Fosters are the Heart of Rescue
Without you, we couldn’t operate. You provide a safe landing for a shelter dog, a stray or foundling, or a dog who has just lost his or her home. All this you do for the love of the breed. The need for foster homes has never been greater. Without them, we have to turn away Dobermans in need at the county shelters and from private surrenders. Contact us now to learn more or read through common questions below. You can even get a head start now with the online foster application.
What do I get out of it? A lot more than you think:
- Fostering is a great way to learn whether a breed will fit your lifestyle. Live with the breed of your dreams before you take the marriage vow.
- You have the joy of a companion dog without the long-term commitment. It’s like rent-a-dog, only there’s no rent.
- When you open your home to an orphan, you save it from painful death and help provide a new family with a lifetime of love.
- Plus, you get braggin’ rights.
What do fosters do? Besides taking in a desperate Dobie, you play a key role in readying it for placement.
- Provide a safe, loving, temporary home for a rescued Doberman.
- Help socialize, rehabilitate, and provide it with basic obedience training.
- Report to us via an online forum on your foster Doberman’s habits, needs, temperament, behavior, likes, dislikes, health, and personality.
- Assist with transport to and from the veterinarian and meet ‘n greets (other volunteers can help with this, too! .
What will it cost me?
All reputable rescues, including DHDR, provide a contract so that you know up front what to expect. We provide a full medical intake exam before the Doberman comes to you, along with a bath and a nail trim. We can also provide a crate, bowl, lead, collar, and bed if you need them. We will pay for treatment of any existing medical conditions and for commonplace illnesses and injuries that occur during reasonable socialization activity or despite your prudence and caution while in your care. You agree to pay for treating injuries or illnesses that are caused by your carelessness, negligence, or failure to provide reasonable care and caution and that occur on your watch (but at a significantly reduced rescue discount). You also agree to provide healthy food, treats, toys, and any luxuries that you might wish to provide (If you can’t afford to cover food, DHDR can cover the cost). Remember, your contributions may be tax deductible. Ask your tax advisor.
How long will I have my foster?
Some dogs are ready to go in two weeks. Some take months. You can decide because you’ll be advised about what to expect before you commit (we never force a specific foster Doberman on you). Also, if you have planned a vacation or something just comes up, we’ve got your back. If you need a break or if there is a problem, just let us know in time to find alternative arrangements.
What if it doesn’t work out?
You’ll never be stuck with a dog you don’t want. Remember, we want you to be very happy, and we want our dogs to be safe and loved. But everyone knows that life happens. If something comes up, we commit to take the Doberman back as soon as possible and place it elsewhere, without judgment. We need and appreciate advance notice, of course, but in case of emergency, we will respond immediately.
How do I know this Doberman will be safe?
We all know there are no guarantees, whether you get a puppy from a breeder or a teen from a rescue. But from day one, our policy and process attempt to rule out dangerous dogs. Shelters will not adopt them out. We will not accept them. We screen our Dobermans for temperament before we accept them, and we take them directly to the vet for a medical intake exam before they go to a foster home. Besides the bath and nail trim, and the vaccinations, health exams, and blood tests, the vet helps us assess temperament. With the input of shelter staff, the care and input of the vet and the technicians, history from prior owners, our own considerable experience, and our trainer/behaviorist evaluation, we have a pretty good take on a Doberman before it ever goes to a foster. We tell you all we know. We work with you. If you have limits, we respect them. We want you to be happy and we want to know that you are comfortable with this individual, and vice versa. We expect you to adhere to strict policies to keep yourself, your friends, and the Doberman safe. Ultimately, we all must acknowledge that there is risk present in rescue.
What if I need training help?
We’ll ask our behaviorist/trainer to provide it. You will also be part of a great network of DHDR volunteers who are ready to help you at any time. If you need help with dog walking or transport, or help with training or treatment, we will do all we can to provide it.
Yeah, but what if I fall in love with my foster?
OK, it happens. We try to discourage our fosters from adopting because–well, er, because we need fosters! But if love happens, we won’t break your heart. It happens, and it’s affectionately known as “foster failure.” To avoid it, we suggest that you look on your foster dog as you would your kid’s visiting roommate: “She’s here temporarily and my responsibility while in my home, but she’s not my kid.” If you adopt that stance, you’ll probably be able to maintain safe emotional distance.
What are the qualifications?
We will discuss policies in a lot more detail during your Home Visit and Introduction. A couple key qualifications include:
- All members in your household are ready and willing (with no reservations) to foster.
- You are at least 18 years of age and are legally able to enter into binding contracts in the state of Arizona.
- All members of your household are 12 years of age or older. Due to insurance-related policies, DHDR is not able to have foster families with children under the age of 12.
- If applicable, you can present a letter on letterhead stationery from your landlord or Home Owners’ Association (HOA) allowing you to keep a Doberman Pinscher at your residence.
- If you have a yard, it is completely fenced, your fence is at least 5′, preferably 6′, high and in good repair, and your outside gates are always securely locked.
- You keep your pets as indoor pets.
Contact us with questions, please. Tell your friends about our need for fosters!
See other great resources at:
www.fosterdogs.com Provides support and guidance for foster caretakers. Includes many articles and a discussion group.
www.maddiesfund.org See the Resource Library here for lots of useful information, including the article titled, “Fostering Shelter Dogs.”
www.dogsdeservebetter.org/canfoster Includes the interesting personal experience article titled, “You Too Can Foster.”