Fostering Saves Lives.
The Rocky Mountain Scottie Rescue Foster Program welcomes dedicated and caring volunteers who are well-educated in all things Scottie. RMSR is actively seeking foster volunteers.
Fostering a Rescue Scottie is a challenging but deeply rewarding experience for both you and the Scottie. However, fostering a dog is not for everyone.
Not sure if you are ready to foster a Scottie? Here are a few resources (links) that provide general information about fostering pets.
- What is Dog Fostering?
- Before You Foster
- Prepare Your Home for a Foster
- Fostering Dogs with Cats in the House
- Introducing Foster Dogs into the Foster Home
- Be the Best Dog Foster Parent
- Letting Go of Your Foster Dog
- Foster Dogs are Beautiful
Why become a foster home?
Good foster homes make an incredible difference in rescue. They provide a warm, safe and loving environment – many times for the first time in a rescue Scottie’s life. They show a rescue Scottie that people can be kind; that they are in a safe and sheltered place; and food and water are plentiful. A foster family teaches a rescue Scottie the ropes of living as a household family member. They evaluate a rescue Scottie as to how they get along with other dogs, cats, kids and every day living. They work with other RMSR volunteers to find the best home possible for a rescue Scottie and send them on their way to their new life. Without foster families to do all of this for our rescue Scotties, our success rate at placing them in forever homes would not be as high. Sure, fostering involves a time commitment and a piece of our heart goes with each rescue Scottie placed, but it is one of the most important and rewarding parts of rescue you can do. The phone calls and emails from the adoptive home sharing new first experiences and photos of happy faces make it all worthwhile.
How do I qualify to be a foster home?
You have taken the first step by saying you are interested! Let’s go from here. All of our foster homes go through much the same screening process as a prospective adopter. They fill out a foster application, have references checked and receive a home visit. You also need to consider the pets currently living in your home. They should be able to accept an unfamiliar dog coming into their living space. After becoming an approved home AND when you accept the responsibility for fostering a Scottie, you will need to sign an RMSR Foster Contract. This document clearly identifies the foster dog entrusted to your care. Should the need arise, it provides legal proof for authorities that the Scottie is the property of RMSR Scottie Rescue and identifies your position and responsibilities as a foster volunteer.
What do I need to know?
First of all, you should be Scottie experienced. In other words, you have owned a Scottie. Knowing and living with the breed helps you to understand some of their personality traits and prepares you for what to expect. You also need to understand safety issues involved with rescue Scotties. They are often times adult dogs in unfamiliar surroundings, frightened and liable to bolt and run away at every opportunity. You will need to make every effort to keep the rescue Scottie, your pets, your family members, yourself, and all others safe! Your foster Scottie should have a collar and leash as well as an ID tag identifying the foster Scottie’s name (or reference name), your name, and your phone number. The collar and tags should be kept on the dog at all times.
What will my foster be like?
Some of our Scotties come into rescue groomed, spayed/neutered and up to date on shots. However, this is not always the case. The Scottie usually needs to have a wellness vet check and shots in addition to being bathed and groomed. They may also need to be spayed/neutered and have medical issues taken care of. You will be working closely with a Rescue Coordinator who will assist you in scheduling any necessary vet or grooming needs. You are not expected to pay for approved expenses (see the next question). Your new foster may come with some behavior issues. We try as much as possible to learn what we can about the Scottie from previous owners, but many times getting information is just not possible. Some Scotties may need to be housebroken. Even if they are housebroken, they may have mistakes in the house until they get used to your routine. Talk to your Rescue Coordinator about what you can handle with your foster. We try the best we can to work within your boundaries.
Who pays the bills?
RMSR pays all reasonable and preapproved bills related to our rescue Scotties. This would include vet expenses, medications and grooming in addition to things like a crate or baby gates, obedience classes and dog food. If you need to take your foster to the vet for a non-emergency, contact your Rescue Coordinator for approval first. You are welcome to use your own vet for your convenience. In an emergency, immediately enlist emergent care for the foster Scottie. Then, when you have a moment, notify your Rescue Coordinator of the circumstances and situation. Most vet clinics and hospitals will offer discounts for rescue dogs. Please ask your vet for a discount for rescue if possible. Some vets are able to bill RMSR directly while others will not. Investigate your vet’s billing procedures for a rescue dog. You may find that some vets will not bill RMSR. In those cases, you are responsible to pay for the services. RMSR has reimbursement forms for any out of pocket expenses. Your Rescue Coordinator can help you if you are not sure what is covered. Checks are issued promptly.
Now that I have him, what do I do?
While the dog is in foster care, it’s important for the foster care-givers to observe and evaluate the Scottie. Does he have any house manners? Does he get along well with other dogs, cats, etc.? Will this dog require serious obedience training or does he respond to basic commands? Does he walk well on a leash? Are car rides enjoyable or a nightmare? Does he dig, try to escape, bark excessively, etc.? Foster homes should be willing to set limits for the dog. See how he reacts to being crated or gated when alone. Is he responsive to commands? Is he happy? Does he cringe when verbally corrected? Any and all observations assist us in determining who the best prospect might be to adopt your foster. Give your foster as many different experiences as you can. Take them for a walk in town. Have a friend come over to visit. It is important to know how the foster behaves in different situations. Finding out that the foster reacts strongly to men with beards, is terrified of vacuum cleaners, or anxious around small children will also help RMSR find the perfect home. Remember that you are preparing your foster for life with another family. You never know what that life will be like, so teach your foster things like how to stay off the furniture and to wait patiently for meals. Find out how your foster lets you know they need to go outside. And most important, give them lots of love and understanding. Communicate often with your Rescue Coordinator. S/He will be responsible for maintaining all information for your foster dog. Email the Rescue Coordinator often with your observations and anecdotes as you get to know your foster Scottie. The more information you can provide the better job RMSR can do matching the needs of the Scottie with it future forever home.
What if there are behavior issues?
If your foster is showing signs of aggression or any other behavior problem, contact your Rescue Coordinator. They need to know there is an issue. If you feel you can handle it and help the foster improve, we will be happy to work with you. If you need help, your Rescue Coordinator knows of trainers and behaviorists who can help. If you feel you cannot handle the behavior issue on your own even with the help of professionals, RMSR will make every effort to take the Scottie and place them with a trainer for a while or with another more experienced foster home.
How long will I have my foster?
Time in foster care is time well spent for many dogs. A good rule of thumb is no less than two weeks in foster care. A rescue Scottie needs time to become comfortable with its foster home. You may be tempted to move a dog more quickly, but remember the placement you select will likely be your foster’s home for the rest of her life. Hasty, convenient placements often backfire and the dog gets bounced again, or the home keeps the dog and is miserable with his behavior. We don’t promise your foster can be placed in two weeks. Most placements take longer. It takes as long as it takes to find the right match for each dog. It has been our experience that the two week mark is often the end of the “adjustment” period and the foster’s behavior may change. They are starting to feel comfortable in your home with your routine and begin to act more like their usual self. This is why we recommend at least two weeks in foster care. Some Scotties may need more time to settle in. Remember, foster care is an investment in the rescue Scottie’s future. We want that future to be the best it can possibly be.
Can I participate in the placement?
Most definitely! Your Rescue Coordinator will be receiving and screening applications for adoption. When they have approved applicants who might be a good fit, they will share the application and home visit information with you. You are encouraged to talk with the prospective adopter yourself and even meet with them to see how they interact with your foster. You can be as involved as you would like to be in the placement of your foster. One important thing to remember is that neither the foster family nor the Rescue Coordinator should be placing the Scottie independently. Each should be communicating with the other throughout the process. If you do decide to meet with a potential adopter, do not promise them your foster dog. Talk over your visit with the Rescue Coordinator afterwards and go from there. There are lots of paperwork and procedures involved that the Rescue Coordinator needs to handle before an adoption can become final.
What about paperwork?
The Rescue Coordinator is responsible for keeping a file of all the records for the rescue Scottie. You will maintain copies of your foster’s vet records and occasionally some additional paperwork. Keep this all together so that you can pass on appropriate papers to the new adopter. You will also be asked to fill out a Foster Home Report for the new forever family so that they can know as much as possible about your foster and make her transition easier.
Can I adopt my foster?
RMSR Foster Caregivers are granted the Right of First Refusal should they wish to ultimately adopt the Foster Animal subject to the following conditions:
All adoptions require the approval of the RMSR Rescue Committee.
If in compliance with any and all laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, orders, agreements and/or contracts of any and all governmental or quasi-governmental authorities, landlords, homeowners and/or neighborhood associations, affecting dog ownership.
Foster Caregiver must submit an adoption application.
Foster Caregiver has not adopted from RMSR in the past 2 years.
The RMSR Rescue Committee may grant an exception in the case of an elderly dog, a medical needs dog, and/or a dog with behavior issues. The RMSR Rescue Committee, Board, and Officers make the final decision regarding all adoptions. As much as we hate to lose a good foster home, we realize that sometimes you will bond with a particular foster. Just let your Rescue Coordinator know of this and they can guide you through the paperwork, process, and procedures to make the placement a possibility.
What happens if the placement fails?
We hope this never happens, but in reality, it sometimes does. If so, you will be the first person contacted to see if you are in a position to take your foster back while we look for a new home.
How do I sign up?
Complete the online Foster Application Form. We will be happy to help you get started volunteering for RMSR Scottie Rescue.