About Our Foster Program
Every dog dreams of finding a loving home, but oftentimes they just haven’t found their “person” yet. In most cases, these dogs would otherwise be living on the street or in shelters, where diseases are common, food is scarce, and the mortality rate is quite high.
Our fosters play a very important role by not only providing a safe shelter for these dogs, but also helping them grow big and strong with healthy food and training. This helps prepare the dog for their future adoption and to find a happy home.
Responsibilities of a foster parent
As a foster, you will play a vital role in helping our dogs find a loving home – from socializing, to bringing them to events, to sometimes just showing them what it is to be loved.
- You must be 21 years or older
- You must have a stable residence, where everyone living there is in agreement to have a dog. This includes landlord approval.
- You must be able to transport your foster dog to scheduled medical appointments, adoption events, or training classes.
- You must be financially stable enough to provide your foster dog with basic living expenses, including bedding, good food, toys and even find them boarding solutions while you are on holiday.
Here’s what’s expected of our foster parents:
- They provide nutritious food, plentiful water, adequate shelter, and control of external parasites (fleas and ticks).
- They provide the dog with exercise, basic obedience training and house-training. Proper training greatly increases a dog’s chance of being adopted and we can pair you with some of our more experienced fosters for guidance.
- They are responsible for the safety of each foster dog that comes into their care, and for the safety of other dogs and people the dog comes into contact with. They never let their foster dogs be a nuisance to other people or other animals.
- They always keep a collar with the Lost Puppies ID tag on the dog at all times, just in case the dog runs off. If the tag is lost they immediately contact us for a new one.
- They keep foster dogs on their leash when they’re outside of a house or securely fenced yard.
- They keep any fostered dog safely confined in a fenced yard, kennel run, or inside a house or garage when the dog is not with them or a family member. Crate training is highly encouraged. At no time are foster dogs placed outside on a tie-out (in a yard, in front of a café, store etc.) Our fosters immediately notify us in the event of a missing, injured, or sick dog.
Here’s how Lost Puppies supports our fosters:
- You will work directly with a foster dog “champion” who is your one-on-one contact to answer any and all questions and to help you every step along the way. We want to make sure our dogs and our fosters are happy, healthy, and well taken care of. We also love to get updates of our foster pups enjoying their new life with a foster home!
- All basic medical expenses for each foster dog are covered by Lost Puppies, as long as they are pre-approved, within our pricing guidelines and from one of our designated veterinarians. If you choose to go to a vet of your choosing, you may be responsible for some or all of the vet bill.
- To avoid further canine overpopulation in Beijing, Lost Puppies spays/neuters all its dogs between the 6-12 month age range. If a foster parent’s dog is unfixed they need to contact the Lost Puppies team to schedule an appointment with with one of our approved surgical vets. If you can’t get the dog there on your own we can probably help, you’ll just need to work with us to make it happen. If you choose to go to a vet of your choosing, you may be responsible for some or all of the vet bill.
- Whenever we can, we offer donated items for the the dogs, like food, treats, toys, beds, etc. Since we’re a non-profit, we also appreciate donations toward caring for foster dogs. If a foster parent needs something for their dog, they should contact us to let us know.
- We can occasionally lend crates to foster homes, but of course they must be returned to Lost Puppies when a foster dog is adopted.
Promoting the dogs:
- Our fosters assist in getting a photo and bio of each of their foster dogs onto our website. There’s a dog photography tutorial on our website, but if you can’t get good photos you just need to ask our Lost Puppies team for help.
- Our team at Lost Puppies will work with you to design a Lost Puppies poster that captures the best traits of your foster dog.
- Our fosters help to advertise these Lost Puppies posters on Wechat, with friends, in local shops, on other websites, with friends, at the dog park, and anywhere else dogs can be advertised for adoption.
- Naming a new puppy can be a fun experience, and we like to give fosters an opportunity to suggest names when available. Our Lost Puppies team will work with fosters to find a name that is unique and increases the puppy’s chance of adoption.
- Fosters sometimes decide to adopt their foster dog, and will be given priority over other potential adopters. However, they must go through the same adoption process as anyone else, including paying the requested donation which we use to help cover the costs of helping and saving dogs.
- We welcome our foster parents to recommend any potential adopters. Having a good reference helps us understand and feel comfortable that the puppy will go to a safe and loving home. However, the Lost Puppies team will still need to screen, interview and approve any potential fosters for the well-being of our puppies.
- Inquiries about adopting the foster dog should be directed to us. We’ll arrange an official meet and greet where one of our representatives can be present for the visit (when possible). Also, we ask that fostered dogs be made available to meet prospective adopters that we may locate.
- If you need to return your foster dog to us for any reason, please let us know at least 2-3 weeks in advance so we can find it a new home. This can be especially challenging during holidays.
- We retain the right to remove a foster dog from foster care at any time.
- Fosters are not allowed to give their dogs away to anyone without discussion with the Lost Puppies team and until an adoption has been approved.