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Thread: Fostering Pets

  1. #1
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Fostering Pets

    Hey guys - since our potential move has been cancelled due to various factors, I've decided to foster dogs. I've never fostered before, and even though what the shelter really needs is help with their many kittens (our shelter gets over 5500 kittens per year and this is kitten season), my resident cat would be a problem. She wants no other cats around. I would LOVE to have a bunch of adorbs kittens to play with.

    I wanted to get some honest feedback from those of you who have fostered.

    1. How many pets would you say is too much at one time?

    2. What type of issues are the hardest to deal with? i.e., medical, behavioral, etc.

    3. How was the dynamic between your pets and the fosters?

    4. How were the rescue orgs in terms of providing what they said they would provide?

    5. Best part... Worst part... of fostering?

    6. Takeaway experience?
    Last edited by Geila; 6-14-20 at 10:17am.

  2. #2
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    I have four cats. When you foster, they dont run around with the home animals. They have a dedicated room for quarantine and safety. Kittens can get into very dangerous places and things.

    1. Last time we had four kittens. I actually babysat them for quite a few weeks and fattened them up. 6 or 7 from one litter would have been ok. Just as hard to clean up after one or two as 6 or 7.
    2 Medical is the hardest. Knowing what to look for, giving medication and weighing need to be done and careful track kept.
    3 They did not interact. Interested in doing it because the kittens food smelled really good.
    4. Got a lot of help. Coordinator available and worked in our spay/neuter clinic. Important to have emergency numbers and understand how emergencies are to be handled
    5. Best part, watching them grow up and learn that humans are great. Worst having them leave. (take a lot of pictures.)
    6. Get the book, Tiny but Mightly, which is the BEST book on raising young kittens I have found. Kitten Lady on Youtube has all kinds of videos on how to do it also.
    PS I would foster kittens but that is my personal preference.

    Fostering can be hard and stressful but we have such fantastic stories and memories. Our youngest was a foster failure.

  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    UGG I would take those two pitties over the three yapping yappers (chis) any day.But that’s me, the yapping makes me crazy.


    I will come back later this evening to talk about fostering. I’ve just spent 2+ hours sitting around my patio talking to a potential adopter of my current foster dog. It went very well, we all liked her a lot she asked good questions and she interacted well with the dog.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
    I have four cats. When you foster, they dont run around with the home animals. They have a dedicated room for quarantine and safety. Kittens can get into very dangerous places and things.

    1. Last time we had four kittens. I actually babysat them for quite a few weeks and fattened them up. 6 or 7 from one litter would have been ok. Just as hard to clean up after one or two as 6 or 7.
    2 Medical is the hardest. Knowing what to look for, giving medication and weighing need to be done and careful track kept.
    3 They did not interact. Interested in doing it because the kittens food smelled really good.
    4. Got a lot of help. Coordinator available and worked in our spay/neuter clinic. Important to have emergency numbers and understand how emergencies are to be handled
    5. Best part, watching them grow up and learn that humans are great. Worst having them leave. (take a lot of pictures.)
    6. Get the book, Tiny but Mightly, which is the BEST book on raising young kittens I have found. Kitten Lady on Youtube has all kinds of videos on how to do it also.
    PS I would foster kittens but that is my personal preference.

    Fostering can be hard and stressful but we have such fantastic stories and memories. Our youngest was a foster failure.
    sweetana - Thank you so much for the detailed response. It's very helpful. I wish I could foster kittens but I think it would be too stressful on the household. Four kittens would be heaven! Maybe someday. I will check out the book though, it sounds like a fun read. And thanks for making me think about the medical. I can see that it would be hard. I get stressed even when my own have medical issues so I can imagine that it would make everything harder. Since this is my first time fostering, maybe I should start out with a more manageable case.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    UGG I would take those two pitties over the three yapping yappers (chis) any day.But thatís me, the yapping makes me crazy.


    I will come back later this evening to talk about fostering. Iíve just spent 2+ hours sitting around my patio talking to a potential adopter of my current foster dog. It went very well, we all liked her a lot she asked good questions and she interacted well with the dog.
    IL - I was hoping you would reply! I have a small dog that is not yappy at all and next door has 2 chis, one is great and the other is yappy and has been my female boxer's nemesis since they met. The chis at the shelter seem traumatized and are very quiet so hopefully I'll be able to manage them. Pitties are so strong and need so much exercise that I'm hesitant about taking them on. I have nothing against the breed, I like big dogs, but pits are just very strong. I have a hard time walking them at the shelter. I don't know how much of a factor the stressful environment and confinement is in how hard they are to control.

    I got more info on the pit with behavior issues and he is quite reactive and dominant with other dogs, both male and female. So I think I will pass on him, he is probably best suited to a house with a more experienced foster or as an only dog.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I am lucky to be in on the ground floor of 11 -12 years of our rescue organization for English bulldogs. It is headed up by a no bullshit Alpha bitch, ha ha, I am terrified of her! But she runs a tight ship. On a scale of 1 to 10 she is a 9-10 for health knowledge at a layman level, and she’s a 10 on behavior. Having this kind of expertise to count on is wonderful.

    I will try to answer your questions.

    1) . I don’t know how many pets are too many, and if I start yapping about my experiences those are just endless stories that are irrelevant to your situation. Keep in mind your local ordinances about how many household pets you can have.I’m not saying you cannot exceed that, wink wink, but just keep that in mind.


    2) For us the medical stuff is harder because this breed is known for their laid-back friendliness, and they have been tested for temperament by the time they come in our house. So the behavioral stuff is not too extreme. The medical stuff can be. You do have to be objective in observing and reporting to whomever you report to. In my case I report to our rescue head and then she gives me her opinion if the dog should go to our local vet up the street, or if this is a visit for our bulldog vet 40 minutes away.

    3) We have almost always had a pet of some kind, usually a dog of our own when we take in foster dogs. So our dog had to be somewhat accepting which they always have been to varying degrees.

    4) our head of rescue is very hands-on, she always answers her phone, and fortunately for me she doesn’t live far away so she can speed over here to eyeball a dog if that’s what I’d like her to do for a health issue.

    St. Louis area has a well organized pet food pantry for 501(c)(3) organizations like ours, so I get free food. I personally always pay for routine veterinary visits to my local vet simply because that’s so much easier for me, they are less than a mile away. For very Serious stuff, we take our foster dogs to our bulldog vet who is 40 minutes away, and the rescue organization pays for that, although sometimes I do as well. I’m on the board so I throw money towards Bulldog Rescue, I don’t really worry about costs, it’s just part of my charitable contribution.

    5) By far, the best part of fostering is that I get to have many dogs in the breed that I love. They are so much fun! They are so different! The foster dog I have now is a very smart and sensitive boy. Usually they’re not this smart. I am enjoying him for his high intelligence.It is fun! When it stops being fun, I will stop doing it.

    The worst part is euthanizing a dog due to temperament. Even though these dogs have been temperament tested before they come into my house, sometimes they’re iffy and we know that. Of the 38 foster dogs I’ve had we have euthanized 4 of those, for temperament. Of those 4, 2 attacked me. The other 2 had weird anxiety behaviors that will not allow them to live in a normal Home.

    For the takeaway I will just say as a repeat, it’s fun. I do it because it’s fun. When it stops being fun I will stop doing it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    We haven’t fostered because we would fail. The most we have had is 4 even though it’s only legal to have 3. We have taken many that no one wants due to health, disability or behaviors.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    OP, it is great that you have a sense of your limitations with the big strong dogs. That’s really one of the nice things about rescue if you can identify your strengths, and then provide a solid foster home for dogs in that situation, it’s great.


    For us, we like old dogs. We like middle-age to senior laid-back dogs. Of the 38 dogs I’ve had there was one who made me absolutely crazy. He went out to a foster home and it didn’t work out, and I told the rescue coordinator that he cannot come back here he’s making me crazy. He was very young and he jumped around and he was always mouthing me and ack! Nutso! So another foster home stepped up and took him, and they like young active dogs. They thought he was fun. And that worked out until He got a permanent home where he’s been for many years.

    I’m pretty laid-back about dog urine. We got our rescue coordinator‘s show dog for a year because her adoptive home gave her up because she was leaking urine. Well, for me that’s not a big deal, She slept On bedding I washed every day so it all worked out. We enjoyed having her, she was a funny little old lady bulldog and she was gorgeous and we enjoyed her the year she was with us.p until she died of a heart attack.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    If you don’t have carpet it’s easier to deal with accidents. When Noki was old he would occasionally poop when sleeping or walking and he was 80lbs.

  10. #10
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    Love this thread about fostering. Such an important activity.

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