Fostering FAQs

What if I want to keep my foster dog?

Falling in love with a foster dog is an occupational hazard and we have a policy for this circumstance;  volunteers are not permitted to adopt their first foster dog. However, if you think you'd like to adopt one of your subsequent fosters, give it a great deal of thought, make sure it is not a spur of the moment decision. If, after careful consideration, you feel you would like to adopt your foster, fill out an adoption application and forward it to HART. You can let us know in advance, via email, that you are sending the app and that you would like to adopt. We strive to find the most suitable home for our dogs. Your home may be wonderful but someone else may have the optimal home for the dog. We will adopt the dog to the home that can best provide for his individual needs. If you are approved for adoption, we will let you know. You will be required to pay the adoption fee and agree to abide by the rules set out by HART for adopting one of our dogs.


I don't have a fenced yard, can I still foster?

In order to be a foster, HART requires a fenced yard. Often dogs coming into rescue are disoriented and frightened. Given the opportunity, they will bolt from unfamiliar territory. A fenced yard allows the dog to become familiar with his new environment while ensuring his safety. We like for our dogs to be able to roam around their foster yards free from tethers. It is the best way to instil confidence in the dog.

What do you provide me with?

Food, leash, collar, crate, parasite prevention (in season), treats, toys, food dishes, combs/brushes... whatever you need to care for a dog that you don't already have.

My dog isn't spayed/neutered. Can I still foster?

We will not place our foster dogs in homes where dogs are not spayed or neutered. If your dog is not spayed or neutered, why not?

What do I have to pay for?

HART assumes all monetary responsibility for food and medical bills. If you care to buy extra or special treats or toys, clothes or special beds for your foster, that is your responsibility. You will be required to contact us regarding medical issues and we will instruct you on proper procedure. We will provide our approved dog food to you once you become a foster.

How does my foster dog get to me?

Our network of volunteers will work to transport your foster to you. If you can be part of that process, by all means, let us know.

How long does it take a dog to be adopted?

Due to differing circumstances, it can take days to weeks to months before a dog finds his forever home. Some dogs need a quick stop over, while others require rehabilitation from illness or neglect. Some breeds are more readily adoptable than others. There are many factors which contribute to the time involved in finding the best forever home for your foster. for the most part, dogs are adopted in about a month. Please indicate on your application if you are willing to do short or long term fostering, or both.

What if my foster dog isn't getting along with my own dog?

In this case, contact us and we will work diligently to find another foster who will take the foster as soon as possible. Remember, it can sometimes take a day or so for dogs to accept each other. If the situation is dangerous or fighting is involved, separate the dogs until we can arrange to take the foster into another home.

What happens if my friend wants to adopt my foster dog?

This is very similar to the question about you wanting to adopt. Have your friend fill out the application to adopt and send it to us. You may email us to tell us that your friend is interested. Have your friend name you as a reference on the application. Remember, it is our duty to place the dog in the home that is best able to address the needs of the particular dog.

What if my foster dog gets sick?

Contact us immediately if your foster gets sick and we will advise how to proceed.

How can I help my foster dog get adopted?

Expose your foster to the world! Take him on walks, on car rides. Tell everyone at work about him. Take pictures and videos of him and we will post them with his online bio. Put him on Facebook and other social media sites. Tell everyone you know about your fabulous foster! Send us valuable information about your foster so that we can update his bio.

My foster dog chewed my shoe. Will HART buy me new shoes?

The simple answer is "no". Dogs can be destructive, we all know that. Fosters assume the risk of property damage when they take on a foster. We are a charity, after all, all of our money goes back to our dogs. So, make sure your shoes (and other valuables) are out of reach of your foster.

I lost my foster dog. What should I do?

Contact us immediately! All HART foster dogs wear an ID tag with our phone number and their unique ID number so if someone finds your foster dog they know who to contact. You should still contact all animal control agencies in your community, all vets, other rescues. Put up pictures of your foster in your area. Scour your neighbourhood and ask all of your neighbours. We will give you more guidance once we are contacted.

I have little kids. Can I still foster?

Homes with babies or toddlers are not optimal for foster. We do welcome families with school aged children who have experience with dogs. Our volunteers will be able to assess the environment upon home visit.

Can I take my foster dog to the dog park?

Yes. If your foster is confident and good with others, you may take him on outings to the dog park. As long as the park is fenced and safe. This is a great environment for your foster to meet potential adoptive families!

And the biggest concern people have about fostering... "I'd want to keep them all!!"

See the sidebar of this page for a little insight into this way of thinking.

But I'd want to keep them all!

Most people that foster are dog lovers so naturally it's hard to imagine caring for a dog and then giving it away BUT you are not giving YOUR dog away. You are sending your canine houseguest HOME with a caring, loving family that is beyond excited to welcome their new family member. You will see the look on their faces, their absolute joy and know that the dog you cared for, loved and helped is going to a great home, that they'll never be homeless again.

You will feel blue for a few days afterwards for sure but it's not a crushing grief, like when your own pet passes away. It's a happy feeling inside, tinged with a bit of bittersweet. When you think back to your foster dog, you will truly not remember the sadness you may have felt when they were adopted. You will remember the happy times, trust us on this one. Once you receive the first update from the adoptive family your heart will soar, your day will be made and you'll know without a shadow of a doubt that you did the right thing. YOU helped a dog when they needed it most. YOU were unselfish enough to allow the adoptive family to benefit from your efforts. YOU cared enough to do something.