Chicago Dog Fostering

We all know that dogs cannot be rescued without rescue foundations, but what most people don’t realize is that rescues cannot rescue dogs without foster homes. People often sign up to foster for one foundation, decides they will foster one size, gender, breed or prefer puppies or medical cases. Whatever the preference is, if you have one spot open in your home (or gloriously lucky you, more than one) why not sign up to foster for multiple rescues, as many offer the same resources.  It is important however that you select rescues near you so you can attend adoption events and make trips to the veterinarian. Fostering means, caring for an animal as if it’s your own until it’s adopted. Most rescues cover all basic costs of the animal, ie: medical needs, crate, food, etc. Some rescues even cover day care and walkers (please ask the rescue in advance if you need this). Once a foster fills out the foster application and is approved, the rescue will pair the foster with a dog.

Since RDMoC aims to drive a deeper connection between the community of dog lovers in Chicago and the Foundations that work to save them all. We decided to create this resource page to show you multiple options. More rescues than not don’t actually have a physical location and rely solely on foster homes to save dogs. So if you have decided to open your home to a dog in need, please consider signing up for more than one rescue. After all, it takes a village, so let’s be that village. 

If you would like to fill out our form and help be connected to an organization, scroll to the bottom of the page for our “I’d like to know more about fostering” form.

***If you are a rescue that would like to have your information added to this resource, please contact us at contact@rdmoc.com with your relevant information and rescue logo.

Foster Process:

  1. Fill out the foster application below and attend a volunteer orientation. Click here for the volunteer orientation dates on our calendar.
  2. Meet with the animal and talk with an FTF Board Member or Leader
  3. Meet & Greet with other animals in your home preferably at a neutral location
  4. A Home Check will be done for fosters prior to the first foster placement
  5. New foster homes will be provided with a Foster Packet fully describing duties, helpful hints and guidelines for the animal’s journey to a forever home

Fostering Includes:

  • FTF will provide everything you need to support your foster pet including crates, food, treats, medication, toys, leashes and collars.  Fosters will receive a Foster Packet with details and exclusions.
  • FTF will cover Approved Vet care and medicines.  Details are described in the Foster Packet that new fosters will receive before their first fostered animal

Requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have the consent of all adults living in the household
  • Have approval from the residence owner
  • Have valid ID with current address
  • Must attend a volunteer orientation and fill out the application below
  • Be approved by Fetching Tails  Foundation as a suitable foster home
  • Must live in the Chicagoland area
  • Be comfortable facilitating the animal’s adoption.  Details are explained in a Foster Packet given to all new foster homes.

Foster Process:

  • Fill out form.
  • Brief chat with a foster mentor
  • Start getting emails about dogs in need/ability to join our FB group and see our database of dogs
  • Pick a dog and start fostering

Fostering Includes:

  • All supplies (pick up at our Bucktown location)
  • Transport and dog walks when needed (Chicago area only)
  • All medical care at our providing vets
  • Support team and foster mentor

Requirements:

  • Be 21 and over
  • Be able to work through basic issues like housebreaking, crate anxiety, general jumpiness/mouthiness/bad manners
  • Everyone in the household be on board
  • Your pets are up to date on all vaccines and generally healthy

Foster Process:

  • Submit a foster applicationonline and complete the application at a volunteer orientation
  •  Arrange a home visit with an SCCR Foster Buddy, review SCCR Fostering 101
    document, and order supplies through SCCR Supply Coordinator
  • Select a foster pup when dogs are posted on the SCCR Fosters & Volunteers
    Facebook page

Fostering includes:

  • Caring for a dog as your own while preparing it for adoption until it finds its forever
    home (this can vary in length from dog to dog)
  • Bringing dog to veterinarian for care as seen fit and scheduled by Medical
  • Coordinator (SCCR provides supplies and medical care within our vet network)
  • Communicating any specific needs your foster dog might have with SCCR
  • Bringing dog to Adoption Events for potential adopters to meet
  • Arranging a home visit with adopters to complete the adoption process

Requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old and live in the Chicagoland area
  • Have the consent of all adults living in the home
  • Attend a volunteer orientation and complete the Foster Application
  • Review SCCR Fostering 101 document and resources to support fosters
  • Meet with a Foster Buddy to complete the home visit/approval
  • Make a commitment to rescue responsibly

Why foster for Peace for Pits?

Volunteer rescue work is a challenge, but as with every challenge there comes rewards. In today’s world of animal welfare, organizations like our very own Peace for Pits is paving the way in rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming of bully breeds. We are doing this through education and a solid support system within our rescue enabling our volunteers to reach out to the community.Fostering within the P4P’s family of volunteers not only gives you an opportunity to save the life of a dog in need, but to develop lifelong friendships within a network of dog lovers, professionals and advocates. Our community is here to ensure your fostering experience is a success not only for the dog, but for you. Our goal is to rehabilitate and re-home the dog, while educating and supporting you with all the best tools & advice available from the positive reinforcement training model. Happy, positive fosters produce happy, positive dogs!  More information can be found here.

1. COMPLETE A FOSTER/ADOPTION FORM

If you have found a dog that you are interested in – please fill out an application form by clicking here! Even if you aren’t ready to adopt just yet, please feel free to fill out a form so that we have your information on file. That way, when you find your soul pup, you will be ready to adopt!

2. WAIT FOR A P4P TEAM MEMBER TO CONTACT YOU
3. SCHEDULE A HOME VISIT

It doesn’t matter if you live in a tiny apartment or a large home with a fenced in yard! We just care that our adoptables get plenty of love, attention, and exercise in their future homes!

4. FOSTER MATCHING!

Based on what you are looking for in a foster (i.e. if you have a cat, we need to find you a foster dog that is cat friendly!) we will make suggestions from the shelter of dogs we believe are best for you.  Also please do send your Peace for Pits contact the dog you are interested in and we will evaluate the dog to ensure we are setting everyone up for success.

5. FOSTER SUPPORT SYSTEM!

All fosters will be in constant contact with our amazing foster coordinator, Cerissa. Fosters will also be invited to join a private Foster/Adopter Facebook group, where you can share your rants and raves and get support from our network of volunteers and adopters!  We set you and your pup up with the tools to be successful.

Resources!  We provide vetting, transport if needed and we will start you off with:

  • Crate
  • Fromm’s dry dog food
  • Freedom no-pull harness
  • Collar
  • A Sound Beginning: Setting the Right Tone For Your Newly Adopted Dog—How to Build a Relationship and Gain Trust by Julie Dorsey-Oskerka, Patricia Rattray and Rebecca Cann
  • A network of local trainers to assist in training and behavior issues.
  • Two Week Shutdown Brochure on how to give your dog two weeks to decompress upon arriving at the home

Foster Process:

  • Fill out foster application at https://www.leadrescue.org/foster-application/
  • Talk with LEAD Rescue team member to go over details of your home
  • Join our Facebook foster group to see updates on new arrivals that need foster homes
  • Pick a dog or we will help match you with one that would best suit you!

What’s Included?

Do I have to pay to be a foster? NO! Costs are covered 100% by L.E.A.D. All you need to provide is a loving home and your time. All necessary medical care for your foster will be covered at one of our approved veterinary clinics. Additionally, high quality dog food, heart worm preventative, flea & tick protection, toys, leash, collar, and crate will all be supplied to y

Requirements?

  • Must submit a foster application and be approved by LEAD Rescue
  • All members of the household must be on board with adding a foster dog to the home
  • Current pets must be spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations

Questions about fostering can be directed to Sam: sam.aliverescue@gmail.com

Foster ProcessOur Foster Approval Process starts with completing our Adoption/Foster Application.

Next steps:

  1. Initial e-mail connecting you to your assigned Foster Coordinator who will walk you through the approval process and be with you every step of the way when once you start fostering.
  2. Before beginning the bulk of the screening we contact your vet (of both current and previous animals) as well as your landlord to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  3. You will then schedule a phone interview with your Foster Coordinator where they will explain our program to you, answer any questions you may have, and just get to know you and your animals (if you have any) in order to help us match you with successful fosters in the future.
  4. We will contact your personal references listed on your application. It is always helpful to give them a heads-up that you have applied and that someone will be contacting them in the next week or so to chat for a few minutes.
  5. The final step in our process is the Home Visit! This is when your Foster Coordinator will quite literally come to visit your home and meet all residents (both human and animal) and continue the conversation about fostering and answer any remaining questions you may have.

What We Provide

One of the best parts about fostering is that it is totally free! ALIVE Rescue covers all financial obligations associated with caring for a foster animal.

When caring for a foster animal from ALIVE we provide:

  • All supplies (food, leash/collar/harness, bowls, crate, toys, blankets, treats, puppy pads, IQ toys, thunder shirts, coats, booties, etc.)
  • All vet appointments, medications, and any necessary medical care is fully covered by ALIVE
  • We have an amazing network of trainers who are always willing to help assist our fosters in learning and working with their foster animals
  • Temporary coverage when you are out of town— if ever you need to go out of town while caring for a foster animal all you need to do is contact your Foster Coordinator as soon as your know your travel dates and our team will handle the rest!
  • Transport— we have an amazing transport network always ready and willing to help drive our animals to and from appointments, home visits, events, etc. Being based in the city we know that many of our fosters do not have cars (which is totally fine!) so we are here to help

ISO Fostering

Any dog that ALIVE takes in that has been inside the Chicago Animal Care and Control facility needs to be isolated from other animals for 2–3 weeks to ensure they are not infected with anything contagious.

ISO fosters are homes where there are no other animals and are willing to help nurse these babies back to health. ALIVE provides all medical care and guidance for your ISO foster animal, all we ask is that you provide the home and the love to help work them through their ISO period.

There has been a surge of owner surrenders and strays as the weather has warmed up and currently, there are over 300 dogs at CACC. With only enough room for a little over 200, impossible decisions are having to be made every day to make room.  

If you or anyone you know does not have any other animals and has ever been interested in fostering please help spread the word and encourage them to apply to Foster with ALIVE. Short- or long-term, anything helps!

Requirements + Responsibilities

We require our fosters to be at least 24 years old and live within a 10 mile radius of Chicago.

As a foster home for ALIVE Rescue, you will need to provide space, meals (food provided by ALIVE), basic training, exercise, and love for the animal. We will provide you with everything else you need. We ask that you provide us with regular updates on your foster animal so that we can use this information to find them a suitable forever home.