How to Become A Foster Parent
Step 1: Fill out foster application online. Wags and Walks will conduct a phone screening after reviewing your application to discuss the fostering process and get an understanding of the best type of dog for your home.
Step 2: Each month you will receive an email requesting your availability to foster in the coming month. Please reply and let us know your availability even if you cannot foster that month. We can only save as many dogs as we have fosters for so replying to this email allows us to save a life. You can also join our Facebook group for Wags and Walks fosters to keep up to date on new dogs we save and urgent foster needs.
Step 3: Upon picking up your first foster you will receive a Wags and Walks contract to initial and sign. You will also receive a list of frequently asked questions that are also listed here to reference should anything come up once you get your foster dog home.
Step 4: When you pick up your foster dog you will also receive any supplies needed (we have crates, leash, collar, toys, treats, etc if needed) including an "Adopt Me" vest or bandana and Wags and Walks business cards.
*ALL supplies must be returned to Wags and Walks when your dog is adopted so that we can continue to use them for future dogs we save. Please do not give them to the adopter.*
I Got My Foster Dog.... Now What?
- First and foremost, start loving your foster friend!
- Be sure to like Wags and Walks on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter. Start snapping photos of your foster as best you can and share them on social media. If you are posting on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook please always include the Wags and Walks handles as well as #wagsandwalks #rescueisthenewblack.
- Within two days please send two or three of the best photos and information about your foster's personality to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can start promoting your foster for adoption. For examples and inspiration, please look at the photos on our Available Dogs page.
- When people start noticing your foster dog, please hand them a Wags and Walks card and direct them to fill out an application online at wagsandwalks.org. Also ask if you can take their contact information and share it with our adoption team. The potential adopter must apply online and be approved by the Wags and Walks team before the dog leaves your home!!! Please let us know if you personally know the potential adopter.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER
- Travel: If you have to go out of town for any reason, work/vacation/etc. please let us know as soon as possible. You need to get permission from our Foster Program Director before you take your foster dog out of the area or place them in someone else's care. Do not give your foster to anyone else unless you have permission from us - this includes friends, babysitters, other fosters, foster to adopt situations, etc. The dogs are our responsibility and we need to know where they are and under whose care at all times.
- Medical Issues: Please email our Medical Coordinator if any medical questions/issues arise to gain support or permission if medical attention is necessary. Our Medical Coordinator will make an appointment for you at one of our approved vets and the foster dog can typically be dropped off there. If you take the dog to your own vet or even to one of our vets without our permission, we will not be able to reimburse the costs.
- General Questions and Concerns: Many questions may be answered on our FAQs page so please consult there first. If you cannot find the answer to your question there, email our Foster Program Director with all questions and concerns as she needs to know where the dogs are and how they are doing in their foster home. She will answer any questions and help resolve any issues that may arise. Asking someone else to get a faster answer often creates miscommunication and creates further delays.
- Dog Parks and Group Play Dates: Do not bring your foster to a dog park unless you are willing to cover all costs if any incidents that may occur. Your foster dog may behave well but that doesn’t mean the rest of the rest of the dogs will or that your dog won’t jump in on a fight. We do not know what type of abuse our dogs have previously had and we want them to feel and be as safe as possible.
- Adopting Your Foster: Occasionally fosters do decide they cannot part with their foster dog and would like to adopt. Please let us know as soon as you decide so we can let other potential adopters know the dog is no longer available. Not all our dogs are able to go into a foster to adopt situation. If you know in advance you would like to foster to adopt, we need a deposit of half of the adoption donation to stop all meet and greets. We will give you 7 days to decide. If you haven’t decided in those 7 days, we will start arranging meet and greets with other interested parties. Sorry we cannot extend the 7 days deciding window.
Adopter Questions & Meet and Greets
- Foster to Adopt: A "Foster to Adopt" is a one week trial period in which a dog is not available for other meet and greets while a pre-approved applicant determines if they would like to keep the dog. After filling out an online application and being pre-screened, the potential adopter will sign a Foster to Adopt contract and submit a $200 deposit. This process will be facilitated by the Wags and Walks team. Not all dogs are able to go into a foster to adopt situation - please ask us first before discussing this with interested adopters.
- Meet and Greets: Do not schedule meet and greets without our permission. We need to have all potential adopters apply online and be pre-screened before we schedule a meet and greet. This process must be followed even if a friend, family member or co-worker wants to adopt your foster dog. If someone is interested in your foster, please have them fill out an application on our website and we will be in touch with them. Let us know to be on the lookout for their application! After a meet and greet with a potential adopter, please share your feedback with us - we will take your thoughts and insight into consideration in selecting the best home for your foster dog.
- Handing a Dog Off to an Adopter: Check with us before giving your foster dog to an adopter or foster to adopt. No dogs are allowed to leave our rescue until deposit or adoption fee is paid, contract is signed, and possibly a homecheck has been completed. Once the dog is adopted, all Wags and Walks supplies must be returned to us included collar, leash, toys, "adopt me" vest or bandana and crate. Please do not give these supplies to the adopter.
- Adoption Fees: Adoption fee is $400 for adults and $450 for puppies that are not fixed. For puppies this includes $50 which is refundable after the dog is spayed/neutered - the cost of which is covered by Wags and Walks and we will schedule the appointment through our vet. Please ask us if you do not know the adoption fee for your foster. The adoption fee includes spay/neuter, first round of shots only, microchip, initial flea treatment. Large dogs and puppies may also have additional items included in adoption fee. If you don’t know, ask us.
- Dog Background: Applicants will often ask about the dog's background and where they came from. Feel free to ask a Wags and Walks representative and we will share as much information as we have. Unfortunately many dogs come into the shelters as strays with little information on their history, however all Wags and Walks dog are selected based on their temperament so we always pick dogs that we know will thrive when placed in the proper forever home.