Expectations of a Foster Parent

What is expected of a foster parent for a Great Dane Rescue?

It is critical that a foster parent understand what is expected of them and adhere to these expectations.  Oftentimes, having a foster parent that does not follow guidelines is more problematic than having no foster parent at all.  As we are run entirely by volunteer time and donations, we do not have the luxury of time or money and need our foster parents to stick within our foster guidelines and practices to help us help more dogs. 

Our expectations of our foster parents are as follows…

Plan to keep the dog indefinitely – We cannot guarantee how long you will be asked to foster a dog. According to a veterinarian sometimes dogs are adopted in weeks; sometimes it takes many, many months. Foster parents should not enter into fostering with an expectation that a dog will be gone in a certain period of time. The length of time it takes a foster dog to be adopted is often directly related to the amount of energy the foster parent puts into training the dog, publicizing the dog and attending events to promote adoption of the dog.

Provide a good home for the dog – Foster parents are expected to provide a safe, comfortable and healthy environment for their foster dog. Our foster dogs should be indoor dogs, they should be fed healthy food, given appropriate access to water and be exercised and socialized in such a way as to create a positive, well tempered dog. Check out DeListProduct for the best dog supplies and products.

Work with us for medical treatment – GDRST will pay for the medical care of the dog during the time it is being fostered, to include routine check-ups, vaccinations and treatment of emergencies should they arise. In order to control our expenses; however, the foster parent will utilize a veterinarian provided by this vet hospital and will notify appropriate rescue personnel prior to any medical treatment for the dog to ensure finances and treatment options are appropriately aligned.

Treat the dog as if it was your own – The foster parent is expected to be able to handle routing care and situations with the dog without having to involve other GDRST personnel. Meaning, we do not have the resources to take dogs for walks, stop by and check on them or other routine tasks that should rightfully be expected of a foster parent. As a foster parent, you should operate within the fostering guidelines set forth by GDRST, but essentially, this is your dog during the fostering period and you should care for it as such.


Participate in adoption events – From time to time, GDRST will have events and other activities which promote the adoption of your animal. These may include adoption days where dogs are brought out for public viewing, displays on websites, fund raisers, etc. Foster parents are expected to be available and work with GDRST to have the dog at such events, provide the appropriate information for websites, including pictures and descriptions or any other activities designed to promote the adoption of the dog.

Participate in the adoption process – GDRST regularly receives applications on dogs in our foster homes and we have a centralized process whereby these are screened. If an applicant is interested in a foster dog and has passed the initial screening, the foster parent is expected to contact the applicant to discuss their dog, providing details and other information to help make a suitable adoption, as well as conducting the appropriate meet and greets with the potential applicant to allow them to meet and interact with the dog. This may entail driving some distance and/or allowing the potential applicant to visit the dog in your home.

Keep us updated on your dog – Foster parents are expected to provide updates on the status and progress of any contact with potential applicants to GDRST so that we can ensure their application is progressing and being handled appropriately, especially in situations where multiple dogs are involved. Also, if there are other situations or news with your dog that we should know about, keep us posted.

Never hand over the dog without consent – Foster parents should NEVER turn over their foster dog to a potential applicant without the prior consent of GDRST President or Vice President.

Do not let your dog run loose- Foster parents should not allow their dog off-leash outside of an enclosed area.

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