GUIDANCE FOR SUCCESSFUL FOSTERING
If you are already a fosterer, or are thinking of becoming one, please read the notes below.
If dogs are found to have any major behavioural problems, we will try to place them with a fosterer
who is also a behaviourist and trainer if one is available.
During the transition period spent in their foster home (ideally 2 to 3 weeks but may be longer) all
dogs will be given appropriate flower essences to help them settle.
Please remember that some of these dogs may have had a very poor start in life and it may take
them some time to settle into their new environment. Fosterers need a great deal of patience and
understanding when dealing with their foster dogs. Other family dogs can often be a very calming
influence especially with those dogs who have been rescued from puppy farms.
If veterinary treatment is required, whether for an emergency (where the dog has been injured or is
showing signs of serious illness), IRR must be advised in all cases.
For non-emergency cases, if you provide a brief description of the symptoms, alternative suggestions
for treatment may be offered. IRR will cover all veterinary expenses.
The dogs need a good, healthy diet and as much fresh air and exercise as possible. This may have
to be built up slowly in certain cases for example, where a dog is severely malnourished. Fosterers
normally pay for food out of their own pockets but may contact IRR for assistance if this is difficult.
Letting Dogs off the Lead
When exercising IRR rescue dogs, we ask that our fosterers keep the dog on the lead at all times
when in public areas (unless you have a totally secure area in which to exercise them). The dog may
not have received any proper training and might not respond immediately to recall commands.
They may well be scared of their new surroundings. When exercising near busy roads,
there is an increased risk of them running into the road and being injured or worse still,
causing a traffic accident.
There may be aspects of their temperament which are not fully known and the dog may exhibit
unexpected behaviour when coming into contact with other dogs. Do not allow your dog to run up
to another dog that is on a lead. Many dogs are kept on leads because they may have behavioural
problems. Small children and even some adults can be frightened of an unleashed dog running up to
them no matter how friendly the dog might be.
Never use a flexi-lead, it only takes 1/4 sec for a dog and person to be pulled under the wheels
of a vehicle. A long line can be attached to the dog when you get to a safe area instead. You
will have more control and feel a lot safer.
Needless to say, all dogs should be wearing identity tags with the fosterer's surname and contact
telephone numbers, both land-line and mobile, clearly visible which will be provided by IRR.
General Advice for Fosterers
Even with the nicest natured dogs, never leave children alone with them.
Never allow children to take dogs for walks on their own.
Never allow dogs off the lead unless you are 100% sure it is safe to do so (see
'Letting Dogs off the Lead' above).
Never chastise a dog when it returns to you even if he/she has been "naughty".
Never throw sticks or stones or small balls for your dog.
Never leave strange dogs together unattended.
Never leave dogs alone together with collars on.
Never give dogs chocolate, grapes, raisins, raw potatoes or onions.
Never ask for advice on FaceBook, please always ask one of the Team.
Never upload pictures or details of your foster dog to FaceBook.
Never stress your own dogs by introducing a strange dog directly into your home.
environment (house or car) – make sure they meet on neutral territory first.
Never take your own dogs to meet a new foster dog from the transport.
Always use a slip lead when collecting a foster dog from the transport.
Never change your foster dog’s name - the name that has been given
is the one recorded in our records.
Finally, the fosterers have to be brave and let their charges go, which is often the hardest part of
the job. It is also the most worthwhile, especially when they see their foster dog healthy and happy
with their forever families at our Reunions, details of which can be found under the Home
Page Main Menu - Events.
Fostering for IRR is not a fast track to adopting and by-passing the normal
waiting list unless, of course, because of special needs, there is nobody suitable wishing to
adopt that particular dog.
How to Apply
If, after reading the above, you think you could help us by being a Fosterer, please download,
complete and return the application form below via email.
Application to Foster