If you live in Houston, Texas, or the surrounding area, Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue needs caring, patient and responsible Golden lovers to join our foster home team by opening their homes and their hearts to our rescue Goldens.
A key component to our Rescue program is the foster home. The principle behind fostering is to provide the dogs entrusted to our care with a home environment to expedite their mental and/or physical rehabilitation and to evaluate their habits and behavior. This allows GBGRR to place the dog with the new family and improve the chances of lifelong enjoyment of the dog and the new family.
We recommend reviewing the PDF of our Foster Contract here before applying to become a Foster (you will receive your actual Foster Contract when you become a Foster).
We hope you will consider opening your heart and home to a Golden in need by fostering.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about being a Foster Parent:
How much time does it take
From an hour a day to however much time you care to spend with the dog. Most are genuinely grateful with whatever time you have to give them. Some dogs may need to go to a vet appointment for a spay or neuter, shots, follow-up exam, etc. We do have transport volunteers available if you are unable to get the dog to any necessary appointments.
What will I need to do as a foster parent?
You are responsible for the daily care of your foster dog including feeding, exercising, socializing, grooming, reinforcing basic obedience commands, observing and evaluating general behavior and temperament. And most of all, you must give lots of love and attention to a special Golden at an often difficult time in his or her lifespan.
Many dogs need to lose or gain weight. Some will need help with housebreaking and crate training. If you want to start basic obedience training the dog, that would be great, but it’s certainly not required.
You will need to report any veterinary visits or other medical care and results of such visits or care to our medical records coordinator in order to keep your foster dog’s medical records current and up to date.
As the Foster Parent, you will play a significant role in facilitating the dog’s adoption to a new home. You will make recommendations to help select the best adoptive family for your foster Golden (you will know him/her best). The Foster Parent generally gets the adoption contract signed and collects the adoption fee. Once the dog is placed, you may be asked to do a follow-up telephone call on the dog’s initial adjustment to his/her new home and family.
How long does a dog stay in foster care?
Foster dogs are typically in our program from 2 weeks to 2 months. Healthy dogs usually stay 2-4 weeks, special needs dogs or seniors may need months.
May I adopt my foster dog?
We know how easy it is to fall in love with your foster! However, the goal of fostering is to provide a temporary, loving, and safe home for the dogs in our program while they are going through medical treatment, getting necessary vaccines, or simply waiting for their furever family to get approved and be able to adopt them.
Our fosters cannot adopt their first three GBGRR foster dogs. We will discuss this policy as well as other important information about fostering and adopting when we meet you.
Do I have to be home with the dog all day?
No, many of our foster families are employed outside the home and still provide a quality environment for the dog. We do require that any time you are unable to directly supervise the foster dog, he/she is confined to a small, secure area, preferably a training crate. This results in a safe secure place for the dog and keeps concern for the foster family’s safety and home in the forefront.
Do I need a fenced yard?
Yes, we require that you have a fenced yard. Electronic fencing is not considered a fence. Apartments with dog parks does not meet the requirement. Foster dogs must NEVER be allowed to run free. If a secure fence surrounds your yard, the Golden may be exercised there off leash. Outside the yard, the dog must be on leash at ALL times.
Will I become attached to the dog?
Undoubtedly you will, they bond quickly and give so much back in return for your care and attention. However, when you meet the people who will provide a permanent loving home for the dog you’ve helped rescue, you will feel immense satisfaction to see them move on to their new and better life. This also enables you to open up your home and heart to another Golden in need. Many foster homes stay in contact with the adopting family and dog after placement.
May I choose which dogs I foster?
We will call you and discuss at length any potential dog we’re thinking of for you. You may certainly set limits on the kinds of dogs you foster. If you are asked to foster a dog that doesn’t seem right for you, you can decline. If any foster dog you’ve accepted proves too difficult to handle, we can give you advice and help or he/she can be placed elsewhere.
What if I can't keep him any longer?
While it is best for the dog to stay in one home, we realize plans sometimes change unexpectedly. When a move is necessary, our Foster Coordinator will know what foster homes are available and which ones might be suitable. If a dog just isn’t working out, just tell us and we can arrange to move the dog.
How much does it cost to foster a dog?
Lack of funds should not prevent you from fostering, we only ask you to provide good quality food and lots of love. You may have additional expenses for any toys you choose to provide and any damages the foster dog may cause. GBGRR provides the crate and handles all the foster dog’s veterinary expenses and medications, including heartworm and flea preventive, unless you want to donate these expenses to GBGRR (they are tax deductible). We’ll send along any medications we already know the dog needs, and simply ask that you call and let us know if there’s a medical issue that needs to be checked.
What happens if I have questions or problems with a foster dog?
All foster homes receive a Foster Home Manual, which provides guidance on handling all aspects of fostering. In addition, you will get training and education during the foster approval process and there are always plenty of GBGRR volunteers just a phone call away to answer your questions and provide support. There is also a Foster Email Group that is dedicated to just our Foster families. There you can ask questions, post updates and pictures of your foster Golden and read about other Rescue happenings.
Why is fostering so important?
The number of foster homes dictates how many dogs we can save. Won’t you consider fostering a Golden today?
We always have a need for foster homes for senior Goldens. Many of these displaced Golden-agers have been loving family dogs for years and have been lost or abandoned through no fault of their own. GBGRR does not feel that any senior Golden should ever be euthanized at a shelter simply because they are old and no longer wanted. Most of these senior Goldens are low maintenance, well-trained dogs. They fit easily into any family situation and usually require less exercise. Senior Goldens can be long-term fosters as they usually take longer to adopt. Fostering one of these Golden oldies can be an immensely rewarding experience.