disinfect all bowls, bedding, crates, carriers, etc. with bleach.
- Keeps dogs and cats separated from one another (in crates or a gated area) when there are no humans around to supervise their interactions. Pick up any items (food/toys) that may cause disagreements between animals at start.
How do you receive a foster dog?
As a team member you will be invited to join our private Facebook page- Puppy Mill Rescue Team Foster Page. When we learn of dogs in need we will post to the page. Fosters can comment if they see a dog listed that is a good fit for their home. Most of the time we will only know breed, gender, age, and transport date. The dogs will typically still be in a puppy mill when we post them, so we will not have pictures. All animals that come into the rescue MUST be approved by a board member.
Interested in learning more or becoming a foster?
If you are ready to apply to be a foster home, please fill out our application form here. If you have more questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org