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Ever Wanted To Foster Dogs?

foster dogsThis post comes to us from Kristine Hoy of Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue (DLRR) in Arizona.  Most of their dogs are fostered while they wait to be adopted, so DLRR has lots of experience helping volunteers become great foster parents.


Almost all DLRR dogs are rescued from situations where we are their only hope: the euthanasia lists at animal shelters, an owner who serves our country in the armed forces and is being deployed abroad, or the owner who passes away without any provisions for the Lab’s care. These are dogs that don’t have the luxury of waiting around while we find an adopter or someone to care for it until an adopter is found. In order to save the dog’s life, we need to get it out of its current situation ASAP.


When DLRR makes the decision to intake a dog, they have three places to temporarily home the dog:

    •  a run at a commercial boarding kennel,

    •  in veterinary quarantine if the dog needs to be spayed/neutered or has been exposed to illness, or

    •  fostered in a volunteer’s home.


DLRR greatly prefer a dog to be fostered in a home for several reasons:

    •  to help recover from the stress and anxiety of being in a shelter environment

    •  to get an accurate read on its personality and energy levels are so we can make the best possible fit when matching a family to the dog

    •  to ease the transition into the adoptive home

    •  to allow the dog to put its best foot forward when meeting a potential adopter (since dogs are never at their best when kenneled.)


If you’ve ‘dog sat’ for a friend or family member's pet, you have experience as a foster home! All of DLRR’s adoptable dogs are carefully screened for aggression toward people, other dogs, and cats. A DLRR volunteer will bring the foster dog to your house and help you with introductions into your home to make sure that it gets along with your pets and to answer any questions you have before leaving a foster dog in your care. All veterinary work such as shots, flea & tick treatment, spay/neuter, and any treatment for injury or illness is done before the dog is eligible for foster care. If the need for medical treatment does arise, DLRR will pay for all veterinary costs. If the dog is in need of further training, DLRR will provide guidance and connect you with an experienced trainer or behaviorist at DLRR’s cost. You will always be able to contact a DLRR coordinator or board member if you have any questions at all.


All you need to provide is dog food, some toys, and a lot of love!!! You will also have final say on the family to whom your foster dog is adopted. Some foster families are very involved in the adoption process, while others leave the matchmaking to the foster home coordinator, adoption coordinator, and/or other DLRR volunteers – either way is fine with DLRR. Most dogs are adopted within two weeks of being placed with a foster family. If DLRR thinks a dog will take longer to place, we will tell you in advance so you can make a decision on whether to accept that foster dog.


You can help!  If you would like to learn more about fostering a Lab, please email DLRR at desertlabrescue [at] gmail [dot] com or call 480.899.LABS between 9AM and 7PM.


Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue (DLRR) is an all-volunteer, non-profit rescue organization for Labrador Retrievers in Phoenix and most areas of Arizona. In addition to rescue, DLRR volunteers provide medical care and/or rehabilitation for these dogs and then attempt to match them with appropriate, permanent homes.


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