Fostering 101

From Arrival to Adoption

So, you’ve just become a member of the Jack Russell Terrier Rescue Foster Team!  A foster dog is arriving any time now and you need to know what to expect.  Let me take you through the process…..

Preparing for your foster dog’s arrival

Your foster dog has been matched with your home according to its needs and known personality.  We take into account your children, pets, home atmosphere, and experience.  All of the information that we have about the dog is passed on to you, the good and the bad, so that you know what to expect.

We arrange transport for the dog to your home, or as close as we can get.  Sometimes you may need to drive to meet a JRTRO volunteer in order to pick up your foster dog.

You can make the arrival run smoothly by “dog-proofing” your home – making sure that cleaning products, food, breakable items etc. are well out of reach. If you have another pet, make sure all toys, bones etc. are put away until you know how your pets will interact. This avoids any guarding issues and potential aggression between animals upon arrival.

Information and Contacts

Now you have your foster dog, and are on your way home.  Hopefully you have filled in your Foster Family Agreement, and read the article on how to introduce your dog to your family, pets and home. Both have very helpful information in them that will make the process go more smoothly.  Our foster care and adoption teams are all available for any questions that you may have.

Foster email
Adoption email

Getting to know your foster dog and keeping in touch

Your foster dog is settling in and adjusting to your home.  You’ve made sure your Jack has a harness or collar with an I.D. tag on it, just in case it gets loose and lost.  You are getting to know the dog, its likes, dislikes, personality and training needs.  As you go through this you will need to be sending clear photos and updates to JRTRO at  These photos and updates are used by the Adoption and the Petfinder team to set up a bio on our Petfinder site for your foster dog.  We use the photos and updates to send to potential adopters to help them decide on a dog and fall in love with it.  We love updates, so photos and updates need to come in once a week please.

Handling Problems

Foster dogs come into our care in many different conditions. Some have been abused, neglected or living on the streets. As a result, you may have some behavioural issues to deal with, ranging from separation anxiety to house training issues to aggression. We’ve matched you with your foster dog because we are confident you can handle its particular issues, but that doesn’t mean you are alone!

Our  many volunteers are available to help you out with any questions or problems that you may have. We have lots of tips, articles, exercises and even dog trainers we can call on for advice. The fostering experience should be a good one for all involved. Please let us know about any issues and we will be there to support you as you work through them. This makes the dog so much easier to adopt, and can be very rewarding for a foster parent that works hard with a dog and watches it blossom from a trembling fearful little thing to a happy and confident dog for example.

Medical issues

Your foster dog will have arrived at your home having been completely vetted.  Should there be a health problem with your dog please let us know as soon as possible, if needed we can arrange vetting for your dog.  We are a non profit rescue and have to keep our costs in check, so any basic vetting must be approved.  If you have an emergency and cannot reach us, please take the dog to a vet or emergency clinic as soon as possible. In this situation we would rather have the dog alive and healthy.  We will reimburse you the cost of the emergency treatment.

Your role in the adoption process

You have been working with your foster dog, gaining its trust, training and playing.  Your updates have been sent in regularly so that it’s Petfinder bio shows the changes in the dog since it first arrived in your home.  You may get an email with questions from our Adoption Team.  This means there is a potential adopter interested in your dog and we need the answer  right away.  More often than not, adoptions take place very quickly, sometimes within 24 hours.

We do  intensive adoption interviews, a vet check and home check on the possible adopter.  Once they are approved they are put in contact with you by email.  Often the adopter will have questions and want to talk to you about your experience with the foster dog.  You talk with the adopter and if they are suitable for the dog, you arrange a meeting with them so that they may see the dog and get to know it a bit.  This is important: you are the last person in the approval process.  If you have concerns please mention those to the Adoption Team right away.  If you do not think that the adopter is appropriate for the dog, the adoption does not take place.  We rely on your knowledge of the dog and your assessment of the adopter.

What if I fall in love with my foster dog and want to keep him or her?

If you find that you and your family have fallen in love with your foster dog, and you want to adopt it please let the Adoption Manager know right away.  If you do not, you may find yourself losing the dog to another family and regretting it.  JRTRO wants the dogs to have a happy forever home, if you want to provide that home we are happy for you and the dog.  Please make sure you speak up right away.  It is very awkward for us to have to tell an adopter who loves and wants your foster dog, that they cannot have it at the last minute.  If this happens we could lose the adopter and the chance to give another dog a good home.

Meeting the potential adopters and saying goodbye to your foster dog

You have spoken with the potential adopter and really like them, a meeting has been arranged.  All meetings should take place in a neutral area for the dog, like a park or pet store.  Leave all other pets and people at home so that the adopter can concentrate on your foster dog.  Most meetings end with the adopter taking the dog home so be prepared with a ‘suitcase’ for your foster dog.  All vetting and other papers, a favourite toy, blanket, and maybe some of the food you have been feeding, should be tucked in a bag ready to go, just in case your foster dog finds that forever home.  No matter how it turns out please update JRTRO on what happened right away, we’re always on pins and needles until we hear from you.  If your foster dog stays with you, we’ll find a better adopter for them.

If your dog rides off to its forever home it is a bittersweet thing.  Always remember that you did a wonderful thing for a dog in need, you saved its life and helped it become the dog it was meant to be, so it could find a forever home.  While you reflect on life without your first foster dog, JRTRO has found another very special dog that also needs your help.

%d bloggers like this: