Being a foster home is one of the most generous things you can do for a Brittany in need, and your willingness to open your home and your heart to save a Brittany’s life is greatly appreciated!
- Make sure your foster dog is wearing the BRIT ID tag at all times. If your foster dog is not already wearing the BRIT ID tag, one will be mailed to you.
- Assess personality traits, likes, dislikes, and determine if there are any adoption limitations for your foster dog. For example, some dogs would not do well in a home with children due to the dog’s size and energy levels. Or, some dogs need to be placed in a home with other dogs due to high social needs.
- Submit pictures, videos, and bio information to help us find the proper home for your foster dog.
- Feel free to call your foster dog whatever you like, but his BRIT name will stay the same until the new family changes it 😊
- We love your enthusiasm with your foster dog and appreciate your help in finding qualified applicants.
- If you find someone who is interested in him/her, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THE BRITTANY AWAY. Instead, ask them to fill out an adoption application on BRIT’s website. We have a tried-and-true application and adoption process. Plus, we may already be working with an applicant for your foster dog.
- Your foster dog must stay in your possession while you are fostering him. If you need to go out of town, please contact us.
Responsibilities of BRIT:
- BRIT will assess the personality of a dog before placing in a foster home to ensure the best fit possible. If a dog is not working out in the foster home, BRIT will work to move the dog as quickly as possible.
- We will ensure that all foster dogs are up-to-date on vaccines, are spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, and have been heartworm and fecal tested. In some cases, this will be done before going to foster home, in other cases, foster families may need to participate in vetting process at BRIT’s expense.
- BRIT will provide heartworm prevention on a monthly basis, along with any other necessary medications for the foster dog. Please let BRIT know when they are due for more meds and we will get them to you.
- We coordinate transportation for the foster dog to and from the foster home, adoptive home, and the vet.
- We support fosters when dealing with behavior or health problems.
- BRIT will take care of all advertising of the foster dogs available for adoption on www.brittanyrescueintexas.org, www.petfinder.com, www.rescueme.org, Facebook and Instagram.
- BRIT will screen all applicants and potential adopters and work with the foster family to select the best adoptive home for each dog.
Tips for Introducing a New Brittany to your Home:
- Have a crate set up in a central location in your home so that a new dog can take in the new sights, sounds, and smells from a safe, secure location.
- Introduce a new foster dog to your current pets slowly and one at a time. It is normal for a new dog to feel nervous or anxious around strange dogs. Time-out in his/her crate is a good idea for foster dogs that are feeling overwhelmed.
- Pick up all toys for the first few weeks until all the dogs in the home are comfortable around each other and trust each other. NO rawhides or bones around other dogs!
- Feed your foster dog separately from your other dogs – food aggression is very hard to predict. Also, eating their meals in the crate promotes the idea that good things happen in the crate, making it a more desirable place to be.
- Establish rules and boundaries in your home. Your foster dog should earn furniture privileges and freedom by showing that he/she understands and respects your rules.
- It is a good idea to let your foster dog drag a leash around the house (sometimes the yard too) until you are sure they are housebroken, dog/cat friendly, and not going to jump the fence (at least a week or two). If your dog makes a mistake or has an accident, grabbing the leash allows you to correct the behavior quickly without touching your dog with your hands and possibly scaring him/her. Many dogs come from uncertain or abusive situations and can see a correction as a threat. They will quickly learn that corrections are not painful or scary and that they don’t have to worry, because their foster family will show them what to do. Belly bands are a great house-training aid for male dogs; let us know if you would like more information about them.
- If you are having behavior problems that concern you, contact BRIT right away to discuss a plan of action for you and the dog.
- If you have children, explain to them that the new dog may be nervous for the first couple of weeks.
- It is best to give the foster dog very little affection or attention while they are establishing their role in your “pack.” You should never hug, kiss, or get in a new dog’s face. They don’t understand what is going on the way we do, and will need an adjustment period before they can be treated like a member of the family. A gentle pat, kind words or a treat will go a long way for praising good behavior in the first week or two.
- It is normal for a new dog to feel ill and not want to eat at first. They are not only adjusting to a new home, but may have recently been to the vet, ridden in a car, and have probably not had a consistent source of food in a while. Adding a spoonful of non-fat plain yogurt or canned pumpkin will help settle upset tummies and will encourage eating.
- It is not unusual for a new foster dog to have diarrhea – very common – and it’s stress related. If it lasts longer than a couple of days, please let BRIT know.
- If your new foster dog is having a hard time adjusting to a new diet, you can buy a bottle of “digestive enzymes” in the vitamin department of Walmart for about $5.00 and crumble one tablet over their meal and spray a little warm water to mix it in. You can also feed a small amount of white rice with chicken broth to encourage eating and settle upset tummies.
- If you are concerned about your foster dog’s health, please contact BRIT right away to discuss a plan of action for treating the dog.
Items Your Foster Dog will Need:
- A crate (size: 24x36x22). Most Brittanys fit well in a medium crate. You can use a wire crate, or a plastic airline crate.
- A dog bed, preferably one that will fit inside their crate to make a nice, comfy den.
- A food dish. Your foster dog should NOT share a bowl with your other dog(s).
- Food and treats. Try to look for food that does not list corn or wheat in the ingredients to reduce the chance of food allergies.
- A Kong toy with treats inside is a good diversion when your foster dog is crated.
Keeping your Foster Dog Safe and Laying the Foundation for Good Behavior:
- Monitor your foster dog closely in the backyard for the first week or two. It is hard to predict which dogs will try to dig under, or jump over a fence. Supervision also gives you a chance to correct bad behavior, such as chewing, digging holes, etc.
- NEVER leave your foster dog outside when you are away from home; being crated indoors is much safer and secure.
- Padlocks on gates are easy ways to keep dogs from accidentally unlatching the gate, or neighborhood children from opening the gate and letting a dog escape.
- Be aware of the front door, especially when there are many people coming and going from the house. Brittanys are fast and can bolt through the front door before you know what has happened. They are very hard to catch when they are running loose and can easily become lost or injured. Keeping the front door locked will help keep it from accidentally opening. Crating or leashing your foster dog when visitors arrive and leave can alleviate confusion and stress at the front door.
- Although incoming rescue dogs can seem very pitiful, feeling sorry for them and spoiling them will not get them ready for their great, new life. Allow your foster dog at least one or two weeks to adjust to your new home. Give your foster dog minimal amounts of affection or cuddling until they have settled in and are learning the routine and the rules. Give your foster dog minimal amounts of freedom until they understand what you expect from them and their role in the family.
- Nothing in life is free: your foster dog needs to earn rewards such as treats, affection, and furniture time. Ask for a behavior before offering a reward: sit, down, kennel. Be careful not to reward bad behaviors, such as jumping up with affection and attention.
Tips for Dogs Recovering from Heartworm Treatment:
- Dogs recovering from heartworm treatment must keep their heart rates very low for 6 weeks to prevent clots and other serious complications.
- Keep a leash on your foster dog every time they come out of their crate.
- Don’t let them roam around your house. Leash walk them in the yard for potty breaks.
- Don’t let them jump on and off of furniture or in cars – lift them.
- The injections make their backs sore for a few days, so be gentle and expect some discomfort at first.
- Your dog will start feeling better in a week or so – but don’t allow them to run, jump, or play until after 6 weeks.
- If your foster dog collapses, faints, or starts acting funny, call your vet and contact BRIT immediately.
What if I want to adopt my foster dog?
It is easy to get attached to your foster dog and not want to watch them leave for another home. Before you decide to adopt, make sure that your family is ready for a lifelong commitment to the dog, rather than just avoiding sadness at seeing your foster dog leave your home.
While it can be sad to say goodbye to your foster dog, knowing that you have prepared them for their perfect adoptive family can be very rewarding, and letting your foster dog go will give you the opportunity to make a difference in the life of another foster dog.
If you have decided that this is the perfect dog for your family and you are ready to make a lifelong commitment, be aware that foster families are not exempt from adoption fees. As an approved foster home, you are already approved to adopt and you can make it official by signing an adoption agreement and paying the adoption fee for your dog. You can contact BRIT to discuss adoption at any time.
Foster Home Volunteer Agreement (example)
I agree to abide by the following terms as a volunteer foster home and representative of Brittany Rescue in Texas.
___ I will not sell or give away any foster dog in my care. I understand that the dog I am fostering belongs to Brittany Rescue in Texas.
___ I will not allow my foster dog to run off-leash outside of a fenced area.
___ I will make sure my foster dog is wearing the BRIT ID tag at all times.
___ I will contact a member of BRIT immediately if the dog is lost.
___ I will contact a member of BRIT immediately if the dog is in need of medical attention. Dogs in need of medical treatment must be seen by a veterinary clinic approved by BRIT. All medical expenses must be approved prior to treatment. I understand I will be responsible for any treatment costs that are obtained without prior authorization.
___ I will inform BRIT anytime my dog is being cared for by someone else when I am out of town or on vacation. If I take my foster dog with me on vacation, I will inform BRIT of my itinerary.
___ I have read and understood the “BRIT Foster Guidelines” and agree to abide by the guidelines set forth by BRIT.
___ I will remember in all my dealings with the public that I represent Brittany Rescue in Texas and will act pleasantly and answer questions politely, or refer them to someone who can.
___ I will not make disparaging remarks to the public about BRIT or their policies, as this might inhibit BRIT’s ability to find quality homes for their dogs. Disagreements about BRIT’s policies should be brought to the attention of the President.
___ BRIT can, at any time, if deemed necessary, remove any foster dog from my care.
___ I understand that if I decide to adopt my foster dog, I must pay the full adoption fee required by BRIT.
I have accurately completed this agreement and appreciate the risks in working with rescue dogs. I understand that Brittany Rescue in Texas cannot be responsible for the actions, behaviors and/or medical conditions of the dogs that it seeks to rescue, and I agree to assume the risks implicit in working with dogs which may have been abandoned, beaten or otherwise mistreated or abused, or who may suffer from an illness, condition or disease.
Further, I agree to indemnify and hold harmless Brittany Rescue in Texas, its members and representatives, against any and all claims, known or unknown, now or hereafter, for any injury or damage to property or persons caused by or related to any rescue dog that I may come in contact with, and agree to take any and all necessary precautions to prevent any such injury or damage.