Frequently Asked Questions About Fostering
How long am I expected to foster animal?
We prefer that you commit to fostering your animal until an adoptive home can be found. Unfortunately, we cannot predict how long this will take. It depends on the animal’s breed, age, temperament, and the time of year, as well as how proactive you are about marketing your foster animal by attending the adoption events (or making arrangements for your foster to attend, if you cannot attend yourself). If you can only foster for a specific period of time, please be certain to indicate this up front. We prefer to avoid sending our animals to multiple foster homes as it is stressful for the animal.
Am I expected to buy supplies for my foster animal?
SCAR will do their best to provide you with all necessary supplies to care for your foster animal. This includes food, dishes, crates, litter boxes, bedding/blankets (when available), collar, leash, toys (when available) etc. If you choose to purchase something for your foster, this would be considered a donation to SCAR, unless you sought approval from a board member first. If you want to be reimbursed for a purchase, you must first get prior approval from SCAR before making the purchase and keep the receipt. All receipts must be submitted for reimbursement no later than 2 weeks after the purchase.
What if my foster animal has to go to the vet?
Vet care for the foster animals must be provided by our preferred vet clinic, and all appointments are set up in advance by SCAR. You will be notified of the scheduled appointment as soon as possible. All vetting is paid for by SCAR. If you take your foster animal to a vet but have not received approval to do this, you will be responsible for paying the bill.
If your foster pet has a vetting emergency, contact a SCAR board member immediately to determine whether the vetting is actually necessary. If a visit is deemed necessary (by the SCAR board), and it is a non-emergency issue, you will be instructed to simply contact our preferred vet’s office to make an appointment at your convenience. You are then responsible for taking the animal to the vet.
If your animal has an obvious and clear emergency (hit by car, serious fight with an animal, ingestion of dangerous object etc.) you will still need to contact a SCAR board member immediately and inform them that you will be taking the animal to your nearest emergency vet. Any vet visit (emergency or not) needs to be approved by SCAR first!
What if my foster animal isn’t working out?
SCAR will make every effort to ensure a good and safe foster match. However, there are times when this will fail. In this case, contact SCAR as soon as possible. If the issues are minor, we will work with you to address them. Many times, problems can be solved by trying a few new things and/or by giving the animal time to adjust to your home. For example, we can switch crates, switch foods, or offer simple behavioural solutions to try. We may also have a trainer work with you. Other times, an animal may simply not be a good fit for your home or lifestyle. SCAR will always take the foster animal back if an issue cannot be resolved. However, we ask that you give us at least 24-48 hours to make a plan. If that is not possible, we will make emergency arrangements. We never want to put the safety of the Foster person(s), their own animals, or the foster animal in jeopardy.
Can I adopt my foster animal?
Yes, as long as we all feel it makes sense (however, we do have a firm policy that all Fosters must first complete the whole process once where an animal is fostered then adopted out of the rescue before considering adoption for themselves through SCAR). When considering adopting a foster animal, consider the decision carefully so that you are not deciding to keep the animal solely because it is too difficult to let them go, but that adoption into your home is the best outcome for the animal. The first few foster experiences can be difficult, as you may get attached and may have trouble letting them go when they get adopted. But remember, your role as a Foster person is invaluable! As a foster parent, you have the potential to help dozens of animals.
What if I have to go out of town?
Please notify us ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for your foster animal to go elsewhere while you are gone (if you choose not to take your foster with you). SCAR encourages you to make arrangements with another SCAR Foster volunteer through our network. Be sure to give us enough warning so that we can help you make these arrangements. Keep in mind that holidays can make it difficult to find space. The more advance time we have, the better! Once another Foster home is set up to care for your animal while away, please make sure to drop the animal off with all necessary supplies, as well as a quick written bio of the animal. Anything that you’ve learned about the dog/cat is helpful for your sitter (ie. How much to feed and when, typical schedule, favourite toy, likes/dislikes, behaviours to be aware of, etc.).
What if I have an emergency and need to leave town suddenly?
Please contact a SCAR board member immediately so that we may help make arrangements for your absence.
Can I bring my foster animal around other animals?
Absolutely, but only after you get to know the dog and know that they will do well in that environment, as well as considering any medical issues that may be present prior to being reviewed by our vet post-transport. Taking your foster dog around other animals prematurely may result in a fight, and result in expensive vet bills. And of course, we don’t want your foster dog or any other dog harmed. You should NEVER take your dog off-leash unless you are in a fully fenced, secure area. Be aware, too, that some dogs like to climb or jump fences, so be sure to pay close attention the first time you take your foster dog off-leash even in a fully fenced in area. You will be surprised at which dogs like to and can jump fences!
Your foster dog should always have an ID tag with your contact information on it. This is vital. They should NEVER be left outside unsupervised. Putting your foster dog in a situation that could bring danger to him or others is something every Foster needs to think carefully about. We prefer that foster dogs do not attend dog parks; there are many dogs there that are unsupervised and many are not spayed/neutered which can lead to a dog fight. There are also many dogs at parks that are not up-to-date on vaccines. We do however encourage you to allow your foster dog to interact with friends or family members who have friendly dogs. Foster animals that are not up-to-date on vaccinations should never be brought around other animals, especially puppies/kittens.
Do I have to use a crate for my foster dog?
This is entirely up to you but until you get to know the dog it is recommended. We cannot guarantee that a dog is housebroken, won’t chew your items, and won’t hurt themselves when unattended until they are properly acclimated to your home. The safest way to protect your home and the dog is to use the crate. SCAR cannot be responsible for damage done by a dog left unattended and uncrated. In time, you may find your foster dog doesn’t need the crate. But make that decision only after you “test run” the dog a few times and really get to know the dog and their behaviour.
What if my pet gets sick from my foster animal?
To prevent this, we strongly suggest that all your pets be current on their vaccinations, use flea/tick prevention, and have the bordatella vaccine (for kennel cough). In order to prevent your pet from getting intestinal worms (which are passed through the animal’s stool) you should pick up each dog’s stool immediately or have your foster cat utilize a separate litter box until we are sure that any/all worms have been rid of. Pets that are current on their vaccines usually will have no problems with foster pets, or the problems that do arise are small and very easily addressed. If your animal is fully vaccinated and you follow the above protocol, but your own pet still contracts an ailment from your foster, contact a SCAR board member and we will determine whether or not we can pay for treatment. Do not go to your vet expecting reimbursement. We will evaluate each case individually.
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