Buffalo Pug & Small Breed Rescue, Inc.
12405 Clinton St.
Alden, NY 14004
716-805-8314 / 585-598-6723
Fax: (877) 2345-PUG / (877) 234-5784
BP&SBR Foster Care Manual
4. Foster Volunteer Responsibilities
8. Getting your foster ready for their new home
Thank you for offering your home to needy rescue dogs and welcome to the Buffalo Pug and Small Breed Rescue, Inc. (BP&SBR) family. We hope you find fostering a great experience. A key component of BP&SBR’s program is the foster home. Without sufficient foster homes, we are limited in how many dogs we can help at one time. It is a life or death situation for many of the dogs that come to us, so without you, these dogs could be without hope of ever being saved. The rewards of fostering are many, and sometimes there are heartbreaks too. We just need to focus on each dog individually and remember the happy endings in store for them. If you have any questions or concerns about the information provided in this document, please don’t hesitate to contact a director or officer. It is important that you keep this document handy for review and reference.
You are ready to foster if…
Dogs taken into foster care are often the most grateful of animals, but they can pose some risks to other pets and to your home. Please compare your facilities and time available to what is known about the animals' needs in making decisions as to what you can do comfortably and safely. It is important to understand that BP&SBR is not always 100 percent informed about a dog saved from a bad situation (shelter or surrender by previous owner). Most often, BP&SBR will not know if a dog is house trained before getting him or her into a foster home. There are also unfortunate times when we are not told the truth and a dog ends up being aggressive or a fear biter (should you ever get a dog like this, it is important to keep it in a crate until something can be done to get him or her into a boarding kennel or into another situation). Thankfully, the later situation does not occur often, but it is important to understand that it can happen.
Dogs may have illnesses/parasites (i.e. kennel cough or worms) that are common in the stray, uncared for population that can be transmitted to your own pets. BP&SBR can never be sure what breed of dog is involved in a ‘mixed’ breed. While we most often work with breeds under 30 lbs, there is always a possibility that a larger breed (such as Pit Bull, Rottweiler or Great Dane) are mixed in with a small breed and that the gene for small and lower weight was the dominant gene, thus exhibiting the small trait.
The foster volunteers are expected to take their job very seriously. It takes a team to get each dog adopted but we depend on the foster homes to give each one the love and care they need in the meantime.
Intake is the first step of the adoption process. All incoming animals must be coordinated in by one of the Directors. If you take in an animal without speaking with a Director first, you may have to pay for expenses yourself. If you know or hear of a dog that you think BP&SBR should bring into the rescue, please contact one of the Directors with as much information as possible.
Most of the time dogs will come in to your home directly from transporters, surrendering owners, etc. If a dog comes direct to you, be aware that it has not been initially evaluated and little may be known by us about the temperament, health or personality of the dog. We will rely on you to make assessments and advise us of any issues or concerns.
The next step is to evaluate your foster dog for all kinds of things. Firstly, you need to ascertain any medical issues that need to be addressed while the dog is in our care.
Evaluating Dogs Of course this list is not all-encompassing, just some helpful ideas for evaluating a dog.
† = would tend to indicate a fear aggressive dog
‡ = a dominate aggressive dog
Both have the potential to be dangerous. The difficulty is determining what triggers the fear or
dominance response and if it is preventable or not. Both types of dogs have ability to bite first
and ask questions later.
* = If the dog tends to react like those that are marked with a "*" especially on more than one
instance, the dogs has the potential to bite. It, at the very least, would need training
and understanding before any adoption. This is not to say that it would not be adoptable,
but could very well be a challenge to the foster volunteer.
If anything makes you uneasy, contact your Volunteer Coordinator/Director immediately.
The foster home is expected to provide and/or pay for the following necessities: crates, carriers, bedding, bowls, food, toys, bones, gates, etc. These items will stay with the foster home upon adoption of the dog for use with the next foster. Should assistance be needed in paying for any of these items, please do not hesitate to notify your Volunteer Coordinator.
The Rescue will provide ID tags and pay all approved medical expenses.
Collars and Tags
If you feel you need to transfer a foster animal to another foster home, please contact your Volunteer Coordinator/Director and they will do their best to accommodate you, but we can't guarantee that it will happen quickly. Your patience and help in finding another foster home to transfer them to is appreciated.
All veterinary care provided for the rescue dogs must be authorized by one of the Directors. If you feel that your dog requires medical attention that was not authorized, please discuss it with the Director that placed the dog with you. No unauthorized procedures will be paid for and will become the responsibility of the foster. In an emergency, of course, seek medical attention for your dog immediately, but contact your Director as soon as possible. Please make every effort to use one of our approved veterinarians when seeking emergency care. The following procedures are authorized without question and should be among the first things the foster home attempts to take care of upon receiving their new foster dog. Please ensure with your Volunteer Coordinator that these procedures have not already been done prior to the dog entering our rescue program. All dogs should be heartworm tested, altered (spay/neutered), and administered inoculations (DHPP, Rabies). No dog should be adopted out without these items having been taken care of. In the case of a young puppy under 6 months of age, the Rabies and alteration can not occur and will be put into the adopter’s contract to have done at the appropriate time.
Please treat your foster animals for fleas when needed. If we have flea prevention drops available we can provide them to you, or if we are out, you may ask the vet to give you some (or apply it for you) at the time of the initial vet visit. Please read the directions carefully and also use a flea comb. Consult a vet before giving flea treatments to puppies and pregnant or nursing moms.
Please keep animals bathed and groomed, especially long-haired dogs. If you live in the Buffalo or Rochester areas, grooming will be provided by our volunteer groomers. Please ask your Volunteer Coordinator for a contact name.
If your foster animal seems sick, injured or in severe distress or pain, take them to a vet promptly and contact your Director.
Foster volunteers who have Internet access are more than welcomed to get involved in the screening of adoption applications that are located on the web site. If you do not have access or are not able to get as involved, then your Volunteer Coordinator will screen applicants for obvious matches, send out e-mails and refer any interested applicants to the foster home for further information on the dog. No dog will be placed without a Home Visit being conducted and veterinary and personal reference checks being completed. If the potential adopter you are screening is out of your area and you are unable to conduct your own Home Visit, contact your Volunteer Coordinator for guidance on getting a Home Visit done by another volunteer.
Note: Some volunteers prefer to take foster dogs to the potential home so that they can see where his/her foster animal may be living if the adoption goes through and to witness how the dog and people interact. This is up to the individual, but not a requirement. Discuss this issue with your Volunteer Coordinator.
Be Honest! -- Emphasize Good Points
Housebroken, people lover, behaves on command, fully vaccinated, spay/neutered, well mannered
Be Honest! -- Less Appealing Behavior
High energy, separation anxiety, jumps on people, chewer, door crasher, timid, marking, bad potty manners
The more prepared this family is prior to the adoption, the less chance there is of the animal being returned to us. Important points should be written on the adoption contract as a reminder for the adoptive home. For instance, if a dog is not good around cats or kids, verbally discuss this with the family and write it somewhere on the adoption contract (preferably in the remarks section).
Evaluating Potential Adopters
Is This The Right Family?
Should they be allowed to adopt your foster dog? You have the right to decide. If you are not comfortable with this family, then the adoption does not have to be granted. You can tell them that others have looked at him/her and that you will select the best fit for the dog. If you aren’t quite sure why you are uncomfortable and it’s just a gut instinct, you may want to call your Volunteer Coordinator for another opinion.
Complete an adoption agreement with all the information needed. If you are unable to complete the Agreement yourself, contact your Volunteer Coordinator/Director for assistance. You need to prepare two copies and both copies need to be signed by you and the adopter. One copy should be given to the adopter with all relevant paperwork (most often the paperwork will reside with a director and will later be sent in the mail to the new adopter) on the dog, and you must send the other copy, along with the payment, to Buffalo Pug & Small Breed Rescue, Inc., 12405 Clinton St., Alden, NY 14004.
Review the adoption agreement thoroughly with the adoptive family.
The last thing you should say is this, "Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any problems or questions. We're here to help. Please be sure to either call or e-mail me in the next few days and update me. We like to follow up with our adoptive families to make sure that things are going well." You may also choose to tell them about our adopter mailing list that they will be introduced to soon after adoption.
We do not adopt out animals without a fee… they can't pay you on Friday after they get their check; they can't drop off the cash tomorrow. We don't hear from these people again! You can accept a postdated check, and you can hold the animal until the person gets paid on Friday if they seem to genuinely want to adopt. But never let an animal go without the completed forms or the fee. Once paid, ensure the adopter initials the next to last statement on the contract that relates to the fee being non-refundable.
Checks are made payable to: Buffalo Pug and Small Breed Rescue, Inc.
If the adoption fee is paid by check, please be sure that the adopter initials the final statement on the Adoption Agreement relative to checks.
Ideally, the adoptions should take place in your home or the adopter’s home. Some fosters do not wish to have adopters come to their home, and this is a matter of personal preference. If you do not wish to have the adopter pick up the dog from you, contact your Director for assistance.
Make sure they do not leave with your foster animal until they have signed the adoption contract and paid the fee.
We also encourage all placements to have a photo taken at the time they pick up their new dog. If you don’t have a camera, contact your Director about using theirs. This is always nice to be able to showcase the adoption with the “before and after” pictures on the website.
20120303 - BP&SBR Foster Care Manual - DRAFT