Always wanted a dog, but not sure you can handle the vet bills and added expense?
Hear about all those dogs in the shelter and wish you could help?
Recently lose a pet and feel like you home is missing something, but not ready for a dog of your own yet?
Have a dog and would love another one, but not sure about the cost of two dogs?
Do any of these sound similar to thoughts that might have run through your mind? I know many of these thoughts have gone through my own mind in the past 5 months after we lost our beagle to cancer. Our dog was not a social dog, so we could never had a second animal in our home, but since he has passed I have found a new passion in my life – volunteering with Last Hope Animal Rescue and fostering dogs. It started out as short-term – and on an emergency basis only. We just weren’t sure we were ready for a dog in the house again. But after fostering two adorable little dogs, Missy and Tucker for the weekend, I was hooked! I’m now fostering a puppy mill rescue, Hundley and have had him for about a month now, and we just got our second foster, a beagle named Simon!
Curious? Here are some more details –
Weekend fosters are in high demand in the summer. Some of Last Hope’s dogs are currently living at Cedar Run Boarding in Hiawatha, but in the summer, on weekends and around the holidays especially, Cedar Run fills up with boarding dogs and need to find other places for the Last Hope dogs to go. This is where the weekend fosters come in. Take the dog(s) for the weekend and then return them to Cedar Run on Monday. The dogs love living the home life, even if it is just a weekend.
Then there is traditional fostering, where you keep the dog in your home until he or she is adopted. You may be asked to help house train, crate train and work on other social skills with your dog. When you apply to become a foster, you can indicate if you are able to assist with these types of things.
Other things you will be asked to do include taking the dogs to adoption events, taking them to the vet, administer any medications (heartworm and flea/tick meds mostly). Since you will know the dog best, you will write-up your foster dog’s bio for Petfinder.com and meet with any potential adopters to see if they are a good fit. And most importantly, your number one job keep them safe and give them all of the love and affection they deserve until their forever family is found.
What you won’t be asked to do: Pay for most of the dog’s expenses. Last Hope will cover the expenses of the dog while you are fostering it. This includes vet bills, medication, grooming and obedience classes if necessary. If you are leaving town for the weekend, Last Hope will get you in touch with one of those weekend fosters so you don’t have to worry about boarding your furry friend either!
You will be assigned a foster lead as your first point of contact with any question you might have about your foster dog, their care, or any part of the fostering or adoption process. They are always there for you to answer any questions you might have, and they work really well with you to make sure the foster dog you take in is a good fit for you household and your family.
If you have been thinking about getting a dog, but you aren’t ready to take the plunge into full ownership, fostering could be perfect for you! If you have a dog and would like to get a second, but just aren’t quite sure – fostering may be for you! It has been such a rewarding experience for me. I have wanted to volunteer for many years, but was never quite sure where to start. Last Hope has been the perfect place for me and we always have room for more!
If you are interested in fostering for Last Hope, click here to complete the application. This is the first step to endless doggy love in your home!