We 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.
As a general rule, foster homes must be in Somerset, Bristol or Bath. We welcome fostering applications from all sorts of families but generally ask that resident children are aged 5+ and are able to behave sensibly around dogs. We welcome applications from people in flats, people who already have pets and a people who are not dog experienced – it’s all just about finding the right match. The home check and vet reference check criteria are largely the same as those found on our ‘adopting’ page.
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 will provide any supplies needed including food.
Our foster carers are actively involved in the adoption process – you would help provide information and pictures for the dogs profile, facilitate visits from the shortlisted applicant and provide feedback on suitability. Dogs Friends will be responsible for the ‘formal’ elements of the process such as vetting applicants and completing adoption paperwork.
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 for often the first time in their life! 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, take them to grooming appointments (if required) and make vet visits so reliable transport is essential. When applying, please let us know whether this would be a problem for you.
Please ensure all details in the form are correct before submitting.
``Fostering is a whirlwind experience which makes you question why you did not do it sooner. It’s a roller coaster of emotions for both you and your latest companion. All of the whole hearted love you feel for a family pet is amplified by knowing you are helping a dog to recover, to learn how to dog again, learn how to trust and love. It is truly amazing. Alfie (our first foster) had not been with his new home a week and I was telling my partner we need to help another. I write this whilst Gracie (our current foster) is cuddled into me whilst in bed. One of the loudest snorers I have ever encountered yet the sweetest sassiest girl there is. As I know our time together is running out (Gracie will be off to her forever home soon) I can’t help but be upset, it’s inevitable at this time in the process. But once you have come to terms that they will be living in new homes, loved and cherished, you start to feel at ease. For all the work and time you put in to caring for these dogs they give it back ten fold and that’s why it is all worth it.`` - Millie and Jay