Claire and Camryn-- Two lovely puppies that were a part of the A.H.A.R.T. Foster Care Program
Sarah being spoiled in her A.H.A.R.T. foster home
The A.H.A.R.T. Foster Program
The heart and soul of Almost Home Animal Rescue Team lays in our foster homes. They are one of the most important part of our rescue and act as a stepping stone for the homeless and displaced animals coming in our care. As we do not have a facility or shelter, we rely on wonderful individuals who donate their time and provide care, love and guidance for pets looking for a new home. Fostering is not for everyone, but for those who volunteer to help these animals, it proves to be a rewarding experience time and time again. We are always on the look out for dedicated foster homes, especially for medium to large breed dogs. To learn more about our program, please read on. If you would like to submit an application to be a foster, please do so by clicking here.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Foster Parent The main duties of a foster parent is to care for the basic needs of a dog which include shelter, exercise, training, potty breaks, and feeding. The responsibilities, however, go far beyond basic needs. A great foster home is one that is able to provide love, stimulation and a safe environment for a dog until their forever home is found. As a foster parent, everything is provided by the rescue for the care of the dog such as approved veterinary care, food, a collar and leash, a crate and other necessary items. There is no cost to become a foster home, and any contribution to the care of the dog (such as toys, treats etc) is the choice of a foster parent. In addition to material items needed to care for a dog, the rescue also provides support from experienced foster homes, dog trainers and dog behaviouralists as needed. Fostering is a group effort and we do our best to make you feel comfortable and that you are a part of the team.
Foster Approval Process Much like the adoption process, the foster approval process includes an application form, phone interview and home visit. All of these steps are taken to ensure both the well being of the foster dog and the foster home. As much as we want to save as many lives as we can, we are also committed to ensuring the right situation for each dog and each foster family.
Please note: Approval of foster applications are at the discretion of A.H.A.R.T. volunteers. We will respond to everyone. Currently, we are only able to accept foster homes locally. (Hamilton and area)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long does the foster dog stay with me? A. Until a forever home is found for your foster dog. The time a foster dog remains in your care is dependent on many different factors. You may have your foster dog for a few days or up to a few months with the average length of time being around 4-6 weeks.
Q. Do I get to choose my foster dog? A. It depends. There isn't a master list of dogs looking for foster homes as the dogs needing rescue can change from day to day or even hour to hour. We do work with you to find a foster dog that is suitable for your situation and experience level and sometimes that may include choosing between dogs.
Q. What if I want to adopt my foster dog? A. Just let us know as soon as possible. Sometimes foster parents fall in love with their foster dog and join the affectionately named "Foster Failure Club". As long as the dog is a good fit for your situation and you are willing to fulfill the responsibilities of a permanent pet owner, we are happy to go through the adoption process with you. An adoption donation will apply
Q. What if it's not working out with my foster dog or I can no longer foster? A. As mentioned previously, we do our best to match foster dogs with appropriate foster homes. Our first course of action would be to work with the foster home to see if we can solve the issue that may be occurring. If there is an emergency or if you are no longer able to foster the dog in your care, we will make arrangements with an alternative foster home or a boarding facility as a last resort.
Q. Can I foster if I have pets? A. Absolutely! We do ask that your pets be up to date on their vaccinations and spayed/neutered as well as friendly with other animals. We do our best to obtain accurate assessments of dogs entering our care and this includes their interactions with other dogs. Fostering of course, is at your own risk and we like to ensure proper introductions are made with existing pets. (I.e. On neutral territory if another dog.)
Q. Do I need to have a fenced in backyard to be considered for a foster home? A. No. Having a fenced in backyard is not a requirement, though it can be a bonus. You are expected to keep your foster dog on leash at all times when outdoors unless in a securely fenced area. If you do not have access to a fenced in area, you will of course be required to take your foster dog out on leash for exercise and potty breaks.
Q. Can I bring my foster dog to a dog park? A. No. As dog parks and your foster dog's reaction to them can be unpredictable, we do not allow this. We are happy to recommend alternatives for exercising your foster dog.
Q. How old do I have to be to foster? A. We ask that all foster parents are at least 21 years of age. Occasionally consideration may be given to those 18-20, however, it is on a case by case basis. If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail us for more information.
Q. Can I foster if there are children in the home? A. Yes, of course, however we do take into consideration your children's age and dog experience in placing a dog in your home. We want to ensure the safety of all of your family members as well as the foster dog.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the Almost Home Rescue Team as a foster parent, please submit a foster application for consideration. If you have any questions or concerns about our foster program, please e-mail our foster team at email@example.com.