Best Practices: Foster Homes (Part 2)

Today’s blog post is written by Karen Battreal of Nebraska Border Collie Rescue. It is the second of several posts about foster homes. The topics covered today focus on lost dog procedures, helping fosters stay motivated, and other foster “feelings” related topics. We look forward to your comments and ideas.

Karen’s Take:

If a foster loses a dog I must be notified immediately.  The foster puts up posters, contacts local authorities.   Our dogs are microchipped so that helps  We work closely with our local animal control, so if a dog is lost and they find the dog it is returned to the foster immediately.

We bend over backwards to accommodate our fosters.  We match the foster dog to the family.  We have fosters who need child friendly dogs, dogs that do not upset older dogs in the family, dogs that get along with cats, etc.

When a foster indicates he/she needs a break we respond accordingly.  We try to never push a foster to their limit.  We honor a foster family 4 times a year.  We have a wonderful boarding kennel that boards our foster dogs for free when the foster goes out of town so the foster never has to worry about finding a place for the dog when they have to leave for awhile.

Nebraska Border Collie members love to socialize.  Our meetings are always a pot luck and we have a great time after the meeting.   We have a garage full of toys, beds, food, treats, crates, tennis balls, vitamins, supplements, anything a dog needs.  It is all available to our fosters.  I frequently tell them to go shopping in the garage.

We have a volunteer list on Yahoo and we communicate through the list.

Terminating a foster is difficult but sometimes has to be done. Not properly caring for their foster dog, which would include not giving vet care when needed, not giving hw preventative, not treating with Frontline, abuse, etc. are all reasons to terminate.

Potential fosters must submit an application to foster.  We check references and do a home visit before they are approved or declined.   Approved fosters also sign a foster contract.

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2 Responses to Best Practices: Foster Homes (Part 2)

  1. Shereen says:

    Lost dogs! Ugh! so scary!! Recently a Weim Foster was running loose in Denver, she’s a mill rescue, terrified of people, all people!! How do you catch a dog like that? MHWR, along with the help of fellow rescue GRFR, posted hundreds of flyers, posted on craigslist and other lost dog sites, and spent endless hours on foot combing Denver for this girl. Luckily she was found hiding under a bench, by a local dog boutique owner. By that time she’d lost her collar and leash(and was not yet chipped) so they took her in, cared for her sore paws, and kept her comfy. They saw our ad on Craigslist and that’s how we got her back. Normally we chip right away but in this case, the microchip was defected so couldnt be inserted. When a dog is lost we have a team that sends out emails to every area rescue/contact, posts on several sites, posts flyers and physically searches the area. Animal control is also notified and very helpful in bringing the lost dog back to us. Luckily this does not happen often!!
    I will post more on the remainder of this tomorrow….I have 6 dogs looking at me, ready to go out to potty:)

  2. I would know to know more about this line: “We honors foster families 4 times per year.” What does that mean, exactly? We’d like to do more in terms of recognizing volunteers, but find it very difficult to fit it in.

    One thing we do make a point of doing is thanking volunteers publicly on our internal email lists when they step up to help with something. It acknowledges that person while also letting other volunteers know the need has been filled.

    We also do volunteer spotlights in our newsletters periodically for people who either do a ton, or people who have recently helped with a specific kind of volunteering that we need more of.

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