Fostering A Whippet

 

Percy and Freya 2

Being offered a foster place means everything to our dogs and we are very grateful in return. We would not be able to help as many dogs as we do without our fosterers. However, we do need firm commitment so our dogs get a fair chance to settle. This introduction contains information about fostering and will help you decide if you are willing and eligible to foster.

The Invaluable Role of the Fosterer

Providing a home environment where one of our dogs is getting individual love and attention is far more preferable than the alternative kennel environment. A domestic situation where they can stay, ideally until their forever home is found, is so important to them.

Fosterers provide invaluable information about our dogs. This helps us to ensure we match our dog to the right home. We can review or confirm knowledge held about our dogs, such as housetraining, acceptance of visitors, car travel, adaptability, behaviour on being left, to mention but a few key points. Fosterers also provide vital care. Some dogs come to us in a very poor condition e.g. under or grossly overweight, infected ears etc, these conditions are better managed in a home environment.

Some dogs come directly from their homes so we can match them into a suitable foster home straight away. This helps to retain and, often improve, their skills further. Fosterers save lives by allowing many others to be helped and generally fostered dogs move faster through to their permanent homes.

General Requirements of Fostering

Just Whippets Rescue fosterer’s agreement covers everything you need to know about the responsibilities of caring for one of our dogs and how we will support you. We will offer a set-up package and try to help towards on-going costs if required. Most fosterers offer their foster dogs the full provision of needs during their stay, funding basics such as food, bedding, toys and other equipment.

Provisions for veterinary care, illness and emergencies are also covered in the agreement. You will be made aware of the person you will liaise with and you will be given an enquiries line and emergency number which will be available to you to cover all but the very late and early hours. In the case of an emergency we would expect you to contact us Just Whippets Rescue at the earliest possible point. We are not responsible for vet bills without such involvement. We are looking for foster homes to provide a minimum of two week’s care, but ideally until a forever home is found. Some of our dogs have been waiting a long time in kennels or are just not coping. We may suggest such a needy dog if your circumstances suit and once you have become more experienced.

Each dog will have different requirements and abilities in areas such as being left or exercise. We consider this when placing a dog with you. The maximum time we will allow them to be left alone is four hours on a regular basis. Lunchtime company and exercise for our dog or a reliable dog walker maybe acceptable for full time workers. Organising daycare arrangements with a neighbour or relative might be acceptable but we would need to discuss our dog with these supportive individuals.

Selecting a Foster Dog and if things go wrong

We will work with you to ensure the dog selected for you to foster is the most suitable for your circumstances. Occasionally some fosterers may agree to take a dog in as an emergency which may not entirely match their circumstances e.g. you don’t have a fully secure garden, but are prepared to manage them on an lunge lead for a short spell to save a pup going into kennels. This will always be discussed with you. We will not always have a suitable dog available. You may need breaks between foster dogs, that is fine too. We will need to know of any periods when you can’t keep our dog e.g. a planned holiday, so we can organise cover.

From time to time we have instances where a dog taken on, does not work out. This may be as a result of inaccurate information given by the previous owner, the dog displaying new behaviours in the home environment that we had not experienced in kennels, or the fosterer realising that they cannot cope with a particular type of situation. On these occasions we will always endeavour to take the dog back as soon as we can arrange an alternative foster place or kennel. You may be asked to hold on for several days. If you find you want to offer your foster dog its forever home, it is important you discuss this as soon as possible with Just Whippets Rescue as per the agreement. Without this discussion and where a good family is already in the motions of applying, we will continue to pursue the family who have emotionally committed.

Fostering through to homing

Hospitality offered to our dogs also extends to ‘would be adoptees’ coming to meet their potential dog. You will need to be comfortable with them visiting your home to meet our dog. You may have already spoken with them. You play a vital role while trying not to be too judgmental or prescriptive. We take great care in selecting our adoptees, but you may see aspects that haven’t been appreciated before e.g. mention of a change of job or problems with a neighbouring dog. If at any point, you feel uneasy about the adoption, it is important you raise your concerns with your Just Whippets Rescue contact before letting the dog go.

All being well, the adoption process will be completed there and then, or a mutually convenient time will be arranged for the new family to collect. The joy of seeing a dog that arrived on your doorstep with nowhere to go but a kennel, then going on to light up the lives of their new found family, is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

How do I foster for you?

If you would like to help us by fostering one of our dogs then please complete a Foster Volunteer Form available on line. Once we receive your completed form we will arrange a home check and then look to see what dogs we have that are in need of a foster home and that would fit in with your home and lifestyle.