How does fostering work?

Fostering a dog is quite simple – it begins when you volunteer to care for a dog in need in your home. You take one of Mutts Matter Rescue’s dogs home and provide them with love, nourishment and proper veterinary care until it finds a forever home. 


How long will I foster?

Foster times vary from a few days to a few months – it depends on how long it takes for a quality application to be approved for that particular dog.  


How am I saving lives?

Fostering is one of the most important things you can do in rescue. By fostering you are not only saving the life of your foster dog (by ensuring he or she has a loving and safe temporary home), but you also make room for another animal at a shelter to come into rescue. 


Why foster?

Foster parents are the most important people involved in a rescue. Mutts Matter Rescue receives dozens of email and calls a day from organizations and people begging us to save the lives of dogs in imminent danger of being put to sleep. Mutts Matter Rescue works with a network of foster homes who care for the dogs while we find them their permanent homes. We don’t have a shelter, so the fosters are invaluable to us. Their numbers dictate how many lives we can save. Without the support and presence of fosters, most of the dogs will never make it out of the shelter alive.


What do I need to be a foster parent?

The main criteria are love and patience. You don’t have to have a yard - many people who foster for us live in apartments. It’s okay if you have another dog, and even if you have a cat. Most of the dogs that we take in are dog friendly, and some even love cats. We will always work with you to make sure that your foster dog is a good fit for your home. 


What does a foster parent do?

All the things that a dog owner does, but for a shorter time! Daily care, feeding, grooming, reinforcing obedience, and generally giving the dog love and affection. The reason why foster parents are so important is because there are many wonderful adoptable dogs in the shelters whose perfect owners haven’t found them yet. Many people are wary about adopting directly from a shelter because so much is unknown about the dog. We only take in temperamentally sound dogs, and people are more likely to adopt from us because their foster parents can tell them what they are like in a home situation, likes and dislikes, and little quirks - things that are impossible to tell in a shelter situation. 


Do I have to have a fenced yard?

We have no formal policy in regards to fenced in yards. We encourage owners without fenced yards to think about how their dog will get adequate exercise and “take care of business”.  A fenced yard does not take the place of walks and adequate exercise. 


How long will the foster dog stay with me?

That is the question we always get asked, and is the most difficult to answer. It can be anything from a couple of weeks to a couple of months - there is no fixed time. Sometimes we get a rush of people wanting to adopt dogs from us, and other times it is fairly slow. 


Do I need to be home all day to foster?

Not at all. Most regular dog owners aren’t, and the dogs are fine. The only things that we ask is that if you have another pet, that you secure the foster dog in a crate or similar while you are away from the home. Never leave the dogs together unattended for both of their sakes. The most important thing to us is that safety of your pets as well as the safety of the foster dog. 


Do I have to pay for everything myself?

Not at all. There will be small expenses such as dog bowls if you don’t already have them, but if you need help with food expenses, we are happy to provide a bag of food for you. In the event that the dog requires medical treatment or medication, Mutts Matter Rescue takes care of those expenses. We would love to be able to pay for toys and other things for them, but we are a non-profit organization, and cannot afford to reimburse you for these items, but when we get toys and other sundries donated to us, we will pass them straight onto you! 


How do you handle potential adopters for my foster?

Our foster homes are included in the adoption process and make the placement decisions with us. While the foster dog is in your care, Mutts Matter Rescue volunteers will work with you to screen prospective adopters, make home visits, and attempt to find the perfect match for your protégé’. We can meet potential families together and the placement is thoroughly discussed with everyone involved. The rescue dogs however remain the organization’s responsibility. Our foster homes cannot make rescue and/or placement decisions without the approval of Mutts Matter Rescue's officers. 


What if I become attached to my foster dog?

That is completely natural - you are fostering because you love dogs, and you will probably become attached. It would be strange if you didn’t! When you meet the family that will give the dog his permanent home, though, you will be more than happy to see him go. That’s why you fostered in the first place! It is a wonderful thing to do to make sure that a dog in need will find a loving home! 


What if I want to adopt my foster dog?

Of course! We understand how you can become attached and we offer you the first choice at adopting your foster! Won’t it be hard to let them go?It is not easy to let go of a foster dog. All Mutts Matter Rescue volunteers understand this very well. Foster parents are often concerned about their attachments to the animals - When they realize what a wonderful gift they were able to give to an animal in need, it makes it all worthwhile! To have opened your heart and your home, and given a needy dog a second chance is truly an amazing experience. By turning them over to their permanent home, you will be able to foster another dog in need if you so choose. If we can only save one more life, it is worth the world and the sadness to say goodbye.

To sum it up..... If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, there are only a couple of steps to take :

1. Submit a foster application. (You must be at least 21 years of age to be a foster parent.)

2. Agree to a prescreen interview, a home visit and, if applicable, a vet reference.


When you are approved, Mutts Matter Rescue will provide:

  • Food (if requested)

  • Crates (if needed)

  • All veterinary care at a Mutts Matter Rescue approved vet

  • Heartworm /Flea/tick preventative and other necessary meds

  • 24/7 support in emergencies


Foster dog will provide:

  • Great companionship

  • Unconditional love

  • Unending gratitude


You provide:

  • A safe and loving environment for your foster dog until she/he finds a permanent home

  • Transportation to/from adoption events and to any necessary vet appointments

  • A rescued pet with a second chance at life!


The reward of rescue

Look into the eyes of your foster dog and you will find the best reward in the world.... . All of us at Mutts Matter Mutts very much appreciate your efforts and recognize that you are providing an invaluable gift to our dogs and contributing to our mission. Fosters allow us to continue saving dogs in need and are vital to the success of our organization. Thank you for your interest! 

Foster FAQ

Can you open your home to a dog in need?

Foster for Mutts Matter Resuce.

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Mutts Matter Rescue is based in Rockville, MD. Serving  MD, DC, and VA.

© 2014 Mutts Matter Rescue. All Rights Reserved.  A Registered 501(C)(3) Charity.