Dogs Friends are always in need of good foster carers so that as few dogs as possible have to be in kennels. Fostering helps dogs to settle into a home environment and allows their character to shine through, helping us to find them the right homes.
We prefer our foster homes to be located within the Bristol, Bath and Somerset area. The reason for this is to ensure that we can provide any support as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Fostering demands a lot of time and patience but is very rewarding. Fostering a dog means bringing the dog into your own home for a period of time to offer love, understanding and basic training. Your role as a fosterer will be to assess the dog’s ability to cope with everyday family life and situations. The dog may be nervous or overconfident. He or she may have no housetraining or basic training skills. They may be expert bin raiders. They may hate cats. They may not be used to lead walking. The needs of the dogs are many and varied, and you will not be expected to be experienced with every possible problem. We are here to answer any of your questions. Your input is always valued, and fostered dogs have a much better chance of finding permanent homes because we can be more accurate about their needs and, with your help, ensure that the right home is found for the dog.
A fosterer provides all the daily needs for the dog as if it were their own: feeding, walks, training, healthcare and affection. We will cover all vets costs for any treatment at our own vets, and we are able to provide high quality food.
We promote the dogs on our website and on Facebook. Foster carers also help find homes. The carer gets to know the dogs best so we ask them to provide information about the dog‘s progress along with regular updates and photos for the site to promote the dog in the best possible way.
You may be wondering what the benefits of fostering are. For the dog they are obvious. The safety of a home. The warmth of a bed. The touch of a hand. The love of a human carer. But what does the fosterer gain from the experience?
Our foster carers are highly valued members of our volunteer group. They provide a service that many people are not in a position to, and we work hard to ensure they feel respected, appreciated and supported. For the carer there is the knowledge that they have helped enhance a dog’s life and in doing so freed a space for another dog to be helped. It is a heart-warming experience to watch a dog develop and grow in confidence, to learn to trust, to regain health and fitness, and to learn some of those essential skills of socialisation and training. And isn’t it amazing that it is down to the carer that all this happens? You can also experience breeds you may never have considered before.
Due to the responsibility of fostering we do ask all Foster Carers to complete an application form online and there is one on this site for you to use.
We also like our Foster Carers to collect dogs and make Vet visits so reliable transport is essential. When applying please let us know whether this would be a problem for you.
Some dogs may have suffered the most horrendous cruelty, and they have no trust or little love left to give. They often arrive in very poor physical condition. They shake with fear not knowing that they are on the road to recovery and happiness. This, for a foster carer, is the hardest part of the job, just accepting that a so-called human being has allowed this to happen.
Then comes the best part, the dog will show you quite quickly if they are willing to be touched or snuggle into your arms and hide. Many hours of gentle coaxing and feeding, often by hand to start with, leads to a little bit of trust. You build on this trust day after day. Then the best thing ever. There is no feeling as wonderful as the first time your little foster dog comes willingly to you, tail wagging asking for a cuddle or just allows you to stroke them without their eyes growing as big as saucers with fear. Eventually the day arrives when your dog and it's new forever family have been matched, This will without doubt be one of the happiest moments of your life: that is if you can hold back the tears, this comes with practice as you will always be sure another poor little soul will soon arrive who needs you just as desperately.”
Sue - Foster Carer