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Fostering FAQs

Q. What makes your foster program unique?
A. Rescued dogs temporarily reside in Tom or Jen’s personal home for at least 2 weeks before they are placed in a foster home. During that time, we will get the dog healthy and further evaluate his/her temperament and personality which allows us to place the dog in an appropriate foster home. You will never be asked to foster a dog that we know little about.

Q. I’ve never fostered before, what is expected of me?
A. Our foster families provide a loving, safe environment for the dog with plenty of exercise. They also work on socialization and basic obedience (i.e. sit, stay, down, come) and help the dog adapt to living in a home environment.

Q. If I decide to foster, what is the first step?
A. The first step is to fill out our online Foster Application. We will then follow up with a phone interview and home visit. If you are qualified, then we will schedule a meeting with you and the foster dog that best matches your lifestyle and activity level.

Q. Is there a minimum time commitment to foster?
A. We require a minimum foster period of two weeks but it is ideal to have you foster until the dog finds his or her forever home. We do have a need for emergency foster homes. The time commitments of emergency foster homes are variable and can be as short as a couple of days.

Q. What are emergency foster homes?
A. Emergency foster homes are needed when a situation arises where a foster family is not able to take care of the dog (due to vacation plans, etc.). Please note you will never be asked to care for a dog that we do not know much about (i.e. a dog that was just accepted into our rescue). Emergency foster homes still go through the same screening process as regular foster homes.

Q. Do I have to bring the foster dog to adoption events?
A. Yes. While you do not have to bring the dog to every event, the more events the dog attends, the more opportunities he or she will have to meet potential adopters. We request that you drop the dog off prior to the start of the adoption event and pick the dog up at the end of the event. You are welcome to stay at the event as a GSSH volunteer if you would like to be present to answer any questions a potential adopter has about your foster dog.

Q. How many adoption events per month am I required to bring the foster dog to?
A. It depends on how many events are held that month. If we have one event then we would like to have the dog at least come to that event.

Q. Can I foster if I have other animals in my home?
A. Yes. If the dog is going to be interacting with the other animal(s), we require a meet and greet with the dog and the other animals to make sure they get along. This meet and greet will be facilitated by a GSSH adoption/foster consultant.

Q. Can I foster more than one German Shepherd Safe Haven dog?
A. Yes. We do need to make sure that both dogs get along with each other if they have not spent time together in the past.

Q. Can I foster if I am also fostering for another organization?
A. No. Due to liability issues, you cannot foster one of our dogs if you are currently fostering a pet for another organization.

Q. Do I have to live in a home with a yard in order to foster a dog?
A. No. As long as you provide the dog with plenty of exercise, playtime and toys to keep the dog mentally stimulated, a yard is not necessary.

Q. If I want to adopt my foster dog, do I have priority?
A. Yes. We will let you know when there are potential adopters interested in your foster dog and give you the opportunity to apply to adopt the dog. Foster families are given priority because they have completed our screening process and the dog has already adjusted to the new environment.

Q. Do I have to buy all the needed supplies for the foster dog?
A. No, we will provide you with a collar, leash, pinch collar, dog food, treats, toys and a crate.

Q. Who is responsible for the veterinary care of the foster dog?
A. Veterinary care is covered by the rescue as long as it is at one of our preferred veterinarians and it is approved prior to the vet visit. If emergency care is needed, please contact Tom or Jen immediately for approval to take the dog to your nearest vet. You will be provided with emergency contact information.

Q. Can I pay for my foster dog’s medical bills?
A. Yes, you can. In most cases, it is tax deductible but please consult with your tax accountant prior to payment if this is a factor.

Q. Can I take my foster dog on vacation?
A. Yes but only if you are traveling by car. The rescue must be notified at least two weeks before you leave. The trip has to be approved by GSSH and a schedule of events must be submitted prior to departure. You will also need to let us know when you plan to return home.

Q. If I go on vacation, can I arrange for someone else to take care of my foster dog?
A. No. GSSH needs to be notified two weeks prior to your vacation departure date so we can make other arrangements for the dog’s care.