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Not Sure About Adopting? Why Not Foster?

Rocky was tied to a tree in the middle of a cold January. He spent 8 months with us until he retired to sun & fun in FL with his new doggie dad, Bob!

Sometimes its difficult to know whether its the right time in your life to add a dog to your family. Dogs are a life-long commitment, so education and review of your current place in life is critical to ensuring a successful, happy life with your dogs. If you are unsure about adopting, but would like to spend some time with a dog, fostering might be a good option for you.

One thing that all rescues are in desperate need of are loving foster homes for their dogs. Some groups rescue “death row” dogs from shelters, some take in dogs in the local area and some bring in dogs from rural high-kill shelters from out of state. But at the end of the day, they all need a place to stay until they are adopted – could it be your home?

Since Mark and I have been involved in rescue, our house has become a revolving door for dogs in need of a place to crash. During their stay they get acclimated at being with other dogs (large and small). They get a little training if needed. They get to play, hang out with us and enjoy all the things that they can expect in their future forever home. We’ve fostered dogs for a few days to many months and I’m happy to say that all of them have found forever homes unique to their situation.

Is it hard to give up a dog when he does find his forever home? I’m not going to lie. Sometimes it’s tough. But I try to remember that he is going to a place where he’s going to get tons of love and that in reality I’m opening a door for another dog who needs our help.

Have we ever kept a dog we were fostering? This is also a big YES. It happens. What can you do when a furry little creature worms its way into your heart. And that’s OK. If it’s the right time and he’s the right dog – why not?

Here are a few resources on becoming a foster dog mom or dad. And if you are interested, contact your local rescue groups or feel free to contact me at and I’d be happy to put you in touch with groups that need your help!

PRIZE TIME! A great Skinny Mayday Pet First Aid Kit! This 35-piece basic pet first aid kit can be hooked inside your purse, on your belt or anywhere you Wag’N fancy using the bone shaped karabiner. Many thanks to Ines at WAGN Enterprises for this wonderful prize! This prize can be shipped! Tell us about your fostering experiences or feel free to ask questions in our comments below!

DON’T FORGET TO DONATE! Two Million Dogs needs your help to continue their fantastic work. It’s easy – just click the Chip In badge on the right. I donated $25 – will you? PUPPY UP!

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  • Reply Christina February 5, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I am currently fostering a lab/pit mix that I found on the street. We are still trying to find the perfect home for him but he is a good dog mostly. Fostering is great to help you know if you are ready for a dog, what kind of dog you might want, and to help a dog get acclimated to a home environment and off of death row.

  • Reply Christine February 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks!!I’ve been thinking about fostering and this has been very helpful!

  • Reply Lyn February 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    We have had some great fostering moments! The first few days of a new foster, our dog loves playing with the ‘newbie’ but after day 3, he’s done with them, and starts to sulk! He’s had his share of ups and downs. Foster #1 landed our dog at vet cuz they played so rough 🙂 Our dog Alex did not like wearing that ‘cone’ over his head for a week!

  • Reply Chris Cook February 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Foster parents are so important in the big picture of dog rescue. It takes a special person to be that cross over support from rescue to adoption. While it isn’t easy to say “goodbye”, the joy that you see on the new families face and the happiness in the dogs eyes all make it worthwhile. And an occasional foster “failure”, staying with you is great too!
    Thank you for the clue in on Wag’N Enterprises. What an excellent site!

  • Reply Leanne Willbanks February 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I would *so* love to foster a dog that gets along well with others. My Lab loves and is kind to other dogs…the trick is getting my man to agree to the proposition. 🙂

  • Reply Cory Ferguson February 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    All of our animals are adopted, thus creatig an ‘Old McDonald’s Farm’ type scenario. We don’t currently foster, due to an abundance of adopted animals, but we due assist with dog rescue transports almost every weekend and sometimes provide accommodations to those dogs on their way to forever homes. I commend those who do foster. I imagine it is rewarding as well as sometimes difficult.

  • Reply Cindy Eilenberger February 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Luckily we were foster failures. We now have Laney, who was only supposed to be with us a few months. But, wouldn’t give her up for nothing.

  • Reply Sheri Throop February 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Love the resources. We have fostered a number of dogs. Some who needed special care all have left their pawprints on our hearts.. Some so deep that they never left.
    All our dogs are unique with their own strengths and quirks. Helping a dog become a member of a family is a great way to earn a good nights sleep

  • Reply Cathy February 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Fosters are so important to rescue groups – you learn a great deal more about the pet you are trying to place. I can’t foster right now, but someday hope to.

  • Reply Robyn February 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I foster for a NJ/PA rescue called Rogers’ Rescues. It has been a wonderful experience for my family, my kids included, and I love how many different dogs I have been able to experience and help. Breeds i never would have had exposure to. It is sad to have to give them up but you can’t keep them all. We must find them homes to make room for the next one that needs us.

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