Our Foster Handbook is located at this link:
Frequently Asked Questions
(adapted from Bad Rap)
Because of our dedicated & caring foster families, our rescue is able to accomplish our mission to help homeless animals every day. As a “foster-based” rescue organization, we prefer all our dogs live in foster homes as a “family member” while awaiting adoption. Our foster families open their hearts and homes to give these animals a chance at a new life so that others may experience the love, loyalty & companionship that only a cherished family pet can provide.
Common Questions About Fostering….
HOW DOES ITV RESCUE GET THEIR FOSTER PETS?
Almost all of our foster animals are rescued from high-intake city shelters. We also accept strays and owner surrenders. The shelters try very hard to reunite strays with their owners or find adopters for the animals that come into their care, but unfortunately, their intake numbers usually far exceed their return/adoption rate. That’s where the rescues can help reduce the number of adoptable animals that find homes. For every animal you foster, you actually save a second animal that can now take its place in the limited space of the shelter.
HOW MUCH TIME & EFFORT IS NEEDED TO FOSTER AN ANIMAL?
It depends on the animal you foster. Puppies are more work than adults and involve more intensive care, time and energy…although adult dogs generally stay in foster care longer than puppies. Many of our dogs take an average of 1-2 months to place, but some can take a year or more to find their perfect match. Since adult pit bulls can take longer to place than other breeds, we look for foster homes that are patient, stable and realistic about what they’re getting into.
SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT GETTING IN OVER MY HEAD WITH A DOG I CAN’T HANDLE?
We’re careful to match fosters with dogs that meet their skill levels. If you’ve never fostered before, we’ll probably give you a very low drive “beginner’s dog.” We’ll work together to decide what kind of personality would be right for your situation, and then will support you so you feel comfortable with your foster’s progress. We want you to have a fun experience with this project. By fostering, you’ll be increasing your own dog skills under the guidance of a large group of people who know and love dogs and you will have the satisfaction of making a real difference.
CAN I FOSTER A DOG IF I HAVE DOGS ALREADY?
We actually prefer that you have pets at home ~ well socialized, of course. We also require your dogs to be up-to-date with vaccinations. Please keep in mind that the foster dog may have an unknown vaccination history so it is important that your own dog(s) are vaccinated. We have numerous foster families that have other dogs and have no problems with repeatedly taking foster dogs because their own dogs are vaccinated. Your dog will most likely play a big part in helping the foster dog acclimate to life as a house pet. But no matter how well your foster gets along with your pets, we’ll require that you keep them separated, at least initially, when you are not there to supervise. This is for the safety and well-being of both dogs.
HOW WILL I EVER LET GO ONCE I GET ATTACHED?
If you get really attached to your foster and you can’t imagine your life without them, you do have the option of adopting him or her. Most foster families are happy to see their fosters finally go ‘home’ though. There’s no greater joy than knowing you saved a life, then seeing that deserving dog finally get his or her very own person. Many of our foster homes LOVE the feeling of placing their dog so much they immediately call and ask for another! Reminding ourselves of the millions of dogs that die every year in shelters helps to “let go” of foster dogs so another one can be saved. We like to remind ourselves about the following saying when we are having a hard time giving a dog up:
On the fence about fostering because
it will be too hard to give them up?
I would rather cry watching them leave
our home to live a life of happiness and
joy in a loving home than cry because
no one stepped up to help them and they
died alone, frightened and sad in the shelter.
WOULD I HAVE TO REVIEW ADOPTION APPLICATIONS OR SPEAK TO POTENTIAL ADOPTERS?
Not unless you would like to be part of the adoption process. You just focus on enjoying your foster and the adoption counselor will handle all of the adoption details. We believe our foster families know their fosters best, so we will ask you to provide personality information about your foster for their online bio, or possibly to answer specific questions. If your schedule allows, we ask that you stay at adoption events so you, the person who knows the dog best, can talk to potential adopters. We understand, however, that busy schedules do not always allow fosters to stay at adoption events.
WHAT WILL BE EXPECTED OF ME AS A FOSTER HOME?
Many rescued dogs have had zero training before they land in the shelters, so it’s up to the foster home to teach good house manners so their foster can be adopted. We find that other dogs also help teach the foster dog manners. This is no small project and includes house training, socializing and enforcing basic obedience skills. By making the foster a part of your family during his time with you, you’ll help him transition seamlessly into his forever home once that perfect match is made. You’ll never be alone with this work however, we will be there supporting you and working to help you along the way.
We ask that our foster families make the foster animal available for adoption events. You don’t need to be present at the event, but you will need to help us arrange getting the animal there and back. Again, if you would like to be involved in the adoption process, we’d love to include you. We also ask that our foster families commit to fostering the animal until it is adopted, unless other arrangements have been discussed in advance.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THE BREED I AM FOSTERING?
We believe that all dogs are individuals. While experience with a particular breed can help understanding some of the common characteristics of a particular breed, it’s not that important. Each dog will have their own individual personality, and we will help you figure out how to engage and manage your particular foster dog. The only exception here is that we require that you own your home or have your property manager’s permission for the breed of dog you are fostering. Of course, we’ll never demand you foster a pet you aren’t comfortable with.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO WORK FULL-TIME OUTSIDE THE HOUSE AND STILL FOSTER?
Absolutely! Most of our adopters work full time, so the 9-5 routine helps prepare the dog for such a lifestyle. If you do work full time however, it’s important that you make sure you have enough time and energy to give the dog the attention and exercise it needs when you are home.
WHO PAYS FOR THE DOG’S CARE?
ITV Rescue will cover all the veterinary expenses as well as crates and any other supplies you will need. If any vetting is necessary while a foster dog is in your care, ITV covers the costs as long as it is ITV that makes the appointment with our veterinarians. All of the ITV dogs are altered, dewormed, and vaccinated while in their foster homes, and we do need fosters who are able and willing to work with scheduling! However, we completely understand that a vast majority of our fosters work, so transportation to appointments can be arranged. Because of our limited resources, many foster homes choose to further help the rescue by providing their own dog food or heartworm/flea prevention. We will provide donated food, however, if requested by the foster.
I HAVE A SPECIFIC DOG I WOULD LIKE TO FOSTER. IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Yes, but we generally prefer not to “foster to adopt.” The reason why is that we do not want to take the dog from a stable foster home to another home just on the chance of adoption. We fear that the dog might loose a chance at a home that is ready to commit to adoption if they are in a foster-to-adopt situation and not going to adoption events on a regular basis. We will consider on a case-by-case basis, however, foster-to-adopt situations on dogs who are at the ITV Rescue Center.
CAN I FOSTER SHORT-TERM?
Sure! We always need relief fosters who can care for our animals when their foster families go out of town, have surgery or just need a little break. We love foster families, no matter if you foster once or continuously.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Complete a foster application at //itvrescue.org/foster/. One of our coordinators will contact you and answer any other questions you might have.
Thank you for considering fostering with us!