What is Fostering & How?

how to foster a dog

Become a Dog Foster Parent Today

Fosterers play a crucial role in getting our dogs adopted into homes.

After rescuing the dogs, our ultimate goal is to place them into loving homes. However, the reality is that the number of stray dogs rescued far exceeds the number of adopters.

The shelter is where we begin rehabilitation for them, to earn their trust and to introduce them to leash-walking. However, the shelter is not conducive for any dog to live in long term, and we endeavour to minimize the length of their stay at the shelter.

Fosterers, especially experienced ones, not only provide a safe home for the dog in the interim, they also help the dog assimilate into living in a home and get used to the routine of a typical household. A predictable environment and routine helps the dog feel safe and secure, allowing it to open up and trust more quickly.

We’re looking for passionate dog lovers who have a genuine interest in animal care and rehabilitation to take in a foster dog until we can find them a permanent home.

Fostering Period

It can take anything from a few weeks, to years, before a dog gets adopted. Some dogs, especially the old and sick ones, may stay under our care for the rest of their lives.

As such, we hope fosterers will be able to care for the dog for however long it takes, to avoid having to move the dog from one place to another.

During this period, medical expenses will be covered by SOSD, while fosterers will provide basic necessities and food for the dog.

Our fostering criteria:

  1. Everyone in Household Agrees to Fostering Dog
    Everyone in your family or household needs to be in agreement about fostering a dog and understand what is involved in taking care of the animal. If you are renting a home, you will need to seek approval from your landlord.
  2. Children/ Infants Must Be Supervised When Interacting With Dog
    When you allow your children to interact with the foster dog, it is important that this is only done under supervision at all times to ensure the safety of both the child and the animal.
  3. Home Pets Can Get Along With Other Animals; Vaccinations Up-to-date
    To ensure that your own pets do not get stressed when a new dog arrives, you should consider fostering only if your existing pets can get along with other animals.While our dogs undergo vet checkups, and are all quarantined for 2 weeks on rescue, there is still a small but possible risk of carrying diseases. Many of them are in the process of completing their vaccinations, so it’s important to ensure your pets at home are up-to-date with their vaccinations before the foster dog comes to stay.
  4. Work Closely with Your Rehomer-In-Charge 
    A Rehoming Volunteer will be assigned to you, and be your point of contact for all things relating to your foster dog. Similar to the adoption process, we will need to do home visits to ensure the safety and well-being of the dog, and that you and your family are coping well. Should any health or behavioural issues surface, always check in with your Rehomer so that we can provide advice or assistance promptly.
  5. Tenacity to Work Through Any Issues That May Arise
    The dogs we have available for fostering are rescued Singapore Specials who have never been in homes before. While we would’ve done our best in rehabilitating them at the shelter, they will still need time to adjust to living in a home. Typical issues that surface are separation anxiety, night anxiety, toileting, barking, getting along with family members etc.
    A fosterer’s role in training and socializing the dog is crucial to help the dog become more easily adopted in the near future.
    While we understand that every potential fosterer writes in with good intentions, the reality is that a dog from the shelter may come with unexpected challenges. Unless you’re prepared to persevere through the challenges that fostering dogs might bring, it might be better to shelve your fostering plans until you’re ready.
  6. Consider The Best Fit For Your Household
    Fostering a dog requires a lot of time and effort – and different dogs require different levels of commitment. For example, a puppy will takes up lots of time and energy for mental stimulation, socialization and training; a sick dog may need additional attention, coaxing during mealtimes or even vet visits. Based on your lifestyle and household dynamics, our Rehomer will recommend a dog that would thrive under your care.
  7. Adhere to SOSD’s training philosophy “Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive” (LIMA) while interacting with and training the dog
  8. Be able to facilitate meet & greet sessions with potential adopters and sponsors, and to help make the adoption process a smooth one

If you agree with the criteria above and are keen on helping SOSD, Register Your Fostering Interest Here!

My Foster Dog Got Adopted – What Now? 

One of the most fulfilling moments as a fosterer is when your foster dog gets adopted into a loving home! While it may be bittersweet, hold on to the fact that the dog was able to find its forever home because you were part of its journey. 

With each dog that you foster, you will understand our Singapore Specials a bit better, and you would have undoubtedly improved in your dog handling and management skills. This is truly valuable to us as a shelter, as you would then be able to help more dogs that may be slightly more challenging, and be the stepping stone they need to eventually find forever homes.

Virtual Fosterer Briefing Session

Still unsure if you’re ready and want to find out more? Sign up for our Fosterer Briefing via Zoom, held every alternate Tuesday to understand more about what being a fosterer for SOSD entails!

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