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Fostering Guidelines

Dogs come into Foal Farm Animal Rescue Centre for a number of reasons.  Previous owners are moving to accommodation and they are not able to take the dog with them, an owner has passed away, owner cannot cope with a young dog or the dogs have come from a dog pound where they are at high risk of being euthanised when not claimed by the owner.

Fosterers are an essential part of dog rescue.  A dog in foster releases a very important kennel space for another rescue dog that is possibly in an ‘at risk’ situation and needs an urgent kennel space.  Fostering a dog also gives a potential adopter a good idea of what the dog is like in a home situation and gives the best chance of the dog finding a new home.

The people that already Foster for us do so for many reasons: in some cases people may not be able to commit to permanently owning a dog or losing a dog through old age or illness is too stressful but they want to help a rescue dog or perhaps they are new to dog ownership and want to investigate the most suitable dog for their home but wish to help a rescue dog in the meantime.

Foal Farm’s Dog Team encourages discussion with the fosterer as to the most suitable dog for their circumstances.  Assessments that have been carried out on the dog at Foal Farm and any previous history and observations in kennels that we have on the dog will be discussed with the potential fosterer (please note that these are initial assessments or a previous owner may have provided inaccurate information).

 The majority of our rescue dogs have no behavioural issues at all – all they want is a quiet, loving home whilst they wait for their forever home.  However, some of our more long term dogs do have specific issues and we welcome experienced dog owners to discuss whether fostering them may be an option.  Foal Farm support the Fosterer on all training and behavioural needs that some dogs may require. However, Fosterers are asked to carry out positive training with Foal Farm’s agreement.

 A Fostering Homecheck will be carried out prior to registering with Foal Farm as a fosterer.  You will need a secure garden prior to arranging a Homecheck as well as identification available (ie driving license or passport as well as proof of address, ie a utility bill).

If you have existing dogs in the home, you will be asked to bring them to Foal Farm for an introduction to the Foster Dog before agreement to Foster a Foal Farm dog.

If you have other animals (ie cats), only dogs suitable to live with cats will be considered.

Foal Farm cover veterinary costs (with our own vet only) but we ask that you cover feeding costs, unless the dog has special dietary needs whereas Foal Farm will, in these circumstances, provide the food. Please note that we are a charity and any donations towards feeding costs are greatly appreciated.

It is important that everyone in the family agrees to foster a dog.  If a family wish to foster a dog, only those dogs suitable to be rehomed with children will be considered.  However, at no time should any dog or child be left alone without adult supervision.

Foal Farm retain the right to visit the foster home at any time to check on the Foster Dog.

Being a Foal Farm Fosterer comes with a large amount of responsibility.  Please carefully read our Foster Agreement to ensure that you can adhere to the Agreement at all times.

It is not possible to predict the length of time that the dog will be in a Foster Home.  If the Foster Dog needs to return to kennels at any time, we ask that you give two weeks’ notice to ensure that a space is available for the Foster Dog.  Any pre-booked holidays should be discussed with the Dog Team prior to fostering a dog.  In an emergency where the Foster Dog needs to return to Foal Farm, the Dog Team need to be contacted as soon as possible.

We ask for weekly feedback and photographs from the fosterer on the Foster Dog as this may help the dog find a new home.

The Fosterer will need to be available to bring the Foster Dog to Foal Farm Animal Rescue Centre for introductions to a potential adopter.  Alternatively, if the Fosterer is agreeable, a potential adopter may wish to meet the Foster Dog in the Foster Home. We will make every effort to ensure that it is a mutually convenient day/time for both parties.

Obviously whilst the dog is in Foster, we would ask that you carry out basic training – this can may be specific training that the dog requires or general obedience.  The Dog Team will discuss any training with the Fosterer prior to fostering a dog.  No training is to be done by the Fosterer or external trainers without prior written consent from the Dog Team at Foal Farm.

Fosterers need to be aware that whilst the dog is in Foster, he/she is actively advertised for rehoming with a view to achieving a permanent home.

Please complete a Fostering Application Form here.