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My fostering experience
Topic Started: Apr 7 2013, 12:16 AM (219 Views)
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I have fostered 6 dogs for Homeless Hounds (HH) to date and have really enjoyed helping the dogs who have passed through our lives.

I started fostering when I wanted to do something to help a rescue and then I saw a little Jack Russell on the Rescue Helpers Unite forum and just had a connection with him. It turned out he was a Homeless Hounds dog and we contacted them and finally got in touch with Jen. We had our home check which is not as daunting a it sounds. You do not need to have a show house to foster for HH, we live in an apartment so that shouldn't put you off either.

We have 2 dogs of our own and a cat. We went to the pound to collect Buster and he was a lovey boy. Unfortunately he HATED the cat and was seriously trying to do her some harm. We have baby gates and were able to keep them apart but after 2 days it just wasn't fair on the cat as if he got to her he would have done damage. We felt really bad and disappointed but Buster had to go back to the pound and HH were really understanding and supportive. Whilst we returned him we were asked to look at another boy who was Franz the old Westie boy who ended up coming home with and he stayed with us until he went to his forever home.

When you first get your foster dog the first thing you will want to do is bath them as there is a certain pound smell! :blink: If you can wait and let them settle then that's better but in Franz's case the sooner the better. He was suffering from a bad flea allergy although the fleas had already been treated by the pound. The next step was to get him to the vets to start his vaccinations. Pound dogs rarely have any history so they are started again with their puppy vaccinations which involves 2 visits to one of our designated vets. We also book the neuter if the dog is unneutered. Treatment goes directly onto the HH account so you will not have to pay out any money or reclaim any.

You will be a big part of the life of your foster dog and HH will ask your opinion as to the suitability of any prospective adopters as at this time you will know the dog best. Once somebody suitable has been found then the prospective new owner will need a meet and greet with the dog to see how they fit. This can either be done by the foster carer or by HH. I personally prefer to do the meet and greet myself as I like to see the peoples reaction to the dog and vice versa. The next step will be for the dog to go on a home trial.

This is the sad part for the foster carer but I have never cried when handing over one of my foster dogs. When you see the person who has perhaps gone through the sadness of losing their own dog and is so excited about the possibility of getting a new best friend it makes it all worth while. Franz (now called Bobby) went to a fantastic new home where he is a very happy boy and so is his new owner.

We went on to foster more dogs and are now fostering Biggles who is with us on long term foster as he has a skin condition which needs treatment. We will be keeping Biggles eventually as we just cannot think about letting him go. Fostering is incredibly rewarding and even with our first foster Buster we were able to tell HH that he didn't like dogs and was crate trained which they would have not known otherwise.

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer for Homeless Hounds then please contact Emma, our Re-Homing Co Odinator on ... emma@homelesshounds.org.uk

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Good post Mel :)
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