Fostering dogs for Border Collie Rescue
The criteria we follow for
placing a dog in a foster home is not the same as placing it in a
permanent home so consequently foster homes are never allowed to
keep any dog they foster unless the dog is on long term foster under
the CollieLaw Scheme where that option is available under
Fostering is a way we provide temporary homes for dogs while they are in the care of Border Collie Rescue and while we are seeking permanent homes for them.
A foster carer is someone who offers a temporary home and cares for
Fostering means dogs don't have to be kept in kennels. It offers them a more natural environment.
Foster homes may be domestic homes, farms or smallholdings - all sorts of homes to suit all sorts of dogs.
Dogs may live inside or in suitable outside accommodation.
Dogs may stay in a foster home for days, weeks or months.
As part of socialising a dog and broadening its experience of life,
we may place a dog in a variety of foster homes
that can offer them different opportunities and experiences and with
foster carers with particular expertise or facilities before
becoming satisfied that the dog is suitable to be offered for
Becoming a foster carer is a formal arrangement for insurance and legal purposes.
Foster carers need to join Border Collie Rescue as volunteers - 'Active members' - to be covered by our employees and public liability insurance policies and before they could drive any vehicle owned or leased by the charity.
The membership agreement also brings volunteers within the scope of the data protection act.
Becoming and 'Active Member' of Border Collie Rescue is an open ended
Under normal circumstances, to be able to apply to foster for the charity you would need to have been an active member for at least
one year and to have
undergone some training and assessment in the care and handling of dog, know our rules about
accommodation and care and be familiar with the law in relation to dog welfare and ownership.
It also carries a commitment greater than most other roles within the charity.
Foster homes need to be equipped to accommodate and care
for any dogs they look after. The equipment they need
will depend on the type and number of dogs they agree to look
after. Fitting them out can represent a considerable investment
by the charity. We need to be sure a fosterer is committed,
patient, diligent, capable and fully trained.
Foster homes are expected to adhere to approved procedures in handling dogs entrusted to their stewardship.
Basic diet, commands used and training methods need to be constant throughout our organisation so when dogs are moved between different foster carers, if required, there is some continuity and familiarity to their routines and the way they are handled and they are not confused by different instructions or upset by changes in food.
There is more to fostering than simply handling and boarding dogs.
Training a dog is always involved in fostering. Training is ongoing throughout every dogs stay in rescue.
Everything we do with a dog, how we treat it and handle it, is teaching it.
Consistently in fostering a dog is paramount.
Behavioural work is carried out in foster homes with the
right experience. Many rescue dogs need behavioural modification.
Sometimes dogs need extra care when recovering from illness or surgery.
Foster homes with nursing or caring experience can be of great help in those situations.
All foster homes are expected to keep daily records and submit weekly reports on the dogs in their care.
Weekly report sheet are provided where notations are made daily, like a diary, with a weekly summary. It is not onerous.
Additional record keeping may involve medical records / behavioural assessments if the fosterer is involved in these areas.
Border Collie Rescue takes care of all expenses incurred by a dog in a foster home.
Veterinary treatment is covered by an account at a nearby surgery who will invoice us directly.
Food and dietary supplements and any appropriate complimentary medications are provided or costs refunded on submission of receipts.
Appropriate equipment needed to accommodate, care for and handle dogs is provided where needed and returned when finished with.
Travel and other out of pocket expenses can also be reclaimed but the role is voluntary so there are no financial incentives or benefits other than the reward of helping an unfortunate animal have a new life.
If you foster a dog you need to understand that you only take it in
as a temporary measure to help the dog.
That should be your motivation. If you fall in love too easily, this is not the job for you.
Clear headed, emotionally strong, caring people are the first qualifications for this sort of work. It's not a fluffy job.
Fostering is not just something you can suddenly do.
Fostering Older Dogs
In many respects this can be physically a lot easier than younger dogs.
Older dogs tend to be less demanding, more grateful for small rewards and more responsive to kindness.
If fostering them on the CollieLaw scheme, under normal circumstances we do not need to monitor them as closely, so less paperwork!
It can be more rewarding. Older dogs tend
to respond more intimately than youngsters who may have their heads
focused on a mission.
Older Border Collies can still be quite active but tend to be more patient and less desperate and demanding about it!
On the other hand, if you are the emotional type you may find yourself touched by their stories and if you are sensitive you will no doubt be moved by the wisdom and experience that often shines though. There is a lot to be said in favour of helping older dogs.
Fostering is a temporary state although it is often for longer periods with older dogs
While a dog is being fostered the charity will still be looking for a home for it and one of our basic rules is that a foster carer is not allowed to keep any dog they are fostering, however there is one exception to this rule.
With any dog on the CollieLaw Scheme there is an option for a foster home to adopt the dog they are caring for if a new home comes up.
This would only apply to dogs on the CollieLaw Scheme who are over 12 years of age or on the scheme for another reason.
In these circumstances, if a home was found, a foster carer would have the option to adopt a dog they were fostering rather than part.
The charity would always consult with a foster carer before a dog was offered to another home for adoption on a
If they then chose to adopt they would be responsible for all aspects of the care of that dog from the point of adoption onwards.
of rehabilitating or training a dog can be destroyed in minutes with the wrong handling, attitude or approach.
You have to be prepared to listen to people who know the dog and follow their directions.
You have to be prepared to follow a system and employ tried and tested methods.
The basic principals and rules of fostering as described above still apply, as do the
conditions of qualification.
Authorised expenses are refunded and costs covered as we do not want any of our volunteers to be out of pocket.
You can't just do your own thing. Its a team effort.
Want to make a difference? Join our team
Click on the appropriate link in the sliding menu on the left to
find out more about adopting a dog.
If you are interested in fostering a Border Collie rescue dog,
please phone 0845 604 4941 during office hours.
(2 pm to 5 pm weekdays)
Please do not write to us or email us about adoption - we want to speak to you before we start the process