Fostering a Rescue Animal
Fostering: Our Lifeblood
Fostering Saves Lives and Homes Are Always Needed
Local foster homes are so important to GDHS! We provide food, any necessary veterinary care and/or medicines, and supplies to our local foster homes. You provide the time, space and love. Benefits to the foster: No long-term commitment, companionship of animals without financial burden, opportunity to see how a pet will fit into your family’s lifestyle. Benefits to the pet: chance to become better trained and socialized, allow caretakers to learn more about their personality, learn to trust humans in a home environment. FOSTERING SAVES LIVES! New Hampshire regulations allow us to have fosters only within the state, so if you’re a local NH resident interested in fostering, please complete an application and a volunteer will follow up with you. THANK YOU!
Please take a moment to read our fostering guides in the right side navigation bar
Tips for Fostering/Adopting
Thank you for fostering/adopting one of our transport dogs. It isn’t always easy but it is very rewarding. We want you to be successful and happy with your experience, so we are sharing with you this “Quick Tips” sheet. Please call, email or text if you have any questions or problems. Small problems sometimes become big problems if left unsolved, so don’t wait to tell us, thinking it may get resolved on its own. It may not.
These tips are only a guide, not hard and fast rules for every foster dog you get.
- Leave a leash dragging on the dog for the first week or so. This way you have quick control of the dog without having to grab him. Limit walks outside. No trips to the pet store, dog park, etc. Remember that you are trying not to overstimulate the dog during the few weeks.
- Crate the dog. Some dogs like their crate as a safe place. As long as it isn’t used as a punishment, most dogs learn to enjoy their crated time with a chewy like a Kong filled with good stuff. It doesn’t have to be forever, but it can help tremendously while your dog is learning the rules of the house.
- A dog that knows the daily routines of a household feels much safer-try to make the dog’s routine quite boring and quiet at first so they can relax from the transition to a new home. Dogs from a transport to the NH from a southern state need extra time to decompress from all that stress. Some are right from a stressful shelter to a stressful transport to a stressful quarantine facility to your house. Even the most
loving households new sounds, new sights, new animals and people…very stressful to the dog! These dogs need at least two weeks to settle down and to start relaxing-some more.
- Don’t introduce the dog to too many new things. Make the introduction to your personal animals gradual. They may not be fast friends right away because of stress, so don’t expect it. Manage it by keeping them separate for awhile, and gradually increase the time together. Fostering/adopting includes lots of “managing the situation”. Don’t expect everything to be fine right away. Time and patience and management is the key.
- Although we certainly want you to be loving and caring to your dog, as a general rule “babying”does not help your dog adjust to a home. Routine and structure and being in charge as a leader does. All can be done in a caring and loving way, without punishment.
- If your dog is nervous with new people, please don’t let people come up and try to pet, touch or even hand a treat to the dog. Ideally, any new person should ignore the dog at first. No eye contact or staring at the dog. Leaving or throwing treats to the dogs general direction is a good idea, so they relate good things with people coming up to them.
- If the dog is nervous around other dogs, keep it simple. Walks should be short and positive. No nose to nose introductions to other dogs on the leash you may meet. Remember that a scared or aggressive dog still wags his tail. Don’t mistake that tail wagging for joyfulness. Learn about dog posture and what it means. Don’t take chances. Keep it simple. Cross the street when another walker approaches until you and the dog know each other better.
- Every dog is different. Don’t assume. Remember your dog is depending on you to keep him safe-or he will take things in his own hands and think he has to protect you and him.
- We ask that you give a dog a chance at your house. Remember, we are all foster/all volunteer so we are depending on you to keep the dog, unless there is a safety reason. The first week is always the hardest. After that, if you continue with your routines and consistency, everything should start falling in place.