Open Your Home and Heart and Save a Dog’s Life

When you provide a temporary home for a retriever you save its life. It’s as simple as that. Because we can only rescue as many dogs as we have foster homes.

Fostering a dog is rewarding, sometimes frustrating, sometimes heartbreaking. But, we can guarantee — it’s never boring!

Here are the basic requirements:

  • A foster home must meet the same requirements as an adoptive home.
  • A potential foster parent/family must submit a foster application complete with personal and veterinary references.
  • All other animals in the home must be spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations.
  • All foster dogs must be kept as indoor residents of your home.

 Foster home responsibilities:

  • Provide a safe, loving temporary home for the dog.
  • Be willing to foster your dog from rescue to adoption. The amount of time needed to find a permanent home for a dog can vary from days to weeks to months.
  • Provide food, as well as monthly heartworm and flea prevention.
  • Take your foster dog to medical appointments. We will provide you with a list of veterinarians that have graciously offered to provide their services at a discounted rate.
  • We pay for all approved medical care provided by one of these authorized vets.
  • Help your foster dog find a permanent home by bringing it to Atlanta Dog Squad adoption events. If you can’t stay for the event, we’ll make arrangements to have another volunteer care for your foster.
  • Be patient. Understand that all fosters are rescue dogs and it can be stressful for both you and the dog to be in a new situation. Be prepared for some adjustment in the beginning. We will do our best to provide training, mentoring, encouragement and advice.

 Quality of care:

Care for your foster in the same way you care for your own animals. You may need to provide additional guidelines and training for the foster dog, because it’s likely that your foster has had NO training previously.

  • Notify your Atlanta Dog Squad contacts immediately if your foster becomes ill or is lost (your foster agreement includes the names and numbers of your contacts).
  • Sign a foster agreement and agree to abide by Atlanta Dog Squad policies.
  • Treat the dog as a member of your family. In many cases, you are the first person to show this dog love and how to be part of a family.

 A few considerations:

It’s important to know that this is not a “try one on for size” situation. It’s true that if a foster parent falls completely in love and decides to adopt the dog permanently they can,  It’s true that our foster homes have the first right of adopting any of their foster dogs. But, fostering is intended for those who want to help rescue and adopt homeless dogs. It’s not a series of “test drives” with the dogs in our program.

You should evaluate whether you will be able to handle the emotions of caring for a dog and then having the dog leave when he/she gets adopted. Fostering isn’t for everyone. But, some very special people gain a sense of reward and accomplishment knowing that they have helped prepare a dog for its permanent home.

Fostering may not be right for you if you don’t want dog hair in your house. It’s a fact that retrievers shed. And, it’s highly likely you’ll find a puddle by the water bowl. The most successful foster homes are those that have a high tolerance level and don’t “sweat the small stuff.”

Sounds like fostering is for you? Fill out a Fostering Application.   One of our volunteers will contact you once the application has been reviewed to schedule a home visit.

Can’t decide? Come visit us at our next adoption event and meet several of our foster parents.  They are always excited to talk about their fostering experiences and why they continue to foster for ADS.   Feel free to ask them any questions you may have about fostering or contact our foster coordinator at: