FOSTER FAMILIES NEEDED!

The eyes of a happy dog are filled with wonder, love and unmatched gratitude...

It is always a wonderful time of year to welcome a homeless Boston into your family!

If you have the time and the love to give, we always have the need! Please contact us HERE or reach out via our Facebook page @BTRTOC to learn more about our foster program. We would love to welcome you to our family and give them all a second chance at theirs!

Thank you! We promise that all your tomorrows will be better with a Boston! - The BTRTOC Team!

 

Our Rules- (The Good, the Necessary, and the GREAT!)

Fostering is a gift. It is a gift for the foster family, and it is certainly a gift for the lucky pup! With that in mind the first rule of any foster is to be full of love. The second, third and fourth are to maintain a level head, a strong will and (most importantly) realistic expectations about your journey!

Our team likes to approach rescue and how it looks, feels and needs to be as a philosophical endeavor. This means we all work together to make the best decisions possible for the good of each individual animal. This approach is fair and transparent but, it doesn’t alleviate the need for fundamental rules that we MUST enforce.

1-Be Ready – Fostering is rewarding…BUT…fostering is work. We will ask if you have considered if fostering is right for you. We will ask if you have spoken with everyone in your home and made sure it is something EVERYONE is on board with. We will ask if you have considered what kind of foster dog will best fit your lifestyle. We will ask A LOT of questions. We don’t do this to deter you or because we doubt you…we ask because the dogs can’t and frankly, you simply don’t know what you don’t know. It’s our job to prepare and support you.

2-Be Reasonable- Rescues exist to help animals that have been let down. Some have been abandoned and others have never known the love of a family. Some have been abused or lived outside without the benefit of training, and some are sickly and/or elderly and require a good bit of care.  Know your limitations and availability. It is okay to admit that you cannot take on the world…OR… that you can! Whatever your mindset, be willing to allow your foster to become confident and adapt. Recognize that you are their voice and their lifeline. Be their champion.

3-Be Resilient-Remember to be consistent. Remember to be patient. Remember to be kind AND firm. Don’t give up and don’t give in. These pages are a guide but there is no comprehensive “how to” manual when it comes to fostering. Remember we all fail and then remember that we pick ourselves up, dust off, and start again.

Getting Ready to Foster

We have a lot of questions for you and we want you to have a lot of questions for us!

Commitment and Communication are imperative. Consider what you want to know before your foster arrives and make a list. It would be ideal if we knew everything about the history, health and behaviors of our dogs but, unfortunately that is a rare occurrence. Rest assured that you will know what we know!

Some great examples are:

  • How long does the rescue organization expect me to foster this dog? 
  • Who pays for dog food, pet supplies, and veterinary care?
  • Will I need to make a financial commitment?
  • Who should I call if there is a question or concern?
  • Who handles potential adopters and their questions? Who arranges visits with potential adopters? Who screens potential adopters?
  • What happens if I can no longer foster the dog?
  • What if I end up wanting to adopt the dog myself?

*****Make sure to write the answers down so you can refer to them as needed and never hesitate to connect with your point of contact*****

Your Responsibilities/ Our Expectations

Congratulations!!! Fostering for BTRTOC is the cornerstone of our rescue! We would like this to be the beginning of a long and rewarding relationship for us all. We hope that fostering is something that you feel dedicated to, appreciated for and proud to be involved with.

BTRTOC believes that your foster dog should be treated like a member of your family. However, it is important to realize that your foster dog is coming into a new environment and may be frightened, defensive or ill. Please have a plan as to where you will keep your foster prior to bringing him/her into your home so that they can slowly and successfully acclimate to their new environment. Give them time to settle in and learn the sights, sounds and creatures (on 2 legs and 4!) in your home. We have created a high-level list of do’s and don’ts to help navigate what it means to be a foster. Our expectations mirror your responsibilities as a foster family but, questions or concerns are always welcome and encouraged!

Do’s:

Provide a warm, safe and nurturing home and environment for your foster until their new forever home is found.

Make sure your new foster dog has a comfortable and safe area where he/she can retreat if needed. All animals will sleep INSIDE your home, in an appropriate area.

Provide a safe, quiet and private place for your foster to eat and drink. Feed them high quality, weight appropriate food on a regular schedule

Help your foster acclimate to your home by establishing a routine and rules that give him/her support and stability

Create a wishlist through Amazonsmile for your foster so that we can request sponsors for bedding, treats and toys!

If required, be willing to provide basic training and special love and attention that allows your foster to be well-mannered and increase their chances of adoption

Feel empowered to be an advocate for your foster throughout their journey to their forever home. Assistance from the foster family is crucial in finding the perfect happily ever after for your special BT.

Provide regular updates to your Foster Coordinator. Pictures, stories, fun videos etc are a perfect way to get your foster dog traction and attention. It’s not your responsibility to find your foster a home but, your help is greatly appreciated!

Plan to take your foster to all necessary vet appointments. Please note that prior approval will need to be obtained (***emergency services will need to be communicated as soon as possible***). BTRTOC will be responsible for vet visits and associated medicines etc…

Don’ts:

Don’t forget that your foster is going through a lot of changes in a very short period. Please don’t allow the foster to fail by assuming he/she will be able to join your everyday activities immediately. Even the most mellow of fosters needs to be given the opportunity for proper introductions to family friends and furbabies; young and old.

Never underestimate your fosters ability to find trouble! Curiosity is a natural reaction for all of us and your foster is no different. When they are exploring their surroundings, they can easily get into trash cans, toilets, electrical cords, medications and a host of other things. Dog proofing your home is a huge deal and one that will save you and your foster a lot of grief during the inevitable learning curve of a new environment.

When you must go out of town for any amount of time please don’t leave your foster dog with an unapproved person. If you need to find temporary or permanent placement for your foster, please connect with your Foster Coordinator for assistance.

Don’t leave your foster unattended and/or off leash outside. Exercise is important to your foster but, how much and level of rigor depends on each individual BT. As a rule, off leash dog parks are discouraged but, a healthy run and tumble in a fenced yard would be glorious!

AND Finally, don’t feel like any suggestion, question or concern that you may have is irrelevant. If you notice any habits, behaviors or signs of potential ailments don’t hesitate to reach out to your Foster Coordinator for assistance.

Feeding, Exercise, Training & Attention

Feeding a BT is going to be based on a variety of factors such as age, weight and activity level. Some dogs may require a special diet due to food allergies or other medical conditions but, in general, the chart below is helpful as a guide.

  • Adult dogs: dry adult dog food twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
  • Adolescent dogs (4 months to 1 year): dry puppy food, twice a day
  • Weaned puppies (68 weeks to 4 months): dry puppy food three to four times a day. Can be moistened with water or puppy formula.

Always provide plenty of water!!! Exercise is important for fosters daily, rain or shine. The old adage, “A tired dog is a happy dog,” holds true for foster dogs. Foster dogs would love a 30 minute walk daily to release excess energy. If your foster dog is an adolescent, you may need to step up the activity level to include and extra walk or even regular runs/hikes/or brisk walks. A dog that is exercised regularly will tend to sleep when you are not at home ‐ and a sleeping dog cannot do undesirable things, such as bark, chew and/or become stressed and anxious.

As a tip, it never hurts to leave 6 feet between your foster dog and other dogs when you are out for a walk. Social distancing is always their friend as it prevents them from unwanted conflict and exposure to illness!!!

Training is something that helps your foster BT seal the deal with his/her perfect family. Whether it’s crate training for wonderful potty habits or positive, rewards-based training for obedience teaching your foster the basics of balanced behavior can make them more appealing to adopters. Training resources are available if needed!

Attention is essential for your new foster! Positive human contact may need to begin slowly but, showing affection and providing structured play time for your foster will heal his/ her neglected heart and improve their social skills. You will know when it’s time for them to venture out and meet new people and experience new environments but, until then, giving them plenty of snuggle time and buttering them up with toys and treats won’t hurt a bit!

Behavioral Issues

Some foster dogs will require some extra help becoming a successful member of your home. Often, we have no idea how they came to need us or what they have been through so, part of your job will be to support them in their journey towards good behavior. Most of the time reinforcing good behaviors can be coupled with ignoring unwanted ones but, when correction is needed, positive reinforcement is key!

Remaining positive will give your foster the opportunity to trust you and to develop into a well balanced and wonderful family member. If, at any time, you feel as though your foster has habits that you are unable to manage or require assistance with, connect with your foster coordinator right away. Together, we will determine the proper steps for the benefits of all involved.

Veterinary Care

Our rescue will cover all the required veterinary care and monthly preventatives for heartworms and fleas. We work diligently with providers to determine a standard of care and remain responsible for the health and wellbeing of our fosters. With that in mind we ask that you notify the foster coordinator of the need for any/ all non-emergency vet visits prior to taking your foster in to be treated.  Emergency visits will be handled on a case by case basis but, as a rule, any situation where you would call 911 for a person would be considered an emergency for your foster. In situations such as these, please connect with someone as soon as possible once arriving at the vet’s office.

The amount of and frequency of care will vary per foster but, the ability of our fosters to ensure that scheduled appointments are made, and the medicines are administered is a constant.

BTRTOC believes in the ability of our fosters to recognize when their BT is exhibiting concerning symptoms or worrisome behaviors and we are confident that together we will create a treatment plan that keeps your foster as healthy, happy and comfortable in your home as he/she can possible be!

Tips for GREAT Bios and Photos!

Fostering is fun and we love to hear and see all of that! A fun blurb from the foster dogs perspective, weekly updates highlighting things they have learned and/or enjoy and a fantastic, high-resolution photo to go along with that makes potential adopters feel connected to your foster. We cannot stress enough that a picture of him/her enjoying life, hanging with their foster family and/or enjoying a beautiful day is absolutely worth a thousand words! It sounds dramatic but, truly, a great picture can make the difference in a foster getting adopted. Pictures are the first thing people see when they are searching for a rescued BT and, if it speaks to them, they click, they read, and they inquire!

Some great tips for your bios include accentuating the positive and allowing the pet to relay what you know. It’s important to be honest with potential adopters but phrasing like “he/she isn’t potty-trained” read much better as “he/she is working on their house manners”. We never want to fail our fosters by covering the truth but, being transparent can still be optimistic!

Pictures often tell their own story but, some quick tips on how to get the most appealing shots involve using natural light, a neutral backdrop and props! Remember a well exercised dog is a calm dog and that will help you get the perfect shot without too much coaxing. Feel free to check out the competition too! If you see an idea online that makes your heart jump, chances are mirroring that with your foster will cause the same reaction.

Most of all…just enjoy it! When you are happy, your foster will be too!

APPLY TO FOSTER HERE!