Guide for Foster Care Providers

Welcome to the Weatherford Wags Family!

We're excited that you decided to join us in our mission to effect positive change in the lives of shelter dogs and unwanted dogs in our community.

Foster care providers are essential to our dogs' journeys to their forever homes: The more foster families we can rely on, the more dogs we can take into our rescue. And by taking dogs from a shelter into our rescue, we can help free up valuable kennel space and alleviate overcrowding there. In short, we're truly thankful that you've made the commitment to foster for us.

Bringing Home Your Foster Dog

Supply Checklist

We recommend you have the following for your foster dog:

You can use our Foster Dog Needs Form to request supplies for your foster dog. Please note that all supplies are subject to availability and that unused food as well as other supplies must be returned to us when your foster dog gets adopted or you stop fostering for us.

Foster Dog Needs Form

Letting Your Foster Dog Decompress

Animal shelters are stressful environments. They're often crowded and noisy. So when you first bring home your foster dog, it's important to allow him or her to decompress and relax. Your home is yet another unfamiliar place that requires getting used to, so be sure to give your foster dog the chance to slowly transition into this new environment.

Every dog is different. Some dogs may be very stressed and anxious and will require more time to relax and calm down. Others may be less stressed and will need less decompression time. In general, we recommend you allow at least one week for decompression.


Taking Your Foster Dog for a Walk

Once your foster dog has decompressed and is visibly relaxed, you may want to start going for walks together. 

When taking your foster dog for a walk,

  • be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid other dogs,
  • focus on and pay attention to your foster dog,
  • don't allow others to pet your foster dog, and
  • keep your foster dog on the leash at all times.

Fostering Dos and Don'ts

Do

  • provide a safe and nurturing home environment for your foster dog
  • provide your foster dog with fresh food and water
  • exercise your foster dog (as appropriate)
  • socialize your foster dog (as appropriate)
  • attend our training class with your foster dog (if needed)

Don't

  • take your foster dog to a dog park
  • leave your foster dog in your yard unsupervised
  • allow children or pets to make your foster dog uncomfortable in his or her crate
  • tie up or tether your foster dog
  • use a prong or shock collar on your foster dog
  • take your foster dog out of state
  • leave your foster dog in someone else's care without prior approval from our foster coordinator
  • go out of town leaving your foster dog in your yard
  • have toys or chew bones out on the floor or within reach
  • free-feed
  • put your foster dog and resident dog(s) together too soon (reach out to our foster care provider for guidance)

Removing Your Foster Dog from Your Home

If you would like to have your foster dog removed from your home due to non-urgent matters, such as a vacation or move you're planning, we ask that you notify us via our Foster Dog Needs Form at least three weeks in advance. This will allow us time to make appropriate arrangements and find a new foster care provider for your foster dog.

Marketing Your Foster Dog

We like to feature our adoptable dogs on our website and social media channels as well as on adoption sites to help them reach as many potential adopters as possible. For this, we need high-quality photos of and compelling bios for all dogs in our care. Having captivating images and detailed information about our dogs’ personalities, quirks, likes and dislikes, and behavior helps us better match them with their paw-fect adopters.

Please use our Foster Dog Questionnaire to provide us with as much information as possible about your foster dog and regularly submit our Foster Dog Update form to keep us in the loop about how your foster dog is doing and provide us with new content we can use to promote your foster dog.

Foster Dog QuestionnaireFoster Dog Update Form

Before filling these forms out, please have at least one high-quality photo of your foster dog available and your foster dog's profile written.

Take High-Quality Photos of Your Foster Dog

Good photos are incredibly important when it comes to promoting adoptable dogs.

When you take photos of your foster dog, make sure they really highlight the dog and that they're not blurry.

You may want to see if your foster dog will pose in front of a neutral background (that doesn't distract from the dog) and look at the camera.

Or you may want to take some candid photos that show your foster dog going about their everyday life in your home and enjoying their favorite activities, such as

  • playing,
  • taking an afternoon nap,
  • indulging in a treat, or
  • performing a trick or command

Write a Compelling Dog Profile

A pet profile is a great way to attract prospective adopters and give them important details about your foster dog's personality.

Beyond the basics like age, weight, and health conditions, consider including information about your foster dog's 

  • likes and dislikes,
  • energy level,
  • adorable quirks,
  • favorite activities, and
  • endearing habits.

Feel free to get creative and infuse your foster dog's profile with a bit of humor.

Promote Your Foster Dog on Social Media

Posting regularly and often about your foster dog on social media may help your foster dog attract the attention of prospective adopters and score a forever home.

Here are a few basic suggestions for promoting your foster dog on social media:

  1. Take a photo or video of your foster dog doing something cute, eating a treat, playing, performing a trick, or just napping.
  2. Write a few lines to go with the photo or video.
  3. Post the photo/video and text to Facebook and/or Instagram tagging Weatherford Wags and using #weatherfordwags.

Participate in Our Adoption Events

Participating in our adoption events is another great way to help your foster dog be seen by and attract the attention of prospective adopters.

Be sure to join our "Weatherford Wags Volunteers and Fosters" Facebook group to stay up-to-date on upcoming adoption events that you and your foster dog can attend.