Why foster for Speranza Animal Rescue?

Fostering is a very important part of rescue, because it allows more animals to be saved. There is a capacity on how many dogs Speranza can have at one time and sadly we can’t save every dog that needs our help.  Every foster home that welcomes a foster dog, opens a kennel at the rescue so that another dog can be saved.    Fostering also provides an in-home experience and takes the dog through the transition from rescue to home life, which makes the dog that much more adoptable.  Fostering is extremely rewarding, read some of our foster testimonials.

What does fostering mean to me?

It means the ability to open up my home to help a dog in need. It means to show a dog that was once abused or neglected, a loving hand to help them open up and see what love means. It means that I am able to prepare them for their new forever family. It means to be able to save not just one, but two dogs – the one coming into my house as a foster, and another dog that is saved because of the extra space now at the rescue. It means a happy ending. You have to put your feelings aside. Would you rather bring a foster dog home, or see that dog be euthanized because you thought you’d get ‘too attached’? Foster failing isn’t a bad thing either, it happens to the best of us.
— Repeat Foster Mom Courtney


What is the process to foster for Speranza?


Step 1

Whether you think you know which dog you’d like to foster or not, the first step is to fill out a foster application. A Speranza Representative will review your application and contact the personal and veterinarian (if applicable) references that you provide.

Please be sure to notify your veterinarian’s office and give them permission to discuss/release your records to Speranza.

Also, if you rent your home, your application will not be processed until you send a signed letter form your landlord to stating that you are allowed to have a dog of the size and breed that you seek.


Step 2

If the references indicate that you would be a good fit to foster for Speranza, the next step is a conversation with you.  Our representative will contact you to discuss your lifestyle to determine which dog/dogs may be a good fit for your home.  From there a time will be set up for your to come meet some potential candidates.


Step 3

Once it is confirmed that all people and animals get along and are a good match, the Speranza Representative will schedule a time to come to your home with the potential foster dog.  The Speranza Representative will visually confirm that your home is a safe environment and will stay long enough to make sure all animals share the home comfortably.


Step 4

If all goes well at the home visit, a foster agreement is signed and the foster dog will stay with the foster family.  Some foster situations require more than one home visit to acclimate everyone.


Step 5

Once the dog is in his or her foster home it is important to establish a schedule and help your dog make the transition.  If you are a fostering a dog, follow these helpful tips on how to help your dog transition into his or her new foster home.


What are the requirements to foster?

We require each potential foster to fill out a foster application, provide references, allow a home visit and live within a two hour drive of the rescue.  Each dog at Speranza has different needs and has different requirements in their ideal foster home.  In general we do not require a fenced in yard, however we do have a few specific dogs who do require a fenced in yard.   If you do not own your home we require a letter from your landlord stating that they will allow you to foster a dog of the breed and size you are seeking.

What is the cost to foster?

There is no cost associated with fostering. Speranza Animal Rescue will pay for all veterinary care, but we do require that you take your foster dog to Dillsburg Veterinary Center for all routine care. You will have the ability to schedule those appointments to fit your schedule. Dillsburg Veterinary Center has weekday, evening and Saturday hours.  Speranza can provide all the necessities such as a crate, bowls, leash, collar, food, bedding, treats and toys. We ask that the foster family provides a safe, loving environment, a daily routine and general training/manners, daily activity and affection. Fostering can last anywhere from a few days to a few years depending on how quickly the foster dog gets adopted.

How to help your foster dog transition into your home

It is important to understand and respect the life-changing transition your new dog experiences when he or she is taken from the rescue, where they were on a daily schedule and knew the routine and put in a new environment with new people and their daily life is turned upside-down.  Below we provide some tips you can follow and some resources that you can review to help make the transition smoother and easier on your new dog.

  1. Have an adequately sized crate (Speranza Representative can tell you what size is best for your dog), bedding, water and food bowls, toys, treats, collar and leash ready before your home visit.
  2. Let the dog have some down time in his or her new crate for varying periods of time, so he or she gets comfortable in “his or her” space.  This also helps prevent the dog from thinking you will be gone for a full 8 or 9 hours every time he or she goes in crate.
  3. Ask your friends and family to give you and your new foster a few days to acclimate before they swarm the house to meet your new addition.
  4. Establish a daily schedule for your foster dog right away. He or she will get more comfortable as the daily routine is learned and he or she knows what to expect.
  5. As much as you may want to, do not bathe your new dog immediately if you don’t medically have to.  Let the dog get to know and trust you and the different areas of your home before you force him or her into the tub and douse with him or her water. This can be traumatic for a dog anxious about the new people and environment.
  6. Give your dog two to four weeks to really adjust to their new home and fully come out of their shell.
  7. Take all new experiences slowly and reassure your dog that it is OK. Simple things like doorbells, vacuums and stairs can be challenging new experiences for dogs who have never been in a home.   
  8. Start obedience training with your new dog.  The experience will help build the bond between the two of you, will build your dog’s confidence and yours knowing you have a well-behaved dog.
  9. Stay in contact with your Speranza Representative.  This person will be your resource for any questions that may arise, as well as provide you with any help you may need in regards to acclimating, training, or health concerns with your foster dog.