A guide to fostering


I remember the first time I came home to our first foster puppy. I took him out of my mom’s hands and put him down on the grass, and then I saw it– he had a broken tail. It’s a laughing matter now between me and my family, but at that moment it presented a serious problem. What were we supposed to do? For our first time fostering, we had no idea what we were doing. 

 If you know anything about me or my family, you know that we are animal fanatics. We try to jump on any opportunity we can to help a local shelter or an animal in need. Fostering presented a new opportunity for us to try. 

Fostering animals is something many people know about, but they don’t know what it takes to make a good foster home. The first step when considering fostering is to find a program to foster through. After weeks of making our way through endless Facebook pages and different websites, we finally found Ruff Redemption. We immediately filled out our application and waited to hear back. They regularly post new puppies that need a home. All you have to do is comment on a post, and they will review your profile and contact you shortly after. 

These puppies come from the worst backgrounds imaginable. Our first dog was found on the side of the road. The one after that was rescued from a house where it was neglected, and our most recent one was taken in when the owners surrendered it. Usually when we first get them, there is an obstacle to overcome, like a broken tail, but the programs are all good at preparing you for any difficulties. All our appointments were made, everything was paid for, and all food and medications were provided. All you have to provide is care and affection.  

If you fall in love with fostering dogs and plan on continuing, you need to be prepared to accommodate all the changes. Every dog is different. They will have different fur, they will be different ages and sizes, and they might even have a broken tail. You will need to adapt to these different changes. If you find the right program to foster with, they will usually provide everything you need to make these adjustments. Sometimes you need a different crate size, different dog food, or even medications that a dog will need.  

The number one question I get is, “Is it hard to give the dog away?” My answer is no. After weeks or even months of waking up at the crack of dawn and always being on watch, it is relieving to give a dog to their forever home. I will forever miss the love I receive from them and each individual personality of the dog, but foster dogs takes a lot of work and dedication. The moment when you get to hand the dog over to a caring and loving family makes it all worth it.