Foster Home Responsibilities
by Dusty Craig
Welcome to the world of the unwanted. As a foster home for Aussie Rescue SoCal, Inc. you will be subject to heartbreaking scenarios and will also cry tears of joy. If after reading the preceding sentence you still want to go forward with this, read on.
What is foster care? You will be given as many unwanted Aussies to care for as you told your rescue volunteer you could handle at one time. Your job is to help the rescue volunteer evaluate temperaments (most important), give the dog attention and training if possible, and make the dog a part of your family for as long as the dog is in your care. You may have these dogs for quite awhile during some times of the year when people are dumping dogs and no one is looking for a dog. Or, you may only have a dog for a few days or a week. You must be able to cope with the possibility that your rescue volunteer will take a dog and put it to sleep-always for a good reason, never because we couldn't place the dog. Still with us? Read on.
Kids and Dogs: If you have children, be very careful introducing a new rescue dog to them - ask your rescue volunteer if you feel you need help! Sometimes, owners dumping dogs do not tell us the truth, and the dog may be a fear biter or dislike kids. Your rescue volunteer will not place these kinds of dogs with you if you have kids, but again, people are NOT always truthful. Your rescue volunteer is a skilled, experienced Aussie person. He or she will be there to oversee the introduction of a new rescue dog to your kids. Common sense says never let a strange dog be alone with kids under any circumstances, and your children need to be taught how to act with strange dogs. If you need help in teaching your children the right way to behave around strange dogs, discuss it with your rescue volunteer. He/she will be more than happy to help teach your children this very important facet of a foster home, because they will play a part in evaluating temperaments for rescue.
What To Do If You Have A Problem: Call your rescue volunteer! He/she is the ultimate authority in your area. If a rescue dog bites someone, fights with other dogs, barks excessively, escapes or in general just destroys everything in sight, Call your rescue volunteer! This is your job. This is part of your evaluation of a rescue dog. These are things we in the rescue program need to know about these dogs so we can place them accordingly or put them to sleep in the case of aggression towards people.
What You Need To Foster A Rescue Dog: If a fenced yard is to contain an Aussie it needs to be an appropriate height. If it has a gate, it must be lockable and be locked at all times when the rescue dog is in the yard. This is to prevent someone from opening the gate and either getting bitten by the dog (Aussies are protective, remember) or the dog getting loose and getting run over or worse. Kennel runs must be secure, able to be locked and shaded with water available at all times. AND the dogs have plenty of family and one on one time. Crates are an important piece of equipment to rescue people, and the Vari Kennel #400 or larger is invaluable for transporting and isolating dogs. These are the essentials needed and your rescue volunteer can discuss the nice to have stuff with you also.
Feeding will be at your discretion. Whatever food is convenient for you is what you should feed unless the dog's owner has supplied food or the dog needs a special diet. We'll help you with food for you foster dog as much as we can, just let us know if you need help.
Approved vet bills will be taken care of by your rescue volunteer. He/she will insure the dog comes to you as healthy as possible. All rescue dogs are altered, and if we do it, be prepared to care for the surgical site just like you would your own dog. Keep all receipts. The only way Aussie Rescue SoCal, Inc. can reimburse you is if you have receipts for everything. Major medical work MUST be cleared by your rescue volunteer first.
Screening of potential homes is done by your rescue volunteer. Should someone you know see your foster dog and think they may want it, feel free to give your rescue volunteer a call and give him or her that persons phone number. NEVER place or promise a dog yourself! Your rescue volunteer has all the paperwork that needs to be done before placing a dog, and must interview the home first.