Fostering

What is fostering?

When a dog is surrendered or abandoned, with luck, ODR will quickly arrange to bring the dog into our care. Before a permanent home is found, the dog needs to be placed in a setting that is safe and where he/she can prepare for the journey to the forever home. ODR needs to have a number of on-call homes; homes where dogs can be taken immediately for necessary companionship – these are foster homes. Without this fostering step the likelihood of a permanent adoption diminishes.

Why is fostering necessary?

Since many community shelters are overcrowded, a dog’s chance of adoption is less than ideal. Barking, cement, wire cages, and minimal interaction with humans is not an environment that allows a dog to feel safe, wanted, and happy. In many ways, a foster home gives the dog a second – or even third – chance on life.

When a dog is in foster care, all medical and behavioral assessments can be made. During the foster months, ODR will help the dogs get healthy; spay/neuters will occur, all shots will be given, and any other health issues will be addressed. Equally as important is the behavioral assessment. Given a safe, yet active, foster environment, we get a chance to see how the dogs behave – how they get along with children, adults, other animals, etc. We also assess housebreaking, barking, nipping, or any other negative behaviors. The more aspects of a dog’s specific personality we can identify, the better the chances are that we match the dog to a perfect forever home.

What kind of homes are ODR looking for?

While love and patience is the primary focus for a foster home, there are other necessary needs. A stable home environment is paramount – the last thing a surrendered or abandoned dog needs is more upheaval – and, if you think about it, a needy dog is the last thing a deteriorating household needs. It is not necessary that you own your home, but we will need proof that your landlord is on board with fostering animals. We expect that the dogs will be exercised with some regularity either in a fenced area or on outings. A fence is not required but we do ask that the dog be on-leash at all times when outside a fenced area. ODR does not consider an electronic fence secure enough for a fostered dachshund. We hope that any foster home will be familiar with all that having a dog entails – food, exercise, socialization, and healthy habits.

What will ODR provide?

ODR will provide a “Doxie Starter Kit” to each foster family. The kit contains a bed, collar, leash, food & water bowls, a starter bag of food, and a toy or two. The animal will be assessed by a veterinarian before coming to the foster home, so any medications needed will also be provided. Ongoing food is the responsibility of the foster home, but medical care will be assumed by ODR.

What am I expected to provide?

Love and understanding. Food and water.

How long can I expect to have the foster dog?

The length of time from foster to adoption will vary with each animal. ODR asks that a foster family commit to at least 3 months. Some dogs will only need a couple of weeks of observation and stabilization time before they can be adopted. Other dogs may need longer to heal from an injury or illness. Special-needs, older, or mixed-breed dogs may have to be in foster care for a long time to insure the perfect forever home is found. These approximations are all based on the assumption that there are adoptive families waiting for a dachshund. If we do not have possible placement homes, fostering may go on for a long time. If a dog is not placed within the three months, then ODR will find another foster home if necessary. The expected length of foster care will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

What about my other animals?

One of the benefits of fostering is to get a feel for how the foster dog relates to other animals – dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, etc. ODR will make every effort to place a rescued dog in a house where he/she will not disrupt the equilibrium already in the house. No rescued animal should ever be put in a household where he/she could harm the animals (or people) already there. It is very important to be honest when filling out an application to foster – as that information will be the basis on which we place animals.

How will fostering affect my schedule?

ODR has reasonable expectations on how many hours we expect a family to be home with the animals. We will strongly suggest crating the foster animal until everyone is comfortable leaving
him/her out (which may be never!). And we hope that the animal is left for no more than 9 hours a day in the crate. If your schedule demands that the dog be left alone for more than 9 hours a day, then fostering is probably not something you should pursue. The foster home is expected to take the dachshund to scheduled vet appointments. We also need you to accommodate visits from potential adopters -which will be scheduled at your convenience. Because ODR has an active social component to its organization, we ask that the foster home bring the dog to events on a regular basis – both for socialization and for exposure to people who might be considering adopting. Arrangements can be made for an ODR representative to take the dog to an event if the foster family is unable or unwilling to.

Note that, while in your care, a foster animal is covered under your homeowners insurance should anything happen.

What if the situation changes and I can no longer foster or no longer want to foster?

Needless to say, ODR is aware that all sorts of things happen – thing change and we are willing to go with the flow! We will retrieve the dog and find him/her a new foster at any point in the
fostering process. We hope that a foster home will call us as soon as any issues arise so that we can find a safe and quick remedy. If it is simply just not working out – if it’s more than you imagined, or too tense between the dog and your other animals or family members, again, we understand that things happen and will retrieve the dog as soon as possible.

What if I fall in love with the foster dog and want to keep her?

In the business of rescue this is called a “failed foster” . . . but it’s no failure whatsoever in our book! Should you decide to keep the dog, the normal adoption procedure will begin and your
family will be the first considered.

Ok – I am ready! Now what?

Please fill out the on-line Foster Home Application. We require that everyone in the house agrees that fostering is feasible. Once the application is reviewed, a home visit is scheduled; all family members (including animals) should be present. This is an informal visit – it gives ODR a feel of what dog would be best where. . . not to worry – we don’t come with white gloves! The final step is signing the Foster Contract once a dog has been found for your home. ODR knows that fostering is a special gift for a dog (and for the organization); we appreciate every donation – and fostering is a huge donation. Thank you for considering fostering a dachshund in need. E-mail your completed application to: Click Here

Click here for Foster Application