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Becoming a Foster Home for Austin German Shepherd Rescue
Austin German Shepherd Dog Rescue is an all volunteer rescue group and without volunteers, the many German Shepherd Dogs you see on our Forever Homes and Available for Adoption pages would be euthanized every year all over Texas. You can add to those lists by fostering...one of those pictures can be a dog you helped save! So, if you would like to join the ranks of volunteers that prove everyday you can "save just one" please submit your application for fostering.
If you love German Shepherds, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing you are a part of something so rewarding. You love, feed, care for, and work to earn their trust. You help mend the scars left by those they trusted at one time. You make a connection--you look in their faces and see, day by day, the loyalty and admiration being earned back. You look into their eyes and see that they now know--finally someone cares! And that someone is you
What Do I Have to Do?
Provide Day to Day Care for Your Foster
Daily care, attention, and love are what these dogs need most. It is amazing how far regular food, water, and attention will go to improve your foster dog's well-being. Some need housetraining. Some need to be taught manners (in the house and walking on a leash). It's important that you work on these items. It will also make your foster dog much more marketable with regards to finding it's permanent home. Many will also need obedience training. While it's nice if you can get this in, it is not required. Provide a Home Until the Dog Is Adopted
When you agree to take a foster dog in, it's "for the duration." These dogs have already had upheaval in their lives, and it won't end with you...they will get adopted and have to make a change yet again. It's important that we don't move the dogs around. Also, AGSDR generally runs at full capacity and does not have open foster homes waiting to take in foster dogs if a foster home changes their minds. For these reasons, it is important that you can commit for the entire time the dog is in foster care. This can range from mere days to several months depending on the dog's health and training, our current adoption applications, etc.
So what happens if you need to "give up a foster dog"?
AGSDR does not have a kennel, a boarding facility, or any other means of rehoming your foster dog. We only accept a dog into our program if a foster family commits to fostering the dog until it is adopted, whether that is 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, or more. Thoroughly evaluate your real preparedness, commitment, and ability to foster a German Shepherd Dog before you commit. The dog’s life may depend on your evaluation of yourself, your willingness to be inconvenienced, your home, and your tolerances. Please, do not volunteer to be a foster for a German Shepherd if you are not certain that you can make it work out. [Under some circumstances, we can move a dog into a different foster home, but this takes time...sometimes a few weeks even, to arrange. Until then, you will need to keep the dog controlled in a way that minimizes the problem--for example, kenneled when your other dogs or cats are free.]
Let Us Know When You Need a Break
Most fosters enjoy the experience despite any problems that may arise, and take a new foster as soon as their current one is adopted. Some even foster multiple dogs at once. However, your commitment is for one dog at a time! If you need a break, simply let us know that when your foster is adopted. And once you are ready again, we will have a dog just waiting to get out of puppy prison and into your home!
Who Provides What?
AGSDR will pay for all medical care expenses and provide monthly heartworm preventative. Should the dog need other veterinary treatment, we will send you to one of our vets. All pre-approved expenses are 100% reimbursed to you...but we have billing already in place at many vets in the Central Texas Area, so in most cases, no reimbursement to you is necessary.
Food and Treats
You will need to provide these. At times, we do get donations for them and we share that info with the AGSDR Volunteer Group.
If you have one you can use, that is great! If not, AGSDR can provide one for you. We are always low on them, so please remind us and turn it in once you no longer have a foster.
Collars, Leashes, Bedding, etc.
In general, the foster home provides these. At times, we purchase pinch collars or these items are donated to us. If you do not have any, you can ask and we'll loan one to you if we have it available.
Potential Tax Deduction
The food you provide and any other expense you incur (mileage for trips to the vet, bedding, etc.) for the reasonable upkeep of the foster dog are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and a tax receipt is available (upon request) at the end of each year.
Is My Home in an Area Where You Accept Fosters?
Currently, we have volunteers or foster homes in many areas of Texas, including Austin, San Antonio, Houston.
What If I Need Help?
You will receive full support from all of the AGSDR volunteers. Someone is always there to give advice or help with any problem that may come up. Once you are approved, you will be invited to join our Volunteer Group where most of our members are very supportive and are at your disposal 24/7.
I'm Not Quite Ready...What Can I Do to Help Me Decide?
If you are interested but still a little undecided, go ahead and apply and let us know you'd like to be a temp foster. These are people who will step up when our foster homes need a break for vacation, unexpected trips out of town, etc. You will get a set timeframe (a couple of days to a couple of weeks, generally) with a foster dog to get your feet wet. We're betting afterwards you will be ready to take a foster on "for the duration" and save your very own dog!
Please fill out an application to foster and a volunteer will get back to you to go through the process. Note that our Foster Application is the same as our Adoption Application.
Foster Application (In Word format if you cannot complete the online application)