Why use foster homes?

The Little Dog Rescue believes that a dog is best assessed for a new home environment by living in one. Therefore we do not use kennels, but have a network of approved foster homes nationwide where our dogs can be properly assessed before being offered for rehoming. Our foster homes offer a varied range of experiences which means we can choose an appropriate foster home for each dog, but it also means our dogs are able to experience situations which are invaluable to owners looking to take on a new forever friend, such as children, cats and other dogs.

Who are your fosterers?

Our foster Mums and Dads are all volunteers, from many different backgrounds. Some are working part-time, some do not work. Some are single people; others offer a busy family life. Some have no resident dogs, whilst others have several, and many have other pets such as cats and rabbits that mean our fostered dogs have an opportunity to learn to live with these too. Experience of dog owning also varies, but most importantly our fosterers are all extremely dedicated and believe that in order for a dog to be homed appropriately it is important to put in the groundwork, whether that’s training, socialisation, behaviour work or just lots of love and reassurance. Our fosterers also have an important role in keeping the forum updated with information about their foster dog, and are actively involved in the assessment of a prospective home, after all, they know the dog best! And fosterers have a lot of support available from each other as a team, as well as from our Area Coordinators.

And what about the dogs?

The dogs we take care of come from a number of different situations. We are asked to take in dogs from other rescues, council pounds and home situations. This means that the dogs too are very varied. Many of the dogs we take fit easily into a home environment, and just need some TLC before they are homed. At times a dog may not be house-trained or used to car travel or lead-walking. Sometimes a dog is timid or nervous due to previous experiences and needs a confident, reassuring home. Occasionally a dog may have fear issues and be reactive to other dogs or loud noises. However we always take into consideration a dog’s individual needs and match the dog with the most suitable foster home to ensure the best chance for the dog to settle quickly and begin to learn and have fun.

Could I foster?

We are always happy to accept applications for new foster homes. It is not essential that you are a dog owner, or have previously owned dogs, although obviously experience is useful for dogs that need a little more work before homing. What is important is that you are able to offer a secure garden, a safe home, time and commitment, and that you are willing to keep our internet forum updated with news of the dog you are caring for. Ideally there should be someone at home for at least part of the day. We promote positive training methods, and do not use punishment or harsh methods. We ask that you have an awareness of the location of your nearest vet, and are able to make visits to the vet should they be required. An ability to drive is not essential, but does help as it reduces the extra work our volunteer drivers have to carry out. 
*Please note: If you live in rented accommodation please discuss the possibility of fostering with your landlord to ensure that having pets in the property is acceptable.

Why do people foster?

There are many reasons that people decide to offer their home to a foster dog. Perhaps they already own a rescue dog and have seen the positive rewards gained by both them and the dog, and want to offer another rescue dog the same chance of a happy home. Some of our fosterers are unable to work due to illness, but are able to offer the love and security at home that a dog needs while searching for a new home. Other fosterers are retired and active, and enjoy the companionship and exercise that fostering brings.

Fostering has many rewards, and makes all the difference to a dog's chances of a loving home. But don't just take our word for it, read some of the responses given by our fosterers when we asked them why they do it.

“I came into fostering after one of my dogs died as I wasn’t sure about having two dogs all the time again but wanted to start another dog onto the road to a loving home”. 

“I take something which is withered, dirty and sad, and it grows into something beautiful that makes me smile and be proud”. 

“My best experience was the first time I let Cherry off the lead at the park and she ran with my dogs. She had been shut in a pen all her life and used for breeding and never had a walk. The absolute sheer delight on her face at being free made me cry”. 

“When Lolly, a fierce, frightened bundle of aggression and teeth suddenly decided to trust me and rolled over for a cuddle. I’ll never forget that warm feeling. It’s like falling in love”. 

“They learn how to be well behaved, well rounded, loving companions able to relate well with people and other pets and can then be matched to the most suitable home for them”.

“They acquire our hearts and learn to live in a caring home with other dogs. However the most important thing is they are not degraded by standing in a kennel day after day having people walking by and looking at them”. 

“Mojo came from being outside, so he learned what it was to live indoors with company, and that he could trust us to come back when we left him. We watched him trip up the drive waggy and smiley” on the day he left for his new home. 

Okay, I'm interested, what next?

If you would like to be contacted to discuss fostering further please click here

Alternatively, come and join us on the forum if you have further questions you'd like answered before applying.