The process to become a foster family is similar to adopting. It begins with the submission of an application, followed by a telephone interview, vet reference check and home visit. The screening may sound rigorous but we like to make sure our dogs are well cared for in their foster homes. Who wouldn't?!?!
Once you are approved to foster, we will keep in touch about dogs that need fostering. Typically we will contact you with pics and information about a dog that needs our help. Foster dogs are matched to their foster families. For instance, we would not send an 8 week old puppy to a foster family where the people were out of the house all day. But an older, trained dog would be fine with their foster family working all day. If you see a dog you'd like to foster that would suit your lifestyle and situation, you pipe up and say "Hey, I'd like to foster that one!" Voila, you get your first foster. All dogs are completely vetted (spay/neuter/vaccines/checkup/deworm etc) before moving to their foster home. A foster dog is sent with leash, collar, food, any medications, a crate if needed and any other necessary supplies (such as a brush or food dishes). Any expenses incurred for your foster dog are paid by HART.
When a dog is moving to a foster home, a transport is arranged. Volunteers each take a leg of the trip and the dog is moved. We currently have foster homes all across Ontario; from Bancroft to Ottawa to Sudbury to Guelph to Niagara. It's a finely tuned operation!
While the foster dog is in your care, we ask that you treat it as you'd treat your own dog. Walks, playtime, discipline, socialization, cuddling, etc. Once the dog is in your care for a few days and you've gotten to know it, we will contact you for information for posting the dog on Petfinder. We also ask the foster family to take some good pictures and a video if possible. We write the bio, post the pics and the promoting begins to find your foster a great home. Dogs with good pics and a video generate far more interest than a dog without. Most dogs are in foster care for 3-6 weeks. HART is always available via phone or email to answer questions or help with any issues that may come up with your foster dog.
Once an approved family is found for your foster dog, we will send you their contact info to arrange a meet and greet with the approved family. If it is a good fit and the family likes the dog, the adoption takes place, with you completing the paperwork and receiving the payment. Your foster dog found his own home and you helped him get there! Yay! You then mail the paperwork and payment to HART and the process begins again when you’re ready for your next foster.
This is a brief overview of the fostering process. If you have specific questions, they will be answered during the telephone interview.