Thank you for your interest in fostering one of our dogs. If you haven’t had a northern breed dog before we advise that you do plenty of research and ask questions on our group Reach Sled Dogs so that you can get all the information you need to make a decision as to whether the breed is for you.
The Home Check
Anyone wishing to foster will be asked to fill in an application form for a home check. This form asks for your basic details and details about your family, garden and home. This gives us the information we need to advise you prior to your home check. If all is well with your application form, we will then arrange a home check for you. We have home checkers across the country but there are some areas which we cannot cover as easily. We would ask that you bear with us if we can’t get someone out to you immediately.
A home check is nothing scary, it is basically to ensure that your home and garden are safe and secure and that you know what you are getting yourself into. One of our home checkers will visit your home to have a look around and ask some questions. If you already have animals, you will be asked about their temperament, spaying/neutering etc, they will have a look at your garden or yard, check the height of your fences or walls (we recommend 6ft minimum but there are exceptions) and ask you some basic questions about where the foster dog would sleep, where it would stay during the day and if it was to be left alone, for how long.
Click here to fill in our Home Check Application Form.
Fostering the right dog
As long as the home check is passed, you would then be able to have a look at the dogs available for foster and express your interest. We will discuss whether the dog you are interested in would be a suitable match for your family, and if so, we will arrange a 48 hour sleepover for the dog with you.
If the 48 hour sleepover goes well, we would then discuss with you whether you wish to move onto the next stage which is a 2 week foster period. After that, you can either adopt or move on to a long term fostering contract, which effectively means that you would foster the dog until it finds a forever home.
Help and advice
Whilst fostering, you will have the full support and back-up of the rescue. We are available to give advice and answer questions, and our facebook group (link at the top) is also a fantastic source of help and information.
Adopting your foster dog
Many of our fosterers decide after a while that they cannot face letting the dog go, and therefore the dog’s current fosterer will always be given first refusal on adopting the dog. Adoption fees are £250 and the dog will be up to date on vaccinations and where possible will be on the vacs for life scheme They will also be spayed/neutered if old enough or will come with a neutering contract if it is a puppy. This is to ensure that the dog will be spayed/neutered and not used for breeding.
Who pays for what?
Whilst fostering, you will be responsible for supplying food, shelter, care and love. Should the dog become ill or need vet treatment, as long as the cause is not intentional or through carelessness, the rescue will cover vet fees. Sadly most of the dogs we take in come with only a collar and lead if they are lucky. You will be asked to provide food bowls, toys, a bed and/or crate and anything else you or the dog require. We do not pay people for fostering the dogs.
A final word
Last and not least, it costs the rescue so much money to transport dogs, not to mention the stress on the dog being moved around, so please be sure that you are prepared for the issues foster dogs can have, such as separation anxiety and food aggression. You also need to understand that a foster dog can take a while to settle into a new home. They may mess on the floor, they can be destructive, they will almost certainly chase cats and small furry animals, and they may even growl at your current dog. Being moved into a new place, the dog will possibly be frightened, confused and unsettled so please be sure that you are prepared to work with the dog to help it feel more comfortable. If, after reading this you think fostering is not for you, that is absolutely fine. We would rather people were honest with us than go into it uncertainly and demand we remove the dog after just a few hours, which costs the rescue time, money and manpower. All the rescue team, home checkers and transporters are volunteers and do not get paid for their time, travel and petrol, so please be sure before you request a home check.
If after all that you think fostering is for you and you would like to apply, please fill out the homecheck form found here.