Thinking about fostering?
Fostering a dog means caring for a dog in your home on a temporary basis. They may stay with you until they find their forever home or may return to kennels before rehoming.
The first step is to fill in a foster application form which gives us a bit more information about your home environment and then we can match your criteria to the dogs in our care. If we haven’t got a match for you at the moment, we will keep your details on file and may contact you when a suitable dog comes into our care.
Specific care of the foster dog will vary from dog to dog and the foster co-ordinator will advise you on this, once a dog has been matched with you.
If you are interested in adopting but are unsure if you are ready to commit yet, please fill in an adoption questionnaire instead and a member of the rehoming team will be in touch to advise you on the possibility of a trial adoption.
Benefits of fostering
Fostering plays a vital role in enabling MADRA to carry out our work. Fostering a dog frees up a space at our kennels which is then available for another dog meaning we can help more dogs overall. It can give us an insight into how the dog behaves in a home environment, enabling the rehoming team to find the most suitable forever home.
Fostering a dog is a hugely rewarding experience for the fosters as you watch the dogs grow in confidence and know that you have been directly involved in their journey.
What requirements are there?
We do need fosterers to commit to a minimum of two weeks.
We generally require fosterers to be based in Galway city or County but outside of this area may be considered for long-term fosters or dogs with particular needs.
- Someone home most of the day
- Someone living close to Galway city or our shelter in Camus
Other than this, the requirements of being a fosterer can depend on the dog you are fostering. For example, some dogs need someone home all day and others will happily snooze while you are out for a few hours. Some dogs need someone who will be actively involved in training while other may need you to be available for routine vet visits. Other dogs simply need a quiet place to adjust to their new life. But don’t worry. We match foster dogs to foster homes in the same way we would for adoptive homes.
Finally, we require that our dogs are treated with love and respect and made to feel safe and secure. Again, this differs between dogs. Puppies will need cuddles and company throughout the day (and possibly night!). But for our Tricky dogs, this may mean giving them space away from human interaction and time to adjust to a home life, allowing them to approach you when they are ready.
Which dogs need fostering?
We tend to look for foster homes for:
- Pregnant dogs
- Older dogs
- Dogs with medical issues or who have had surgery
- Dogs who struggle to cope in a busy kennel environment
- ‘Tricky’ dogs, i.e undersocialised dogs being rehabilitated
These types of dogs generally need specific types of foster homes and this will be discussed on a case-by case basis and the foster team will advise on specific medical or behavioural issues a dog may have.
While the above types of dogs benefit most from fostering, there are also times when we simply have too many dogs at kennels and look for fosters for what would be considered our well-adjusted dogs to free up space.
We have been overwhelmed by the number of applications to foster while we're in the midst of this Covid-19 crisis and we thank each and every one of them. We are temporarily suspending new applications while we get back to everyone who has already applied.