Foster Carers are very important to Moving Paws Inc.
Without carers we cannot continue to save lives!
If you have considered becoming a foster carer,
we hope this information helps you a little more in your decision.
Moving Paws requires dedicated full time/long term carers to assist with senior and special needs dogs. Our carers are required to have 100% commitment in the training and rehabilitation of the dogs in their care. Moving Paws dogs are also to be inside dogs. We are currently looking to recruit new carers who are willing to travel to our vet partners – most importantly happy to travel to Mount Barker or Glenelg.
Becoming a Foster Parent—Are You Ready?
“Why do you foster?” “How do you find the time?” “How do you choose the right animal?” “How do you know if they’ll get along with your pets?” “How do you keep from getting attached?”
Fostering a dog, cat, rabbit, horse, or any other animal in need of shelter, love, and guidance is a time-consuming effort, but it’s also one of the most rewarding ways to help homeless pets. Providing a “stepping stone” for animals in search of permanent homes saves lives, alleviates the strain on animal shelters, helps set the stage for successful adoptions, and teaches you the skills that will enable you to help other animals in need.
We have found that dogs and cats who are fostered in positive, nurturing environments by people with basic training and behaviour knowledge are more likely to be adopted; less likely to be returned to the shelter; less likely to suffer from behaviour and training problems; and less stressed and more able to adapt to life in their new homes.
But as with adoption, the decision to foster shelter pets is not one to be made lightly. If you’re considering taking a foster pet into your home, ask yourself these important questions.
Does fostering fit your household and your life?
The health and welfare of all individuals in your home—human and animal—must be considered before bringing another creature into the mix. Fostering a homeless pet should never be considered unless your home environment is happy, safe, healthy, and spacious enough to nurture the foster pet adequately and retain sanity among the existing members of your home. If any of your family members are contending with allergies, excessive stress, other physical or mental health issues, career instability, housing or space restrictions, fostering is not a good option for you at this time.
But if you believe you have the ability to foster, and the entire household agrees that fostering would be a positive experience, your next question should be “Do I have the time?”
Fostering a shelter pet is a 24/7 job. Although you may not be physically interacting with the animal every second of the day, you will be responsible round the clock for the pet’s safety, comfort, and general well-being.
If your work or family schedule is already so hectic that adding another time-consuming responsibility will only create more stress, do not consider fostering at this time. If that new foster dog will spend long periods of time in its own or if you’ve killed your umpteenth houseplant because you just haven’t had time to water it, you’ll want to put those foster dreams on hold for now.
The amount of personal attention needed will vary greatly from animal to animal, but you can expect to spend anywhere from three to seven hours a day interacting with a foster pet, and even more if you’re planning to foster puppies. Teaching dogs the lessons they will need to become happy, thriving, lifelong members of another family is the essence of fostering, and this takes time and patience.
What kind of foster animal would be best for your family?
If you and your family feel you have the time and ability to provide a dog with the socialization, exercise, positive stimulation, supplies, regular feedings, health care, vet care, and training she needs to become a happy, healthy addition to someone’s home, you next need to ask yourself, “Who do I want to foster and why?”
Any animal considered for fostering should be healthy, fully vaccinated, behaviourally sound, and disease-free (unless you are specifically fostering a “special needs” animal). But those are not the only considerations.
Remember, fostering does not work if it’s stressful for anyone involved, including other pets. If bringing a young puppy or kitten into your home stresses out your animal family members or puts any of them in danger, you may need to reconsider what types of animals you foster—or even reconsider fostering altogether. Saving one animal’s life while jeopardizing or reducing the quality of another’s isn’t justified.
Some foster animals can be with you for days; some for months. And yes, they may just fit so well into your lives, your hearts, and your home that they may become permanent pets.
It’s important to remember, however, that fostering should not be viewed as a “trial adoption.” Anyone who fosters must be realistic about the expected outcome: that the animal will be adopted by another family. While it is impossible not to become attached to a sweet dog or cat living in your home, it’s necessary to keep your original goals in mind and remain committed to finding the animal a new family.
Exercising and socialising your foster dogs with your own dogs every day is essential, but also plan “One on One Time” activities solely for your own dogs. Not only does this soothe relations between the temporary and permanent members of your canine family; it also helps me keep “your pets” mentally separated from “your foster pets” so the level of attachment you experience with both sets of dogs remains different, and the line between the two does not become blurred.
Foster families will became emotionally attached to part with their foster pets, even when great homes were available and waiting. Think of it this way: For each pet who is adopted by his foster family, one fewer “foster opportunity” exists, which translates into fewer animals being given a wonderful chance at life in a real home. If you find it hard to say goodbye, imagine how happy your foster pet will be in his or her new home—and remember how you helped make that happen. Having said that, we do love foster successes!
What If It Doesn’t Work Out?
If you have decided that fostering is right for you and feel prepared for the experience, you may still encounter obstacles to a positive outcome for your foster pet. These may include unknown behaviour problems that are difficult to modify; illness; injury or unexpected death; the foster pet’s non-acceptance of pets already in the household (even after a reasonable climatation period); or existing pets’ non-acceptance of the foster pet.
Because dogs have passed from home to home or repeatedly returned to the shelter tend to suffer from bonding and behavioural problems, you must be willing to allow a significant amount of time and training in areas of housetraining, crate training, leash training, and basic obedience.
But if your foster pet has been given ample time to adjust to your home (usually two to six weeks) and still seems anxious, becomes aggressive, or suffers from any significant behaviour or health issues, talk to our team. Serious health or behaviour problems may require the attention of a veterinarian or professional trainer. Never be embarrassed to ask for help, we can learn too!
Accidents can happen as well. No matter how conscientious you are, dogs and cats can escape or become injured. Talk to our team, we allow you to sign documents outlining and clarifying expectations, requirements, and liability issues before the animal is put into your care.
The Short on Behaviour Assessments
Animals that come to Moving Paws Inc are surrender animals or rescued animals from shelters, we do our best to evaluated for temperament and aggression, after a suitable period of time has been granted for adjustment to shelter life (at least one week, preferably longer), the animal should become settled.
Bear in mind that a shelter environment can be stressful on a pet, and the behaviour observed in the shelter may vary greatly from the behaviour an animal displays in your home. Any questionable or seemingly abnormal behaviour should be reported to our team. Conversely, don’t hesitate to also report positive behaviour. As a foster guardian, you have the added benefit of learning more about the animal’s behaviour than possibly anyone else, and therefore, you are also the pet’s best advocate in helping him find the perfect home.
Dogs and puppies should be observed and evaluated for dominance, aggression, resource guarding, and obedience.
Commitment of a Foster Carer
- Your foster furkid will need to be taken to vet appointments, you must have the time and a car to be able to get to the nearest Moving Paws chosen vet clinic:
Glenelg Vet Clinic – Glenelg
Newton Vet – Newton
Mount Barker Vet Clinic – Mt Barker Nairne Vet – Nairne
- Your furkid will need necessary socialisation and interaction time
- Your furkid needs to be an inside pet
- Your furkid may also require one on one training, if so you will need to have the time and car to travel if required to Adelaide Behavioural Training
- Many dogs needs basic training and manners installed to assist with their re-homing
- Moving Paws Inc pays for all the necessary vet treatment (ie vaccinations, de-sexing, dentals etc) while in your care
- The Foster Carer is responsible for the feeding of the pet (at their expense)
- The Foster Carer also assists in the re-homing process. As the carer you have spent the most amount of time with the animal and know its behaviours and traits best, so we ask that you be part of the process. Read the applications submitted and also attend one “meet & greet” and one home visit.
Foster caring is certainly a very rewarding experience to assist a homeless pet and help it find its second chance is a big deal
If you would like to speak to any of our carers, we are more than happy to pass on their numbers for you to have a chat.