Monthly Archives: October 2013

Why Can’t Rescues do More?

Why can’t rescues do more?  The fundamental truth is there are too many dogs and not enough foster homes.  The next question, why don’t you go get more fosters?  Hmm, that would be a solution to the problem.  But where to find foster homes?  I wish that was an easy question to answer.
In speaking with many other organizations, they too are struggling to answer that question.  Like with any issue, you break the issue down until you can take a look at the root causes.  We started with asking people, “why don’t you foster,” and here are the answers we get:
  • I can’t have dogs where I live. Fair enough, but this reason is a huge barrier as to why rescues cannot do more.
  • I am allergic to dogs.  This is a hard one, that we cannot overcome.
  • I don’t have the time to care for another animal.  Understood, animals take time.  We would never want to place an animal in a home where no one had time to care for him properly.
  • I have children.  We get this one, juggling kids and dogs can be a daunting task.
  • My room mate said no.  Sorry and thanks for trying. We would never place a dog in a home where he was not welcomed by all who live there.
  • My dog hates other dogs.  Say no more.
  • I don’t think I would be able to give him up.  Failed foster is an industry term, it happens to almost all of us.
  • I can’t afford it.  Although most organizations cover the cost of the animal, we understand things such as gas to get dogs to events is a hardship.
  • I’m a cat person.  Great, let me get you the number of the local cat rescue.  They could sure use the help.
Some of you may disagree with some of these excuses, but those reasons are very real to an individual.  We would never want to coerce someone into doing something they feel they cannot do.  The reality, these are the reasons why rescues cannot do more.
If you find this article disturbing, help us find foster homes.  That is what we need the most.
What type of commitment, well that does vary from dog to dog.  Like people, every dog has a distinct personality and a foster family needs to be prepared to help with all personality types.  We need fosters who can:
  • Feed the dog once to twice daily (puppies from 3 to 5 times daily depending on age).  We provide the food, and bowls.
  • Provide the dog with a bowl of fresh water daily.  We provide the bowl.
  • Take the dog for at least one walk a day, 20 to 45 minutes.  Again, depending on the dog, some will require more.  We provide the leash, harness, collar and tags.
  • Potentially help with potty training. Yes, some dogs we take into our program (and all puppies) may not be potty trained.  We ask them this question prior to taking them into the program, but many think we will not take them if they say no.  They just want a chance at life. Oh, and I have yet to learn to read their minds.
  • Play with them. Yes, play!  Dogs need mental stimulation to help burn off energy.  Doing things like basic training, playing ball (where they have to give the ball back), hide and seek, all are great ways to get your foster to use their brain.  About 30 minutes a day.
  • Love, love, love, belly rub, pet, ear rub, belly rub, love, love, love.  Maybe not in that order, but the act of petting a dog not only helps relieve your stress level, but is very beneficial for the dog.
  • Bring your dogs to adoption events, or be able to allow for volunteers to bring your dog to adoption events (generally on the weekends).
  • Come to training with your dog. Once a week for 5 weeks (generally on the weekends). We have a training team who will teach you how to teach the dog.
  • Flexibility to help a dog adjust to a new environment, your home.
  • Patience, as the dogs need your help.
  • This can be a short or long commitment.  Some dogs are with us for just a few weeks, others are with us for months. But, we are looking for a foster for the long haul”.
Again, we understand why many cannot foster.  But please, help us find ones who can.