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Foster Guide


Thank you for agreeing to foster a pet. EDPR is a non‐profit, 501c3 organization run solely by volunteers who support and care for animals. Our program accepts unwanted and otherwise abandoned dogs of all ages from the shelter and streets and in select instances, from the general public. These animals are taken into our foster home program where they receive quality nutrition and veterinary care along with love and attention. It takes a special person to be a foster parent. Whether you foster tiny puppies and kittens or injured or abused adult animals, they all need the TLC that only a foster parent can provide. The care received in your home can get these animals back on track and boost their chances of being placed in a permanent loving home.

Fostering means you are providing a stable, loving environment for a dog that has been neglected or abandoned. You are allowing a space in our shelter to be opened up for another needy animal. We hope that the rewards you experience will outweigh the difficulty of parting with your foster pet. Remember that each time you send a foster to his or her new home, you have an opportunity to foster -  and therefore rescue ‐ another animal. Without you, these animals would not have a chance. We appreciate your efforts and recognize that you are providing a very special service.


Please read & review the following important guidelines:

  1. Prior to fostering, all Foster Homes must complete a Foster Home Application as well as allowing us to perform a brief home inspection.
  2. All foster homes agree to accept primary responsibility for temporarily providing lodging and care of their foster dog.
  3. Any medical care needed for the foster dog will be provided by a EDPR recommended veterinarian. This assures that the foster dog gets consistent care and all records of the animal’s health are centralized. If veterinary services are needed, the foster home agrees to contact EDPR first and immediately.
  4. Foster homes are asked to keep EDPR informed of their foster dog's behavior and health if any issues arise.
  5. EDPR  is not responsible for any veterinary bills for resident dogs. The Foster Home assumes responsibility for any veterinary bills that result from the resident dogs becoming ill due to exposure with a Foster Dog.
  6. Do NOT leave your foster dog with anyone not listed on the Foster Application without prior approval from EDPR.
  7. If the foster dog does not work out, or your foster home situation changes please return the foster dog to EDPR.. Please call EDPR to notify us that you will be returning the dog sooner than expected. We will try to place it in another foster home.
  8. EDPR is aware that accidents can happen no matter how conscientious you are. EDPR will not hold the foster home responsible for any accidents beyond your control, or accidental loss or death of said foster dog.
  9. Saying goodbye; If you find it hard to say goodbye, imagine how happy your foster dog will be in his or her new home—and remember how you helped make that happen.

Getting Your Home & Family Ready For Fostering

Fostering is a commitment that will affect your entire household: your family, your permanent‐resident pets, and your house and yard itself! Here are some tips to ensure that fostering will be a positive experience for you and your family.

Discuss your plans with other family members and get their input on how to make it work out best for everyone.

Include in the discussion what kind(s) of dogs are appropriate for your household:

  • Small/large, young/old, active/not active.
  • Do you thrive on a spunky dog with lots of energy who is a willing playmate for your active dog?
  • Do you have an older dog who would appreciate not being pestered?
  • How long are you gone during the day?

We’ll need to match you with a dog that works with your schedule. You’ll need a dog that fits your lifestyle, even if he/she is only a temporary resident.

Your EDPR representative can work with you to ensure that we understand your personal situation and what types of dogs are appropriate for you.

Animal Supplies

EDPR will provide the following for your foster dog however your purchase of the food is appreciated

  1. Food bowls & water bowls: it is best to have separate bowls for your foster dog and, to feed your resident dogs & foster dog separately so that they can eat in a stress‐free environment as they are getting to know each other.
  2. Food & Treats: EDPR will advise/provide you as to what kind of food or treats the foster dog has been eating. It is best to maintain the same food as to not upset their digestive system, which could lead to diarrhea.
  3. Beds/ bedding or crate of their own.
  4. Toys

Introducing Your Foster Dog To Your Home

Here are some tips for a smooth transition:

Everyone needs space

If possible, it is best to keep foster dogs and resident dogs separate from each other for 2 days. This is a stressful time for both the foster dog (who may have been on the street/in the shelter before arriving at your house—a lot of change for an animal that likes to have a “pack” and some stability in his/her life!) Also there are some common sicknesses that sometimes don’t show up for 1‐2 weeks that dogs often get at a shelter, so separation can ensure that your dogs don’t get sick.

If it is not possible to keep them separate, be aware that your resident dogs may be exposed to illness that was not determined before placement into your foster home. However, also be aware that many of the diseases that shelter dogs get (Kennel Cough, Diarrhea, etc) are stress related. Many have had poor nutrition and a hard life before coming to your home. EDPR cannot be responsible for resident dog vet bills; we do not have the financial resources to make that commitment.

If it is not possible to physically separate the dogs, try to ensure that everyone has their own “personal space” of a bed, a crate, or a special area. This will keep the stress levels lower for your own dogs and the foster dog. The backyard is not an acceptable place to leave the foster dog alone & unsupervised. They may be destructive (digging, tramping plants), they may be escape artists, they may bark incessantly, or they could be snatched. A crate or a room that is enclosed is the best choice.


Introduce your resident dogs to the foster dog on neutral territory, at a park or down the street from your house, for example. Introduce them on a leash, with an adult holding each leash. Allow a quick “hello” sniff or walk‐by, and then separate them, even if things seem fine. This gives them a chance to think about things, and often they will seek each other out to get a lengthier greeting. Give lots of positive reinforcement so that both dogs feel safe and that the other dog is a friend, not foe. If one dog gets aggressive, separate them quickly, comfort the dogs, and slow down the pace of the introductions.

Don’t force things if they are not immediate best friends; sometimes it takes a few days for dogs to accept each other. Sometimes, dogs just don’t like each other. By giving them each attention separately and making them feel safe about their bed, toy and food, you can minimize any tension.

Getting along

Dogs are pack animals. There is usually one who dominates. Correction of one dog by another (whether it is your resident dog or the foster) is normal. As long as the dogs are responding positively to each other and seem to recognize the “pecking order”, this is fine. So, one dog may growl at another. If the dog reacts by moving away or showing passivity, then usually, the dogs will get along fine. If they are constantly battling for the “alpha” position, then they will have to be separated, and may not be a good fit for each other.

Never leave the dogs unsupervised together. They are still getting to know one another, and will need correction on appropriate behavior toward each other, which means supervision. If you are leaving the house, then crate the dogs or otherwise physically separate them.

Again, feed the dogs separately. This reduces stress for everyone. Food aggression between dogs is common.

While your foster dog is living with you, you can provide some basic training along with lots of tender loving care. No formal training regime is needed for most foster dogs, but if you can work on the following, it will make your foster dog much more “adoptable”.

Socializing is definitely the first priority. This means ensuring that your foster dog is acclimated to meeting new people, dogs, cats, children, as wide a group as possible. If you have a shy dog, this is a big task, and should be approached slowly (but all the more important to address it so that your dog overcomes his/her shyness.) With a more outgoing dog, it’s more about curbing enthusiasm so that people aren’t overwhelmed upon meeting the dog (or knocked over with love.)

House training (potty training) is definitely desirable for both you and the future adopter. The best way to house train is to use a crate, and be vigilant about taking the dog outside regularly, including after naps and meals. If a dog is particularly stubborn about the house training, keep them on a leash in the house; this will prevent them from wandering off to hide or to go potty.

Crate training is a great way not only to potty train, but also to establish general house manners since the dog will not be roaming free in the house unless he/she is being supervised. So, no chewing on couch cushions, counter‐surfing, or garbage can diving if the dog is not left alone.

Sitting is relatively easy to teach and pays big dividends. A dog that sits for his/her leash and food knows they are subservient to the person commanding them to sit. It also helps to get an overly excited dog under control.

Jumping up is a common problem with our foster dogs—they are so happy to have someone to love! But, it’s best if they are taught not to do this, since it can knock people over or just be rude. The best prevention is to see it coming and tell them to stop and sit. Once they have this down, they can be invited “up” for a visit, but only with an invitation.

Leash walking is challenging to teach. Many of our dogs have never been on a leash and have no idea how to behave. If you’re ambitious, you can work on “heel”, but even “easy” is fine. “Easy” is when the dog isn’t necessarily heeling at your side, but they are also not dragging you down the street. This takes time to learn and patience on your part. A nervous dog may not be pulling but reluctant to walk or trying to get away from you and the leash. The goal then is to get the dog to relax and walk confidently with you. We can give you some pointers on either of these cases.

Dogs & Children

Dogs and kids go together like peanut butter & jelly; they are great playmates, guardians, and confidants. But, children must learn proper handling and discipline, and dogs must learn self‐control so that they do not play too rough.

Children must be supervised and taught that dogs are beings, not dolls or toys to dressup or handled constantly. Teach children not to tease or rile up the dog unnecessarily. This includes chasing around the house, which can scare a dog, who may snap if cornered or frightened.

Make sure your children know that it is not the dog’s fault if the dog chews up toys that are left out. Keeping doors shut & toys in toy boxes can help minimize damage. Make sure the dog has his/her own toys, and keep them in the same place all the time (like in a basket, or in the dog’s crate).

Children like the idea of caring for a dog, but the daily work of feeding, bathing, brushing, and cleaning up after the dog is not really suited for them. Recognize that the animal enthusiasm will wane quickly, and true responsibility of caring for the dog will fall to the adults in the household. Young children should not walk foster dogs even if the dog is easy to walk. The child cannot really handle any encounters with other dogs or cats that are bound to happen.

Children should not play unsupervised with foster dogs. For puppies, teach proper handling (pick up by the body, not the limbs), and limit interaction. Children need to be taught that a puppy’s mouthing is not biting, and that the puppy is not trying to hurt them. Perhaps most importantly, children must learn to properly discipline the foster dog/puppy. If the puppy wants to mouth you or your clothes, gently close your fingers around the puppy’s muzzle, and firmly tell her “off.” Children often react to a dog’s bad behavior by hitting the dog, this is unacceptable.