Foster Care - FRW, SPCA Summerville

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An Overview of the Foster Program:



You won't find all of the dogs available for adoption at the Frances R Willis SPCA residing at the shelter. Some of them live in our homes before they are going to live in your home. These are pre-loved dogs and cats who were fortunate enough to land in the foster program. For the purpose of this overview of our program, the term dog will be used but we do have cats in foster homes as well.

The foster program works much like a rescue, but it is an in-house rescue. Foster parents are screened. They fill out a foster care application and the home where the animal will reside in is inspected.

If the foster home is approved, it is the responsibility of the foster parent to assess the foster dog and make it as adoptable as possible. They housetrain, crate train, leash train, and socialize the foster dog. The Foster Program offers support and we list the dogs on four websites - the SPCA website, Petfinders, Petango and Craig's List. We also provide venues where the animals may be seen and we encourage the foster parents to bring the pets back to the shelter on the weekend.

Foster parents are responsible for food and flea/tick and heartworm preventative medicine for their foster dog. All other medical is provided through the Foster Medical Fund if funds are available. All funds for our dogs/cats are raised through donations from animal lovers.

A dog in foster frees up a kennel for another dog. In addition, the foster program takes responsibility for the foster dog by providing for his care. This frees up money that the shelter can use in-house. All of the adoption fee goes to the shelter. The Foster Program does not recoup any of the monetary investment they have in the shelter dogs and cats.

The Adoption Process

All of the foster dogs are described on the Adoptable Dogs tab on the SPCA website. After the dog's name, you will see (In Foster).

We require all prospective adoptors to meet our dogs. The foster parent's phone number and/or e-mail address can be found at the end of each animal's description. You can contact the foster parents to set up a time when it is mutally convenient to meet. If the meeting goes well, you will need to fill out an application. If you have animals currently in your home, we will be looking whether your pet is spayed/neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, HW tested yearly and receiving HW and flea and tick preventative. If your dog is not altered, we would like to hear if you have a valid reason for not altering your dog. We do want to work with you as we are in the business of getting dogs adopted. We try to be flexible.

If your application looks good, we arrange a home visit. We want to meet all of your family members and your pets. Of course, we need to see how your family pets react to our foster dog. We want to meet your cats and all of the other resident pets in your household. We are not looking at your housekeeping or your decorating, we are looking that our foster dog will be safe in your home and that all family members are on board to adopt. Be advised that all of our foster dogs are Inside Dogs.

Sometimes we have more than one application on a foster dog. The foster family has to make a decision on which family best suits their dog. Often all of the prospective homes would be good homes, but the foster has the right to decide which family would be the best match. They may suggest another dog in foster or a dog at the shelter which would be better suited. In all situations, we are looking out for the best interests of our dogs.

When you are approved as an adopter, you have the option of adopting immediately or you may "try out" the dog for a week. We want everyone to be happy with their choice. If you find, after a week, that the foster dog does not suit you and your situation, no problem. The foster dog rejoins his foster family. And if the foster remains in your home, the foster parents are still available to answer any questions you may have about the dog.

About Our Foster Dogs

All of our foster dogs are spayed/neutered, microchipped, current on their shots, heartworm negative, crate trained, and housetrained in our homes. This last part is very important. We guarantee that they are housetrained in our homes, but we cannot guarantee they will be housetrained in yours. We can tell you how we manage the housetraining, but you will need to establish your own schedule with the dog. All dogs may have accidents especially in the first few days after they come to your home. Even though the dogs are going from one wonderful home into another, they feel as much stress as a child having to move and make new friends. But they will adjust and soon their foster home will be just a memory. This fact of life is bittersweet for all of us who foster.

The adoption fee for all foster dogs is at least $150.

Other Categories:
 Animal Shelter / Rescue

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