Rescued Hearts Northwest
FOSTER HOME GUIDELINES and APPLICATION/INDEMNITY
FOSTER HOME GUIDELINES
Please read these Guidelines carefully before you continue to the Foster Home Application below.
FOSTER HOME CAREGIVER OVERVIEW
Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster home for Rescued Hearts Northwest (RHN). We have no central shelter, so RHN animals live in foster homes until they are placed in permanent homes. Our goals include helping the animals in our care to be stable and healthy prior to adoption, and finding the most appropriate permanent home for each animal. We hope this will be a positive experience for both you and the animals you foster for RHN. We appreciate the contributions of all our volunteers and welcome questions and feedback from you.
Please thoroughly read the information on this page. To better assist us in matching you with a foster animal best suited for your home, family, and lifestyle, please complete and submit the Foster Home Application after these Guidelines. After reviewing your application, a Case Manager or Board Member will contact you, answer questions, and arrange a home visit. During the home visit we will perform a home inspection and foster home orientation.
PLEASE NOTE: The RHN Foster Home Program is not a system in which to temporarily own or “try out” a pet. It is a commitment; an essential, often life-saving alternative to shelter life for selected animals.
HOW OUR ADOPTION PROCESS WORKS
RHN does not process same-day adoptions. We provide an adoption application for potential adopters to complete. This application is reviewed by a RHN Case Manager, who will contact the potential adopter with any additional questions, perform a veterinarian and landlord check, and arrange a “meet ‘n greet” if it looks like a good match.
Please be aware that matching an animal with a permanent home may take anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on the animal’s age, health, breed, and other factors. Most animals settle in well into a new environment, but you can expect an adjustment period. Each animal will be assigned a Case Manager who will help you with food and supplies, schedule vet appointments, arrange any necessary training, arrange transportation, and provide support while you are fostering. RHN Case Managers are your first point of contact for inquiries regarding all aspects of the animal’s care.
RHN is committed to the care and correct placement of each animal we rescue; therefore, we ask that foster parents maintain a place in their home for foster animals to return to for up to one week following an adoption. This will ensure that we can find the right permanent home for each animal even if an adoption doesn’t work out, and will reduce the stress of transitioning the animal to another foster home.
With every adult adoption there is a week-long trial period so the adopting family or individual can make sure the new animal will be a good fit. At the end of this trial period the adopting family or individual will inform the Case Manager if they want to move forward with the adoption. It is not RHN’s practice to do trial home visits for puppies.
All potential foster caregivers must read these Foster Caregiver Guidelines and sign a Foster Caregiver Agreement, prior to commencing volunteer work with RHN. This Agreement will be provided for you during your Foster Home Orientation.
We have many animals in need of foster homes while we look for their permanent homes. We need quality foster homes for all types of animals and situations: short term, long term, young or baby animals, adult animals, and animals with special needs – they all need good homes and foster homes provide a vital phase of the adoption process!
FOSTER CAREGIVER EXPECTATIONS
If approved as a foster home, I will agree to the following:
►Complete & sign all forms required to become eligible.
►Allow a home inspection, and make changes or improvements as needed, at my own expense.
►Provide a safe, clean, secure indoor environment for the animal.
►Provide consistent exercise, boundaries, and attention for the animal.
►Feed a high-quality diet, provided by RHN, according to the foster animal’s needs, fresh water, and safe chew toys. NO RAWHIDE MATERIALS ARE ALLOWED.To prevent bloat (usually fatal to dogs), DO NOT feed before exercise.
►No tethering, inside or outside, for more than one hour at a time.
►No nights spent outside.
►Clean, medicate, and provide regular nail trimming and grooming for the animal. If professional services are needed, let your Case Manager know. Arrangements with an approved provider will be made by Case Managers only.
►Make the animal available for trips to the vet for spay/neuter surgery, microchip implantation, vaccinations, and any other necessary medical care.
►Provide RHN with prompt notification of any medical, behavioral, or in-home issues, and give periodic updates.
►Make the animal available for fundraisers, adoption events and/or meetings with potential adopters.
►Recognize your limits and ask for assistance & respite when needed.
►Be open to continuing education and training for
your foster animal and yourself. RHN encourages foster parents to work on leash training, crate training, and house training whenever possible and appropriate. RHN provides complete training and behavior support if needed. Regular exercise, consistency, and basic training (sit, stay, no begging, come here, etc.) helps our animals to be healthy, happy, and well-mannered, increasing the likelihood of adoption and long term well-being.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS REGARDING YOUR FOSTER ANIMAL
In addition to the expectations & guidelines outlined in the RHN Foster Home Agreement, foster parents are asked to abide by the following guidelines that protect RHN and the animals in our care:
►Whenever possible, keep the foster animal until it is adopted. It is important to understand how important a stable and loving environment is for a foster animal, who may have come from difficult and/or abusive origins. Transitions from foster home to foster home create more stress for the animal.
►No off-leash dog park visits.
Foster dogs must be on leash or tethered when outdoors unless in your own secured fenced yard. Exceptions must be agreed to and authorized by your Case Manager.
►Aggressive behavior or injury must be immediately reported to your Case Manager, and an incident report form must be completed. A link to the form is at the end of these guidelines.
►All emergency and non-emergency vet visits are arranged with an RHN-approved vet, and must be pre-authorized by your Case Manager.
Please respond within 24 hours to communications from RHN volunteers.
I have read and understand these Guidelines.
FOSTER CAREGIVER APPLICATION
Address Line 2
State / Province / Region
Postal / Zip Code
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Arab Emirates
Papua New Guinea
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome and Principe
United Republic of Tanzania
Country / Region
Best times to call (check all that apply)
8:00am – Noon
Noon – 5:00pm
5:00pm – 10:00pm
Please indicate which of the following foster care categories you are interested in (check all that apply)
Puppies: weaned puppies who require socialization, basic training, and house training
Post-natal dogs: mothers with unweaned puppies who may require bottle or tube feeding and gentle handling Medical: dogs who are recovering from injuries, abuse, or illnes
Medical: dogs who are recovering from injuries, abuse, or illness who require comprehensive care
Behavioral: dogs with moderate to severe issues such as fear, unsocial, containment-frustrated, or excitable behavior
Age Distinctive: senior or adult dogs who would benefit from a calm environment
Special Needs: dogs requiring mobility apparatus or other assistance, or dogs who require very specific care
Willing to foster any type of dog
Post-natal cats: mothers with unweaned kittens who may require bottle or tube feeding and gentle handling
Willing to foster any type of cat
Additional information regarding size, energy level, or preferences.
Do you have experience with raising or fostering animals? Please explain.
Have you fostered dogs or other animals for a rescue group or shelter before?
Yes (enter group or shelter name)
Describe your living situation.
Mobile home park
With a relative or friend
Duplex or Fourplex
Do you have children?
Yes (list ages)
Do you rent or own your residence?
Monthly or yearly lease?
I am the property owner
When does your lease expire? (enter n/a if you are the property owner).
How long have you lived at your current address?
** Approval for a foster animal by the property owner must be verified. If you rent, we will contact your landlord. WE MUST HAVE YOUR LANDLORD'S NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION ON THIS APPLICATION **
Landlord's Phone Number
If you rent, does your lease allow pets?
I am the property owner
Do you have a yard?
If Yes, approximate square feet:
Is the yard fenced?
If fenced, what type of fencing? (E.g. wood, small-gauge wire, poultry fencing, chain link, locking gate, secure entry, etc.) – please be specific. If no fence, enter n/a*
How tall is the fence? If no fence, enter n/a.
Are you a student?
What hours is someone usually home?
How will the foster animal be exercised, for how long, and how frequently?
Where will the foster animal be kept when no one is home? Check all that apply.
Inside house, in a crate
Inside garage, in a crate
Outside, in fenced yard
Outside, in a run
Other (please specify)
Where will the foster animal spend most of his/her time?
Where will the foster animal sleep?
In the house, wherever the pet wants
In the house, in a crate
On my bed
On a pet bed, in my room
In the garage
In the garage, in a crate
Outside, in the yard
Do you have other animals?
If Yes, what kinds and how many?
What are their ages?
How long have you had them?
How many dogs and/or cats have you owned in the last five years?
Have you had a dog or cat in your home and/or on your property die of a disease such as distemper, feline leukemia, or parvovirus?
Yes (enter when)
Do your other animals have up-to-date vaccinations? (Within the last year)
I don't have any other animals
If no, explain why, or enter n/a.
Are your other animals spayed and/or neutered?
I don't have any other animals
If no, explain why, or enter n/a.
Who will be responsible for taking care of this foster animal?
Do you have training experience?
Have you attended formal obedience classes?
Yes (enter group or shelter name)
Rescued Hearts Northwest requires all foster parents to attend the 2-hour Canine Body Language class Part 1, presented by Tails-a-Wagging Training and Daycare, at their IronGate facility in Bellingham. The class is free and offered to the community once a month. Would you be willing to attend this class?
CLASS LINK: http://www.tails-a-wagging.com/training/classes-and-workshops/canine-body-language.
Are you familiar with local animal control ordinances for the area in which you reside? (A volunteer can provide you with local information regarding spay/neuter, licensing fees, etc.).
Please explain why you want to foster an animal at this time, in as many words as you need. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR APPLICATION!
May we visit your home?
By entering my name and the current date below, I certify that the information above is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, and I understand that falsification of this information may be cause for denial of my application or revocation of foster status.
Further, Foster Caregiver agrees that accidental animal bites or other injuries to humans and other animals do occur, and agrees to indemnifiy, hold harmless, and protect RHN from any claim or suit filed by anyone as a result of such an incident. In addition, RHN will not be responsible if foster animal should damage or destroy property belonging to Foster Caregiver, or should transfer any disease or internal or external parasites to other animals belonging to Foster Caregiver.