Receiving The Animal into Your Home
Once it is determined that you can foster the animal, then arrangements will be made to get the animal to you. This will happen after we receive your Foster Questionnaire, had a phone conversation and completed your home visit. Getting your animal may involve you picking the animal up, the animal being dropped off with you, or you meeting the transporter in a central location to receive the animal. All efforts will be made to vet and test the animal before placement into the foster home, but in some cases, the animal may need to be separated from your current pets until vetting can occur. Transportation to the vet may be done by the foster home or by a transportation volunteer.
Taking Care of The Animal in Your Home
Most animals adjust to the foster home without major difficulties. Be sensitive, however, to the stress that such a change can cause your animal and be especially careful to introduce the foster animal to other pets and children slowly. If it turns out that the animal has a behavioral issue, Homeward Trails representatives can offer advice or recommend trainers if needed. Since we don’t have a shelter, it is not as easy as giving them back. There’s no place for them to go back to (foster homes are ALWAYS full!) so please make every effort to keep your foster animal until placement is made.
If you notice that your foster pet is showing signs of illness, get in touch with to discuss these signs and to make a medical plan. Diarrhea and bloody stools are often common with dogs and pups and is usually the result of stress. We generally give the animals a few days to get acclimated to their new environment and may suggest feeding a boiled turkey and rice diet in place of their puppy food. However, bloody stool, lethargy and vomiting are signs of something more serious and should be addressed immediately. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have concerns about the animal’s health. We will make every effort to address any issues in a timely manner. The health of our rescued animals is very important to us!
Your foster pet will remain on the website. A Homeward Trails representative (Adoption Coordinator) will accept applications and conduct phone interviews of prospective adopters with your help. Once we have adequately screened a person, checked reference and found the person to be a good fit, we will contact you and put the prospective adopter in direct contact with you.
At this point, we ask that you and prospective adopter make arrangements so that the prospective adopter can meet the animal either at your house or theirs. You will have a folder for your foster pet containing vaccination history, adoption paperwork and other helpful info.
We feel it is important that you, the foster parent, are able to play a role in deciding whether or not your foster animal gets placed with the prospective adopters with whom you meet. If ever you meet with a prospective adopter and have legitimate concerns about their ability to care for the animal, you have the right to delay or refuse the adoption. We will inform each prospective adopter that we send to you that you will have the final say. The adoption will only take place if the foster person approves it. If you do feel it necessary to delay or refuse the adoption, simply inform the prospective adopter that you have some concerns you would like to discuss with us first and that a Homeward Trails representative will be getting in touch.
Please review the adoption contract with the adopter. There is a lot of valuable information in the packet and people don’t always read it when they get home, so it is the responsibility of the foster person to make sure they understand what’s included.
A few days to a week after the adoption, you will want to follow up with the adopter to see how things are going. Adopters are usually happy to get a call and might want some additional advice. Remind the adopter that they should contact the fosterer or Homeward Trails if there are any problems or issues they wish to discuss in the future.
Fostering is a lot of work but SO rewarding. We are glad you are considering becoming an HT foster!