Foster Parent

Help a Dog on Its Journey Home: Foster

Fostering is one of the most rewarding and important volunteer opportunities available at Gold Ribbon Rescue.

We have foster opportunities to fit all types of families and lifestyles. You can offer short-term, respite, longer term foster care as we find a dog its forever home or serve as a permanent foster for one of our senior or hospice dogs.

No matter which program you choose, providing a loving foster home helps a dog on its journey to its forever home and truly makes a difference in a dog’s life. We call fostering a "Circle of Love!"

A Circle of Love

If you would like to help us get a Golden to its forever home, check out our fostering program by reading the information below. To start the process, fill out a Foster Application.

Note: The application process for fostering is the same as for adoption.

I'd like to foster, what do I do next?

Once your family has decided, together, to foster a Golden Retriever, please fill out the Adoption Application, (the applications for adopting and fostering are the same.) You should hear back from a volunteer within two weeks. If you have any questions before filling out the application, please call our hotline, at 512-659-4653, and we'd be very happy to discuss fostering with you. Thank you!

Why are foster homes used?

As an ethical rescue organization, GRR is committed to being truthful in disclosing any behavioral or medical problems our dogs may have to potential adopters. Our foster homes help us find these. This policy is also practical - we want adopters to make an informed choice about the dogs so the adoption can be a permanent and happy one. The observations and recommendations of the foster family are crucial to the continued success of the GRR organization in placing rescue Goldens.

Why should I become a foster parent to a Golden Retriever?

Foster care will culminate in a new beginning for a deserving Golden Retriever. By fostering a dog, you get to know the dog. Since you know the dog best, you help us determine the best new and final home for that dog. Each time you help match a displaced Golden Retriever with just the right family, you will know you have done something good, caring, helpful, and lasting. You will have been the major player in helping a wonderful Golden Retriever find a happy life.

What will I need to do?

Foster homes are responsible for the daily care of the foster dog, including:

  • Feeding
  • Socializing
  • Exercising
  • Brushing and grooming as needed
  • Observing behavior and temperament
  • Providing love and security to a special Golden Retriever at an often–difficult time in his or her life.

How long does a dog stay in foster care?

If healthy, a Golden Retriever normally stays in foster care from two weeks to two months. Occasionally, we have dogs that need longer-term care.

What if I can't keep the foster golden any longer?

While it is best for the dog to stay in one home while in foster care, we realize that plans sometimes change unexpectedly. GRR will work with you to find another foster home to take the dog.

May I choose which dogs to foster?

You may certainly set limits on the kinds of dogs you foster. If you are asked to foster a dog that doesn't seem right to you, you can decline. If a foster dog you have accepted proves too difficult to handle, it can be placed elsewhere.

Will I become attached to my foster Golden?

Usually, but when you meet the people who will provide a permanent home for the dog you have helped rescue, you will feel the satisfaction of seeing him move to a new and better life.

Do I have to be home all day with the foster Golden?

No, however It Is not recommended that you are gone 8 straight hours as there are many unknowns about a foster dog. If you are gone all day, perhaps you can arrange your schedule to come home mid-day or have a friend, neighbor or family member drop by mid-day. Our first concern is safety: for you, your family, your own dog(s), and the rescue dog. Therefore, we suggest that any time you are unable to directly supervise the foster Golden, it is confined In a secure area. You can crate, baby-gate into one or two rooms, or leave loose in the house - depending on what works best for you and the dog.

Do I need a fenced yard?

A fenced yard is preferred for all dogs. If a dog Is less than 8 years of age, we consider an unfenced yard on a case–by–case basis. Apartment dog parks do not qualify as fenced yards. Foster Goldens must NEVER be allowed to run free. If your yard is securely fenced, the Golden may be exercised there, off-leash, but outside the yard, the dog must be on a leash at all times.

Fence policy: GRR requires a fenced yard (dog parks do not qualify). If GRR makes an exception to allow an apartment dweller to adopt (or foster) without a fence; you must live on the ground floor or have access to an elevator for the dog. GRR does not accept an invisible fence as an appropriate fence. Additionally, GRR may consider placing a dog age 8 or older in a residence without a fence.

Note: A slightly younger dog may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What if I have questions or problems with a foster Golden?

All foster homes receive GRR's Welcome To Our Foster Family Letter, which provides guidance on routines and special aspects of fostering. Your assigned Foster Coordinator is available for telephone consultation on problems not covered in the manual. GRR members are organized around the cause of helping this truly exceptional breed of companion dog and they will help you too!

How much does it cost to foster a Golden Retriever?

Lack of funds should not prevent you from fostering, but you will have expenses for:

  • Good quality dog food
  • Telephone calls
  • Any toys you provide
  • Any damages the Foster Dog causes
  • On the other hand, the foster Golden's veterinary expenses and medications, including heartworm preventative, will be paid for by GRR, unless you want to donate these expenses to GRR (they are tax deductible).

Any more information on fostering?

Yes! Read about our foster care here: PDF iconour brochure on the topic.

If I can't be a foster parent, is there another way to help?

YES! You can volunteer to transport Golden Retrievers to a veterinarian, or the foster home, you can work our hotline and help screen potential adopters, you can participate in any number of GRR activities:

  • Education
  • Home Visits
  • Phone Interviews
  • Home Visits
  • Pet Fairs
  • Fundraising
  • Donations

If you are interested in any of these activities, join us by filling out our Volunteer Application. We will be glad to have your help and you will be glad you got more involved in sharing your love of Goldens!

To get started fostering right away, fill out an application and be sure to indicate you are wanting to be a foster home.

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