"Will I have to dip into my own pocket?"
The answer is sometimes! While some much larger, government funded, income-based organisations will provide you with your foster animal’s food, bedding and bowls, we can’t afford to do this. As their contribution to the rescue, we ask foster carers to provide their own food from our list of approved brands HOWEVER we often get food donations which will be dispersed immediately to the foster team! All other expenses such as medical bills, flea and worming and supplements are covered by the rescue! For beds and bowls we recommend raiding market place and gumtree for some awesome cheap bargains you can use for all your fosters!
"Can I foster if I work full time?"
Yes you can! You just need to consider what type of fostering you can commit to! Fostering an animal or numerous animal, requires spare time especially young animals like puppies. They need constant supervision to ensure they don’t get into mischief so are not suited to full time workers. Fostering means you may be required to bring your foster animal(s) in for regular vet check-ups, multiple vaccinations and de-sexing during the week. Though our team will try and help with transport, it is not a guarantee. Animals who have had an operation often require daily medications, wound maintenance and physio so also not suited to full time workers. Dogs that are being rehabilitated from Puppy Mills require an incredible amount of dedication and time spent patiently winning over their trust and building up their shattered confidence and need a regular routine! So all in all yes you can foster if you work full time but we will need to match you with suitable animals.
"Can I foster if I have other animals?"
Absolutely! Often, we NEED carers with other animals to help them feel safe and to teach. For an example, you have to own an adult dog in order to even be considered to foster juvenile puppies. As long as you know your animal extremely well and know what their triggers are, you may certainly foster with your own babies! It has been shown that a stable well-loved animal will help an abused animal heal twice as fast!
"Can I foster if I am pregnant or if I have babies or young children in the house?"
Yes, you can however only certain types of animals. We do not recommend fostering cats if you are pregnant to try and reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis. We do not allow families with children under 10 to do pregnant animals or neonates. Only trialled and approved foster families with children under 10 can do juveniles.
"I’m not a professional though… I’m not sure I’m experienced enough to foster?"
We don’t expect you to be a long-lost Irwin to be a foster carer! This is the greatest thing about it. Once you’re a foster carer with us, you have access to the breadth of knowledge from fellow foster carers and volunteers already in DARE! We have guidelines to help you through it and we won’t give you a complex need animal to start you off.
"What if I find it too difficult to manage?"
Points for wanting to make a difference, right? Fostering isn’t for everyone, but you know what – you gave it a go! You can help D.A.R.E in other ways like donating, volunteering, transport or admin roles!
"I would, but I don’t think I could give them up! what if I want to keep them?"
Trust us – EVERYONE has this thought especially when it comes to their first foster animal. The idea of being vulnerable and opening your heart to an animal and then having to say goodbye can be daunting but it comes with a HUGE BUT… do you trust us? Do you trust that we will find the BEST forever home for them with your help? That we won’t just give them to the first Tom, Richard or Harriette that fills in an application!
From one animal lover to another – the sense of fulfilment and purpose that saturates your soul when you know that you have helped save an animal and united them with their forever parents, is priceless. For everything else, there’s Mastercard! There really is a buzz that can’t be matched especially when you start keeping track of number of lives saved!
"How long does each animal need foster for?"
Oh gosh .. How long is a piece of string? Who is the smartest Kardashian? How many grapes have I consumed in my vino lifetime? Don’t ask us such hard questions!!! There are many factors that may affect the speed in which your animal is adopted, both internal and external to the rescue. Their medical needs, their behaviour, other organisations hosting $29 adoption events, kitten season etc are just some of the examples of what may affect adoption times.
What we can tell you is this… animals have to stay in the rescue for a minimum of 10 days as a quarantine period. Sometimes, a foster animal may arrive into your home that has already been in care with another family therefore you may only have them for a few days. Other times, your animal may need ongoing training or medical management that may see them stay for months at a time.
Rest assured, we are highly proactive about getting the animals the help they need through our multidisciplinary team to get them a forever home. The more effort a carer puts in, the quicker they get a forever home.
"How tall do my fences need to be to foster a dog?"
That depends on how many times you’re willing to run down the street in your pyjamas chasing them? If the answer is no more than once, then a minimum of 5ft. Anything lower is asking for trouble with a dog that doesn’t know you or your home and will try and find its previous owner. In addition, the house does need to be fully fenced to foster a dog.
"Can I let my foster cat outside?"
No, nope, Nuh uh, Na, Nah, Ne, Nein, Naa, Non, Nil, Nani, Nu, Net, Nie, Nage, Neyn, hella to the no. I think that covers our bases! Any further questions?
"What do I do once I get my foster animal?"
Include them in your day-to-day life, like you would your own.
These animals are after stability and love to ease the stress and sense of loss they may be experiencing e.g. from the loss of their owner, abuse, malnourishment, neglect. You would be surprised just how much an animal can improve solely based on being in a loving and safe environment and being part of a family. Once they have settled, Feedback to the rescue their behaviours using our tick and flick form! Take some amazing photos of your furry model so we can share their journey with the community. Once they have received all their medical care, rehabilitation has been completed then we pop them up for adoption. You conduct meet and greets and help us find that special family!
"Ok, you’ve convinced me, I can do this! – where do I sign up?"