It’s almost springtime, which means tons of puppies and kittens looking for homes. Although we want to save them all, it’s not a goal we can accomplish alone. What limits how many we take in from various states — Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas & Texas — is the number of foster families in our network. Right now we have a little over 20 foster homes in Colorado, which allows us to save about 20-30 animals per month. In the hopes of doubling or tripling our resources in 2017, we need your help! Not sure what goes into fostering for LOLA? No worries. Check out this FAQ and then get in touch.
- Being a LOLA Foster
- How You Rescue, Rehabilitate & Rehome
- How the foster & you benefit
- Foster Failing
- Risks of fostering
- How to Become a Foster
- If You Want to Help but Not Foster
What must I do as a foster for LOLA’s Rescue?
When you bring a dog or cat into your home, they could be coming from a few situations — about to be euthanized in a shelter, surrendered by an owner or found as a stray by a good Samaritan. You have the option of taking an animal of almost any size, age and number (we get mama and puppies a lot). You will have them anywhere from a few weeks to months, depending on how long it takes to find their forever home. We will walk you through the entire process and always be there to help you.
Here’s a quick overview with more details.
What does it mean to “Rescue, Rehabilitate & Rehome” as a foster?
Rescue — You are taking in an animal who would otherwise be in a cage or euthanized.
Rehabilitate — You are spending time to train this animal as to how awesome it is to be loved and indoors. Depending on the age, you might be teaching basic commands, potty training, walking on a leash or handling a long-term behavioral issue (i.e. aggression, anxiety).
We will assist with any medical and behavioral needs so you can focus on caring for the animal. We have a network of veterinarians who will handle spay/neuter, vaccinations, medications, etc. — nothing comes out of your pocket. We also have supplies on hand like collars, leashes, food, toys and treats so you don’t have to spend more money than necessary. Unless you love to spoil your foster, which is just fine, too.
Rehome — Once you feel they’re ready for a forever home, they will attend events (you have to bring them & pick them up) and find a family. We also get applications online every day, so you might meet a family one day after work and go home without the furbaby.
Why should you rescue an animal & bring them into your home?
You are doing so much for the animal, and it benefits you, too. You will get hugs, kisses and attention from your foster because they will adore you. Once they find a home, you will feel such pride (and some sadness) as they walk away with the right family. Some other benefits include:
- The chance for your family to learn about other breeds
- Having fun with your current pets and the foster dog, which helps everyone socialize
- Giving your children a new friend to cuddle with on the couch
- Sharing the good news with your friends & family, which could inspire them
- The flexibility to choose the foster you want to save & how long you want to keep them (maybe forever as a foster fail?)
- The choice of when you want to take in a foster or a short break after your last one finds a home
- The ability to foster from just any residence — apartment, condo, house, townhouse, etc.
What if I want to keep my foster (AKA foster fail)?
We couldn’t be happier if you decide to keep the foster as a new member of the family. You will fill out the adoption paperwork and receive a discount on their adoption fee. Make sure you let us know as soon as you are sure. That way we don’t get a family on the phone to come meet them and then have to cancel.
What do I risk as a foster parent?
- Destruction could happen in the beginning, especially if you have a litter of puppies or kittens. Crates and pens help avoid it (we can provide them).
- Mingling the new foster with your current pets could lead to growling and nipping. If you have a way to keep them apart at first, everyone will become friends quicker.
- Your current pets might ignore you for a couple of days — it’s hard to share attention. Just give them tons of love and treats. The general rule is 60/40 attention, favoring your current pets.
- Your kids might get super attached, in which case they decide you have to foster fail. That isn’t so bad though, right?
- The foster might stick around a while. Sometimes finding the right fit takes time. If you have the patience to wait, they will find a home. We can also move the foster if problems start to arise (like getting too attached).
- Some animals come in with medical and behavioral issues we don’t know about ahead of time. There is only so much shelters & owners will tell us. With a stray, you never know what their background is. Don’t worry — we help you and the foster get to 100%.
Ok, you’ve convinced me. How do I become a foster parent for LOLA?
Simple! You go to this link to fill out the application. Then we will call your landlord (if you’re renting), check county records (if you own), then speak to your vet and references. After we schedule a quick home visit, ta-da! You are a foster. Then you can choose who you want to take in first.
No, I think fostering might be too much right now. How else can I help?
We know fostering isn’t for everyone. If you still want to help animals in need without taking one in, then become a volunteer. We always need help at events, fundraising, transport, social media management, website management — there is never a shortage of work to do in rescue.
If you don’t have time to foster or volunteer but still want to help, please consider donating to LOLA’s Rescue. Every little bit we get from donations goes into saving more animals. So if you have an extra $5 – $10 one month, please keep us in mind.
Do you need more information on fostering, volunteering or donating that we could add to this post? Please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.