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Foster a Dog in Need

GRCGLARescue is a completely decentralized organization and does not maintain a single, traditional "shelter." Instead, we rely on our network of skilled Dog Fosters to care for our Goldens while they wait for their forever home. Read more about our Foster Program here and apply if you think Fostering may be right for you. 

What Does It Take to Foster Goldens?
A love of dogs! We ask the foster family to treat the foster dog like any other member of the family. Get to know the dog. Any insight you can offer is helpful to the rescue's placement decision. Together, you and the dog's rescue representative decide what kind of home will be best for your foster dog. By facilitating potential adopter meetings, you'll have the opportunity to meet your foster dog's new family and ensure it's a good match.

What is a foster home?
Foster homes are the backbone of any dog rescue organization. They are families just like yours that provide a safe, temporary home environment for rescued dogs to rest, recuperate and prepare to meet their forever families. The dogs in foster care benefit greatly from love and attention and living in a home; for some rescue dogs, it may be a first. When foster homes are not available, rescue dogs must stay in boarding kennels or veterinary clinics. 

How long is a dog in foster care?
Golden Retrievers can be in foster care anywhere from a few days to a few months, with the average stay being about 2-3 weeks. If you have a vacation or business trip planned, don't worry about your foster dog...we'll find him another place to stay while you're away. 

What does the foster home provide?
As a GRCGLA Rescue foster home, you provide the food, a comfy place to sleep and all the love you can spare.

What does GRCGLA provide?
GRCGLA Rescue covers all of your foster dog's medical expenses, including medications, and provides any special equipment or supplies. 

How do I become a GRCGLA Rescue foster home?
The process of becoming a GRCGLA Rescue foster family is almost the same as that of an adopter. If you've already submitted your application and had your home visit, you're almost there! Let us know what kind of dog you can foster and how long and we'll do our best to accommodate your needs. If you'd like to give fostering a try, please contact us!

​​What if I want to adopt my foster dog?
We understand that "foster failures" occur. If you and the dog's representative decide the dog is a good match for your family, you are eligible to adopt the dog. The standard adoption procedure is followed, including adoption contract and donation. And, since Goldens make wonderful foster hosts, we hope you'll continue to foster!

  • ​If you have your own resident dog(s), take him/them to your veterinarian for a thorough check-up and update his/their vaccinations, particularly bordatella (for kennel cough) prior to introducing your foster dog. If you have foster dogs on a continous basis, routine deworming of resident dogs is recommended (every 6 to 12 months).


  • Invest in a dog crate or ask the rescue if it can provide you with one. Crates are invaluable tools for potty-training, and keeping the foster dog and your valuables safe when you're not around to supervise. If you've never used a crate, you might review the information provided here. 


  • Decide, as a family, what the foster dog will/won't be allowed to do and enforce the rules from the beginning. Does the foster dog have access to the entire house? Is the foster dog allowed on the couch? On the bed? Where will the foster dog sleep?


  • Feed the best quality dog food you can afford. Rescue dogs have experienced a lot of stress and many enter rescue showing signs of poor nutrition and food allergies. A quality kibble can reduce food allergies, bring back coat lustre and feeds the mind as well as the body. 


  • Keep dogs separated at meal times and avoid free-feeding. This eliminates the possibility of fighting over food and helps you monitor if and how much the foster dog is eating.

  • Pick up and prevent access to all toys, bones, balls and chewies, initially. This eliminates the possibility of fighting over possessions. In a few days, once the dogs have adjusted to each other, you can slowly introduce toys. It is recommended that bones and other high-value items NOT be introduced.

  • Pick up and dispose of dog waste daily. This reduces the spread of disease and parasites. 

  • Keep in mind, most dogs are on their best behavior for the first week. It can take up to a month for a dog to show his/her true personality.

  • Learn as much as you can about pet care. Before you bring your foster Golden home, learn as much as you can about caring for that dog. Read about feeding, grooming, and training. Study the warning signs that may indicate the animal needs veterinary attention. ​

  • Make your home pet-friendly. Before you bring your foster dog home, make sure you “pet proof” your home. For example, remove poisonous plants and protect furnishings.

  • Recognize your limits. Fostering requires time and energy — both emotional and physical. Don’t overextend yourself by fostering animals too frequently; you may burn yourself out.

  • Enjoy being a foster parent. Although fostering takes time and commitment, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You are temporarily providing a needy animal with a loving home environment and helping that animal become more suitable for adoption into a responsible, lifelong home.

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