PAW Estate Rescue & Shelter, Inc.
Thank you for your interest in "giving them a doggone chance" by volunteering to help foster our rescued dogs!
Without people opening their hearts and homes, we would not be able to rescue and rehabilitate any of these animals. We make every effort to pair you with a sustainable match; whether you work full time, live in a small apartment, or have never owned dogs before, we can help find a foster dog for you. Please read the requirements and frequently asked questions below prior to completing the Foster Form at the bottom of this page.
How long am I obligated to foster?
In a perfect situation, our hope is that you can foster the dog until it is adopted (average time is 4-8 weeks). If you’re only able to or interested in fostering short-term, we could still use your help for 3-21 days, which will be determined during our initial contact with you! We kindly ask that you make us aware of your availability when completing the form below.
What are your expectations of me as a foster?
As a pet foster, we ask and encourage you to help bring out the dog’s potential and make him/her the best version of themselves which increases their adoptability! Please keep in mind, these animals are coming from traumatic and/or highly stressful situations. We expect fosters to be patient and understanding, using positive reinforcement only and never excessive force or physical punishment.
We request that our fosters take pictures and videos of their dog to help us promote them for their ideal home – the more, the better! We promote and encourage consistent and clear communication when you are fostering on behalf of PAW Estate Rescue & Shelter, Inc. Having open communication is essential to your foster experience, as well as succeeding in finding placement for the animal in their “fur-ever” home.
Do I get a choice in which foster dog I get?
There are many situations where time is of the essence and we have a rescue whose critical needs take priority over preference in breed/sex/size/etc. We put forth our best effort to match you and your family with a dog that fits your household and lifestyle, or your “preferred” foster dog. Once your foster form is submitted, you will be added to our Foster List and we highly encourage you to not only follow our Facebook and Instagram pages, but also activate alerts via social media so that you don’t miss posts made by us.
What supplies are provided for the animal?
We provide food, leash, collar/harness, bed, medicine, toys, treats, monthly preventatives, and crates for our foster dogs to borrow (or anything else that is necessary for the dog). If you have these supplies on hand, that’s wonderful and appreciated! Once the fostering period is completed, or upon pick-up of the animal, PAW will collect all items that were provided for the foster.
Is veterinary care provided at no-cost to me?
We're responsible for all necessary vet expenses. Please review our policies listed below.
Does it pose an issue if I live in an apartment?
Many of our fosters live in apartments and have found that fostering a dog has made them get outside more and increased their activity level. A foster dog doesn’t need a huge farm to thrive; he/she is simply happy to be in a loving environment, with a warm bed & a caring person.
What if I work full-time and can’t be with the dog for extended periods of time?
That isn’t an issue! A dog would much rather be left alone in your home while you're at work rather than being left alone in a shelter. We have plenty of pet fosters who work full time. We can help place you with a dog that will be a good match for you.
I want to adopt – what do I do?
The best love stories are unexpected, so if you fall in love with your foster, adoption is possible! Foster parents have to go through the same basic steps as any prospective adopter. If you'd like to consider foster-to-adopt from the get-go, please let us know by emailing us and we will provide you with the appropriate steps to take.
What is foster-to-adopt?
Foster-to-Adopt is a great option to get priority on a dog that piques your interest but is still being assessed for potential behavioral and/or health issues. The foster-to-adopt route provides you with a trial so to speak in your home environment (priority period of 3-10 days). If you decide it’s not a “fur-ever” match (unless it’s an emergency), we hope that you will refer to the requested fostering period that was agreed upon at the time of placement. If you change your mind about adopting and no one else has an application on file, you will still get priority to adopt. We kindly request that all supplies provided by PAW Estate Rescue & Shelter, Inc. be returned to us should you choose to adopt.
Other helpful tips and information
Fostering is a great volunteer opportunity and one of the most rewarding experiences you will be a part of but expect some speed bumps along the way: a chewed shoe, a few nights of waking up at midnight, potty accidents, and a lot of time and patience, especially in the beginning as your new dog learns their new schedule and adapts to the environment of your home.
The dogs are often being rescued directly from a very stressful and/or traumatic situation where they have unfortunately spent weeks, months or even years. They have had no stability, structure, or safe haven for a long time. They will need time to decompress and adjust; it is the foster’s responsibility to exercise patience and provide a positive and loving environment for the dog to return to a calm state of mind.
We strongly recommend keeping the dog’s world small for the first few weeks by keeping environments controlled. This might mean not introducing the animal to new people/dogs outside of the home for a while. As a foster, you will help your dog become its most adoptable self (learning leash manners, mastering house training, practicing basic commands, becoming comfortable with strangers and other animals, and more). We rely on you to take pictures, videos, and keep in contact with us to help promote your dog for adoption. What you put in is what you get back. Fostering has the potential to not only change the life of an animal but it can, and likely will, change yours as well.
Please take a moment to review our policies:
Veterinary Care Policy: As a donation-based, non-profit rescue, we provide veterinary care for conditions that appear to be serious or life threatening that we deem ethically necessary. To determine whether treatment is ethically necessary, PAW reserves the right to make all decisions regarding whether a condition is considered life threatening and/or ethically necessary. Foster families who disagree with the decisions of our directors always have the option of paying medical expenses themselves without the expectation of reimbursement from PAW Estate Rescue & Shelter, Inc. For minor conditions that are not life threatening, we may allow the dog to recover on their own before seeking veterinary care. Please keep in mind that many shelter animals come to us with kennel cough or skin irritations and are already on medication. All dogs will be vaccinated, dewormed, flea treated, microchipped, and all dogs over 5 months will be spayed/neutered at the expense of PAW Estate Rescue & Shelter, Inc. or by another animal rescue organization that we partner with to secure placement of our rescued dogs.
Animal Return Policy: If you feel the need to return your foster dog for any reason, PAW Estate Rescue & Shelter, Inc. will immediately try to make arrangements to transfer your dog to a different foster! However, we cannot guarantee that this transfer will take place within a certain amount of time – it may take a few hours up to a few days, if you agree. If adopters return your foster dog within the first seven (7) days, we kindly ask you receive the dog back into your care to help with the overwhelming number of rescues in need of placement. However, if you have informed us ahead of time that you are unable to foster on a particular date, or indefinitely, we will absolutely accommodate.
Release of Liability: PAW Estate Rescue & Shelter, Inc. makes every effort to communicate breed, age, health and behavior information about every rescue animal accurately and to the best of our knowledge. We often rescue these animals from dire situations where time is of the essence and/or the prior responsible party is uncooperative in relaying pertinent information to us. As a result, we require foster families to release us of all liability resulting from any wrong or incomplete information they may receive about a particular animal. Dogs may also act unpredictably in new environments, new situations, with new people, when scared/stressed, and/or startled by unexpected or sudden movements. This is why we suggest the first week or so to not introduce the animal to new people or new animals in the home. When incorporating a dog successfully into your home with other pets, keeping the animals separate in the home, always monitored when together, and going for on-leash walks is the best way to integrate animals with one another. Foster families must release PAW Estate Rescue & Shelter, Inc. of all liability for any injuries or accidents that result from their rescue dog and also accept liability for any incidents that arise out of introductions of rescue animals to third parties. PAW Estate Rescue & Shelter, Inc. does not require foster families to socialize dogs with people outside of their immediate family, and any decision to do so is discouraged and must be made solely at the risk of the foster family.
By completing the form below, you are agreeing to the terms and policies stated above.