Updated: May 31
What is a Foster Home?
Fosters provide temporary homes for rescue animals waiting for adoption. This could mean days, months or in the case of hospice or difficult adoptions, this could even mean years.
Fosters provide love, attention, training, transportation to vet visits, treats and ease the transition from shelter to forever home. Fosters are ESSENTIAL to rescue. Many times shelter behavior does not provide an accurate picture of an animal in a home environment. Fostering gives animals a chance to show their personality without shelter stress and this is so often lifesaving for these animals.
We respect our fosters. We want you to foster for us again and again. We want you to foster fail once along the way and again a few years later. We do not want turnover and haven't seen turnover in our foster homes - we want mutual trust and long term foster arrangements. Trust has to be earned and that goes both ways in a foster relationship where hearts break and bleed for these animals and emotions are inevitable.
Our promises to our fosters:
We will make every effort to honestly disclose all information about any animal placed in your home.
We will make every effort to ensure compatibility between personal owned animals and foster animals or ensure a foster is comfortable keeping animals separated. Fosters must be happy at home.
We will cover all routine reasonably foreseeable vet expenses including vaccinations, spay/neuter, deworming, heartworm prevention etc.
We will never adopt a foster animal into a permanent home without a foster’s approval and involvement. If the foster, who knows that animal better than anyone, does not feel a home is a good fit, that adoption will not happen. Some fosters want to be more involved in the process - some prefer to let other volunteers do the home checks etc. We can't imagine fostering an animal and not being comfortable with where it ends up permanently - we want the best for our adoptables and our fosters even if that means the process takes longer.
Foster homes must provide:
Basics. Food, treats, water, a comfortable clean temperature controlled home environment and a place to sleep. Frequently we get food donated to the rescue and fosters are always welcome to that. Fosters need to understand there will be some personal expenses associated with fostering.
Time. It can take days, weeks or months for an animal pulled out of the shelter to adjust and learn that it is now safe and forever cared for.
Safety. An animal pulled out of the shelter environment needs time to adjust. On a case by case basis, we will work with fosters on how to safely introduce shelter animals to personal pets. Some dogs are ready to go, no problem. Others need time to sleep, rest and adjust before being introduced to any other pets in the home.
Detox. The first few days to weeks after a shelter pull, keep that pet's world as small as possible. We ask that shelter pulls not be taken on trips, taken to PetSmart, introduced to friends, personal pets, given a bath etc. unless these things are absolutely necessary during the first few weeks. Each pull is different but in general going slow, layering on new experiences as trust is established between foster and animal sets an animal up to succeed. Even walks should be kept controlled in the very beginning slowly introducing new things as trust is earned.
Vetting. Fosters must transport and keep vet appts. Vetting is essential to MPR and we generally vet at VCA Woodland Animal Hospital at 29th/Beltline. Fosters must be able to administer medication. New fosters often want to vet at their vet - and sometimes we can work with that but because of discounts and the timing of appointments it's often hard to work with vets outside of our regular circle. Additionally we are best of the best vetting and there are many vets here in GR we simply won't use as they don't meet our very high standards.
Exercise. Depending on the foster animal, daily physical and mental exercise is usually necessary.
Companionship. Love them and spoil them and treat them as you would treat any animal in your personal home.
Containment. If the foster does not have a fenced yard, a solid plan must be established to contain the foster animal. Electric fences are not an automatic no, but we don't love them.
Communication. We need to know EVERYTHING. We rely on fosters to tell us what kind of home would be best for a foster. Is an animal dog/cat/kid friendly? Does it sleep all day or need two hours of exercise daily?
Photos. We need photos. We need photos for petfinder bios and for facebook content - and we need these photos to be decent quality.
Training. Depending on the pet, it may be in that pet's best interest to have some professional training done including but not limited to an Adult 101 class, a Puppy 101 class, or private training with A Dog's Life GR or A Pleasant Dog.
The NO list:
Animals fostered through Mosh Pit Rescue are owned by Mosh Pit Rescue even while they are fostered. Fosters cannot adopt out a MPR animal without going through proper procedures. We ask that fosters use our vet as we get a generous discount and trust has been established. We will not be held responsible for any costs incurred at vets without prior approval. We are a small, entirely donation funded, volunteer rescue and costs are tightly budgeted. Emergency vetting in rescue is a complicated topic. We work on a limited budget and we strive to provide quality loving ethical care. We aren’t afraid of fundraising to cover big bills – but we have to juggle that with a responsibility to our donors and understanding that if we spend 2,000 on a dog we can’t use that 2,000 to save other animals. This is the single hardest part of rescue and we hope to never be in a position where we have to make these kind of decisions – but it has happened. If emergency vetting is needed, expenses must be approved by MPR HQ. We prefer Blue Pearl to the AEH on Plainfield.
If we ever are in a position where we have to put a MPR animal down, that animal would be cremated semi private at Sleepy Hollow and remains would first be allowed to be kept by the foster. If the foster does not want the remains they would go to us here at MPR HQ where they will be released at the Jack Little Dude Peanut Cookie Steffen Memorial Creek or Kirk Park (where our founder spent the best day with her soul dog Jack in 2016) weather permitting. We will never put a MPR animal down without being there personally. Supporting our fosters in this way is EXTREMELY important to us. Fosters emotions have to be respected if worst case scenario happens. We respect that in full. A foster would never be expected to put an animal down alone. We loved them, we love them, and we will be there. Dogs are never put down with out consulting professionals at A Dog's Life GR and without their support and recommendations. If Kristie Swan at A Dog's Life GR says euth, we euth. If she believes we can work with a dog, we work with the dog. #inkristiewetrust. If Jenn Gavin at A Pleasant Dog says to euth we euth. If Jenn believes we can work with a dog, we work with the dog. We trust the professionals both in vetting and training.
If a foster is not working out in a home, please provide us enough notice to place that animal into a new foster home again remembering we are a small rescue and this may take some time.
All poop should be picked up immediately from your yard until we have a clean fecal test. Cats should use a separate litter box until fecals are clean and cats are vaccinated/FIV tested.
If a foster decides to foster fail a Mosh Pit animal, the foster will be allowed to do that without any crap, noise or judgment from us at HQ. If we chose to trust you enough to foster that animal, we choose to trust in your judgment that you are the best home for that animal. There will be no adoption fee – if you choose to make a donation toward the care of that animal, awesome.
Because we are a super small rescue and we don’t have a giant budget, we ask that fosters typically provide basics such as food at their expense. There are situations where we would provide food, for example if we receive donated food here or if a pet needs specific medical prescribed food. There are bigger rescues where more costs are covered and we want to be honest about the costs involved with our fosters. Fosters also need to be ok with paying for gas to and from vet appts, increased expenses such as laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, electric, heat etc.
We hope that fosters believe in the MPR mission enough to want to be active in our fundraisers, collect pop cans as part of our can drives, bring their adoptable animals to adoption events etc. If this isn’t the case – you probably shouldn’t be fostering for us anyway…. This is a tight family set up where we’re all in this together and support each other fiercely and loyally internally.
A member of the MPR foster team conducts a phone call where we walk through this blog post making sure the foster is on board. After that we check vet references (if applicable), google stalk their address, stalk their Facebook page and otherwise do everything right up to the line of creepy to ensure that this is a good possible fit for MPR. Then we will set up a home visit with one of the MPR foster team.
During our adoption process, some animals we ask the adopter to first come to the foster home to meet the animal. Some animals we will take an animal over to the possible adopter's home. Each animal is different and we will do what we think is best to ensure success for that animal. This does mean from time to time potential adopters could need to come into your home as a foster. It also means the additional step of a home visit is required for each adoption.
MPR HQ acknowledges that if an animal has been fostered in your home, you are the person who knows that animal best and we will respect your input regarding any possible foster home. Animals will not be placed with the first adopter to pay the fee. Animals will be placed in the best home where we are confident in their care and in their future.
MPR has been drama free and will continue to be drama free. This is not about you as our foster or us as the main MPR team – it is about the animals we’re helping. We are incredibly busy at HQ and we know our fosters are also – juggling jobs, dogs, cats, kids, families, homes, lives, etc. We do our best and we ask the same of our fosters.
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