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Our organization cannot succeed without fosters.

By fostering, you are literally saving a life—two lives actually because then the shelter has
room to take in another animal.  Chances are, you will fall in love, there will be some tears,
but when you see how in love the new family is, how your foster animal is the center of
attention, and how your foster "has it made", you will feel so good about the difference
you have made in that animal's life.

We ask that you bring your foster to the events. He or she will have a much better chance of being adopted if potential adopters get to meet and interact with the animal. If you choose to help at events, you increase your foster's chances even more because you will be able to share what you know about your foster with potential families. As an added bonus, many times families bring their adopted pet back to visit. You will know that it was totally worth it when you get that rush of feelings when your foster baby remembers you and kisses your entire face. Many times you can stay in touch with the new family and get to watch your foster continue in their journey of life.

If you can open your heart and home, please fill out an application. If you have questions please call 571-437-6171 or email va.animalfriends@gmail.com. We need foster homes for puppies and dogs. Thank you from the bottom of our heart.


What does it mean to “foster” a dog?
A foster home is a home (like yours!) that provides temporary shelter, care, and love for pets while they are awaiting placement in a new “forever” home. Foster pets are much more likely to have successful, life-long placements in new homes when they come from a loving foster home, than when coming directly from the shelter. You will keep your foster dog until it gets adopted.

What makes a good foster home?
If you have some experience with dogs and have a basic understanding of their needs... you are a good foster candidate! Our dogs are looking for a little love, walks, meals, and a safe place. If you think you can give this to a dog, you should consider fostering.

What do I need to do to become a foster?
You will need to fill out a foster application, an Animal Friends - VA representative will interview you and conduct a home check to make sure the environment is good for fostering. If approved, we will provide you with an animal.


Who pays for expenses?
Animal Friends - VA will provide a crate and food as available from donations. Animal Friends - VA will pay for Vetting at one of our approved Veterinary locations for the expenses of vet care and medicine ONLY at an approved vet, with prior approval. Foster parents should always call a Animal Friends - VA representative to get authorization. However, NEVER hold off on an emergency... but contact us ASAP.


Can I choose what kind of dog I get?
In the foster application, you can tell us what kind of dog would work best for you, and what kind of dogs you’re willing to foster. Giving us a range is best – specify size, age, allergy requirements, or any other relevant details. We are especially in need of foster homes for larger dogs, so if this is a possibility for you, please consider doing so.


What if it doesn’t work out?
If there is a problem with your foster dog, we will move the foster dog as quickly as possible and will exchange a dog with you that is more compatible.


How long will I have my foster?
It varies, depending on the type of the fostering - the "typical" foster, "permanent" foster and "emergency" foster. For a typical foster, younger, smaller dogs get adopted quickly... perhaps a few weeks. Larger dogs and older dogs usually take longer...in some cases, up to several months. Sometimes, we have "emergency" fosters, which could last a few hours or several days. This might happen if we need to pull a shelter dog with only a few hours notice. Sometimes the "emergency" foster turns into a typical foster situation... if we don't have to move the dog multiple times, that is always better.


Can I foster more than one?
Sure – first start with one, and when you are sure you can handle it, we will be happy to hand over a second (and third!).

As a foster, how am I involved in the adoption process?
Animal Friends - VA will hold adoption events. As the foster, we rely on you to bring your fosters to the events. The animals are much more likely to get adopted if people can see them in person. If you are able, we would love for you to stay for part or all of the event, so you can answer potential adopter's questions (while not required, we have found that the interaction between the foster family and the potential adopter increases the likelyhood that the animal will get an application).

But I’m afraid I’ll get too attached…
All fosters go through this. If you think of fostering as "dog-sitting" it makes it a little easier, plus, remind yourself that you are helping a dog find a good home, and that you will be able to save another lucky dog by continuing to foster. There are always more dogs waiting to be fostered!

What if I fall in love with a foster and want to keep him or her as my pet ?
You just need to notify us, and we will work with you to make it happen!

Last Updated:  19 April 2020

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