Q: I’m interested in fostering. How do I get started?
A: Fill out the foster application on our website. We have a foster approval process that is very similar to our adoption approval process. Once your application has been approved, our Foster Coordinator will reach out to you to get you oriented and ready to take in your first foster!
You can find the application here: https://www.luckymuttsrescue.org/foster
If you have any additional questions about fostering that aren’t addressed here, you can email our Foster Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read more about our adoption approval process here: https://www.luckymuttsrescue.org/adoption-faqs
Q: What are my responsibilities as a foster?
A: Your job is to provide a safe, loving home for a dog until their forever home is found. The dogs we get come from a variety of backgrounds. Some will have no training, and need a crash course in potty training, and basic manners. Others come more “move in ready.” We do our best to match dogs with fosters who are willing and able to take on what that particular dog requires.
We ask that you provide updated pictures as they settle in. Videos are great, too! As you get to know them better, if there are things you learn about them that you think should be added to their bio, let us know. The more accurate the bios are, the easier it is to make a great match with an adoptive family.
We encourage you to attend some LMR events with your foster dog. This gets them face time with the public, which is not only good for them, but may help them get adopted faster. It also helps to promote the rescue, so we can find more adopters, and recruit more fosters and volunteers, which allows us to save even more dogs.
When an adopter is approved to meet your foster dog, our Adoption Coordinator will send you their info. You will get in contact with them, answer any questions they may have about the dog, and then schedule a meet with them. The meets can happen anywhere, we generally suggest using the adoption center, or “neutral territory” – i.e. not your home, or the home of the potential adopters, ESPECIALLY if they have a resident dog. If you want to use the center, a schedule is posted every week for when an adoption counselor will be available to facilitate the meet, and complete the adoption if the meet is a success. We do prefer that your meets are done at the center until you’ve been through it a few times, so you get the hang of how a good meet should go.
Q: What do I need to provide for my foster dog?
A: LMR will provide the basic supplies for the dog – a crate (if needed), leash, collar, food, treats, toys, and any medical care the dog may need. Many of our fosters do like to buy things for their foster dogs to take with them to their forever homes – a special bed or toy, etc. If you do choose to purchase additional items for your foster dog(s), those items are tax deductible. Keep your receipts, and let us know at the end of the calendar year that you need a form for your taxes.
Q: What kind of support do you provide your fosters?
A: As much as we can! We have an awesome group who is always willing to help each other out. We have other newbie fosters who you can learn with, and very experienced fosters who have seen and done it all. They are always happy to answer questions and give advice when asked. If you foster with Lucky Mutts, you’ll never feel alone.
Q: What happens if we get a foster dog, and they don’t get along with my resident pets?
A: Let us know as soon as possible. We will work to find another foster as quickly as we can. We don’t want you, your resident pets, or the foster dog to be stressed out in a situation that isn’t working any longer than absolutely necessary. We do ask that if it’s a minor issue, you give them a couple days to adjust, or reach out for advice before requesting they be moved. Many times, any “disagreements” between fosters and resident pets can be managed pretty easily, or just require a day or two for everyone to settle down.
Q: Can I take my foster dog places? (pet stores, parks, etc)
A: YES, PLEASE DO! (If the dog is healthy and old enough to have all of their vaccinations, and is comfortable with it, of course) Getting them out is great for their confidence and socialization, and for most dogs, field trips are extremely beneficial. Just use common sense, and be an attentive guardian, just like you would with your own dog in public.
Q: I have a foster dog, but we are going out of town. What do we do?
A: If it’s a short trip (going up north for the weekend, for example) and where you’re going is dog friendly, you can certainly take your foster along, if it’s appropriate. Just let us know. If not, we have respite fosters who will “dog sit” until you get back.
Q: I think my foster dog is sick. What do I do?
A: Every foster gets a copy of our "Medical Protocol" document. That explains how we handle the most common issues we see in our dogs (kennel cough, worms, etc) and how we address them. It also provides the contact information for the volunteers who coordinate our medical needs so you can communicate with them about your concerns. The most common ailments we handle in house. If something less common or more serious comes up, we have several partner vets that we use for medical care, and arrangements will be made to get your foster dog seen, if appropriate.
Q: I have fallen in love with my foster dog! Do I really have to let them go?
A: That depends. If an approved adopter has already been told they can meet that dog, we have to give that person/family the opportunity to meet the dog and first option to adopt. We can’t go back on a meeting that’s already been promised. If no one has shown an interest in your foster dog yet, let us know ASAP if you’re considering adopting them. There are lots of “foster failures” among our crew, so you certainly would be in good company. Just please don’t rush into a decision you’ll regret later – it’s not good for you, or the dog. But if it’s meant to be, we’ll be so very happy for you!
Q: Will I ever get updates on the dogs I fostered?
A: Probably. It’s up to the adopter if they want to send updates, but we encourage all of our adopters to join our Alumni page on Facebook. Many post pictures, videos and updates on how their pups are doing. Some of our fosters also develop friendships with the people who adopted their foster dogs, and several even dog sit for their prior foster pups!
Q: How many dogs can I foster at a time?
A: Most people only foster one at a time. We have a few fosters that will take on two. Of course, we sometimes need a place for a mama dog and her litter to stay until they are old enough to be separated. If you believe you’re able to take on more than one foster at a time, you can discuss it with our Foster Coordinator.
Q: How often do you need me to take a foster dog?
A: As often as you are willing. We can’t save dogs without a foster spot for them to go, so in a perfect world, we’d immediately replace an adopted dog with a new foster dog. But we also don’t want you to burn out. If your foster was adopted, and you’re dying to get the next one, we’ll get you another dog as soon as we’re able. If you need a little break, that’s ok, too. Just let us know. Our foster coordinator will always work with you to determine appropriate placements.
Q: I don’t use Facebook, do I have to join to foster for you?
A: No. Facebook does make it a lot easier for everyone to communicate, but we have a few fosters who have no interest in creating a Facebook account. Our Foster Coordinator will stay in contact with you via phone and/or email.