Thank-you for considering opening your home to an animal in need. You must be wondering…
What does it take to become an Approved Foster home?
People with flexible schedules:
The foster applicant will ideally be at home for a good portion of the day (i.e.: homebodies, retirees, people who work from home…) The reason for this is that some of our dogs going in to foster may have health/medical/anxiety issues and it benefits them to have companionship in their new space.
The right space:
What does this look like? For some animals, we need homes with secure, fully fenced yards and other times a condo or suite will be just what we need. It’s always dependant on the needs of the animal, first.
Location, location, location!
Our foster homes, generally, need to be located within Greater Victoria. Why? This is where our VHS team coordinates adoptions, support for foster homes, events to showcase puppies and ensures animals have access to vet care.
How to ensure your home is the right fit:
We conduct home checks of all foster homes to confirm that we are placing animals in safe, savvy homes and vice versa. As we review foster applications, we will likely ask for photos or video to streamline the process to ensure your home is set up to welcome a new foster animal.
**Please note during the COVID-19 crisis we are conducting all of our preliminary home checks virtually.**
Access to a vehicle, because when’s the last time you met a dog with a valid driver’s license?
We rely on our fosters to transport their foster animals to vet, grooming and other appointments as needed.
Ultimately, we’re looking for safety:
When it comes to other pets in your home, we need to know if it’s going to be a great (not just tolerable) match before placing a foster animal in your home or under your care. We will consider placing our animals in homes with existing dogs/cats; however, we will need to confirm they are social, calm and well-balanced to ensure the safety of all animals — yours included.
Can you give the animal enough time and attention?
While fostering is an amazingly rewarding thing to do, please understand it is also a LOT of work, a commitment, full of ups and downs. The reality is, most of the animals that come into our care, have suffered some sort of trauma, neglect, or some combination of both.
And, we don’t always know a lot about their past…
They’re kind of like that one friend of yours (you know the one!) quirky — but still lovable. They may not jive with everyone you know, but these dogs and cats are relying on you to make their lives a whole lot better. It’s the ones that have been abandoned, ignored, neglected, discarded and traumatized that need us most, and understandably they come with a few caveats.
Rescue animals are counting on us to help. They need an environment centred on patience and kindness.
We lean on our foster homes to share vital information with us about the animals in their care so we get a sense for what they will need in their forever home. Our application process is detailed, and similar to adopting, where we assess your time away from home, experience with animals and overall lifestyle to get a sense for if fostering is something you’re committed to and prepared for.
Trust us, the first time you see a scared dog wag his tail, play with a toy for the first time EVER, engage with you……it may be one of the most heart-warming experiences you will ever have. So, thank you for offering to foster!
Many of the animals simply need time to adjust to being safe, and some require more TLC, time and effort. They’re not perfect and they need time to feel safe and secure. This could be days, and it’s often weeks or months before we see an animal’s true personality. We rely on our foster homes to commit to 2-6 weeks of fostering a VHS animal. Sometimes more and sometimes, less – it all depends on the animals we have in care!
Still on board with fostering? Great!