If you are interested in fostering, please fill out an online volunteer submission or contact GRFR at 303-749-8499. We would love to come out to talk with you to determine what situation will work best for you. THANK YOU!
If you are considering taking on the rewarding and incredibly helpful task of fostering a homeless animal for Golden Retriever Freedom Rescue, Inc, here is some useful information to help you make that decision.
Fostering parents and families form the backbone of the work we do. We cannot exist as a rescue if people are not willing to bring needy animals into their homes while we search for permanent homes for them. Fosters have my undying gratitude and my deepest respect and admiration. There are never enough foster homes to go around, so each is precious to GRFR and the animals we are trying to save.
To make your fostering experience as positive as possible for you, your family, and your furry friend, please keep the following guidelines in mind..
- Arrange to introduce the new animal to your own pet(s), if you have them, outside on neutral territory. Once inside, it is best to situate the foster animal in a crate at first, and introduce him/her gradually to other household members. Let him/her settle into the new place, and help him/her learn the rules of the house as soon as possible. Never let the foster take over and place your own animals at risk or under stress.
- Use a collar to walk a foster so he/she cannot slip out of the collar and run off. A dog can easily slip out of a flat collar, which should be worn for identification purposes only. The training collar should be used only for walking and training and should be removed after the session. Keep the training collar attached to the leash at all times.
- If you find prospective applicants for your foster on your own, please make them aware of the application process, as well as GRFR requirements and placement donation. GRFR screens applicants very carefully. First, the written application is evaluated. Next, a volunteer will call and conduct a phone interview. If the application and phone interview are good, a home visit is scheduled. If the placement is then approved, a contract is signed, and a placement donation is provided by the applicants. The amount is $250 for most of our Goldens.
- Never turn over a foster to someone who claims it is his/her lost pet! This person could be mistaken, or he/she could be deliberately trying to mislead you. The animal could have been removed from his/her former home for all kinds of reasons. The claimant could have mistreated the animal. Instead, get that person's name and number and report the claim to your contact at GRFR immediately, and we will investigate.
- If necessary, GRFR can lend you a crate, a collar and/or leash. Whenever you transport any animal, make certain you have him/her on a leash, with a training and flat collar. No prong collars, please! If you plan to foster on a regular basis, it would be a great help to GRFR if you could get a crate of your own. Make sure the animal has ample room to move around when choosing the proper size.
- Foster families typically provide food, treats, and chew toys for their foster animals, with no reimbursement from GRFR. Most of the time, GRFR can provide food for foster dogs. Fosters may also be asked to participate in transporting animals or assisting in house checks.
- If your foster animal becomes ill or gets hurt, call your GRFR contact immediately. GRFR covers medical expenses, but GRFR must authorize treatments and medications before they are administered, and must also approve the veterinarian who will be doing the work. In emergency cases, when every moment could mean the difference between life or death, do not hesitate to take the animal to a vet immediately or to an emergency clinic if after regular vet hours. We will work out emergency expenses. The important thing is to do everything possible to save the animal in distress. We expect you to treat your foster dog as if it were your own. Know where your closest vet and emergency center are located before you foster. Keep the numbers handy and easily accessible. The time to search is not when you are holding a sick or injured animal in your arms.
- Be careful about what you tell potential applicants. Avoid giving advice and criticism. Also avoid answering any questions with absolutes, and never answer any question you are not sure about. Do not mislead inquirers. Ask for assistance when you don't know something. Tell inquirers you will get back to them as soon as possible. Always recommend that potential applicants do as much reading about the animal as possible, and if applicable, urge them to sign up for obedience training with a reputable trainer.
- If you have any hesitations or peculiar feelings or bad vibes about the placement or any of the people involved in the placement of your foster dog(s)-- like the family seems great, all except for the angry look on one of the family member's face -- DO NOT ALLOW IT TO GO FORWARD! Say the final decision is not yours to make, and we will get back to them as soon as possible. Try to determine why you are undecided or what is making you wary, and take note of it.
- Be very familiar with the regulations and policies of GRFR. Most of all, remember that no one can be approved until their application is deemed acceptable, the phone interview is satisfactory, and a home visit is completed. If the applicants are approved, the placement contract must be signed -- by the applicant(s) and by a GRFR representative -- with all information carefully filled out and checked by you. Applicants must provide the nonrefundable donation to GRFR either before taking possession of the dog or upon taking possession of the dog.