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Fostering is a “practice run” for dogs that are waiting for adoption. It gives them an opportunity to bond with caregivers, learn helpful behaviors and generally thrive in a home environment.

Some of our dogs are shy and need to learn how to relax and play. Others need to learn what it’s like to live in a house with humans and other animals. All of them need love and affection while waiting for a permanent home. That’s where you come in.

Fostering Helps Us Save More Dogs

When we place a dog into a foster home, it frees up space to save another life by rescuing another dog. So, by fostering, you’re actually helping two dogs!

Some of the dogs we rescue are older, have temporary or chronic medical conditions or other special needs. We have a soft spot for these dogs because they’re harder to adopt, and their outcome at shelters usually isn’t good. When we rescue dogs, we don’t put any time limits on our commitment to them. If they need to stay for a long time – or even a lifetime – we’re there for them. But, without help, we can only take so many. Fosters really do save lives.

What Does a Foster Parent Do?

In addition to day-to-day care like feeding, grooming and exercise, foster parents can help with basics like:

  • housetraining,
  • walking on leash,
  • simple commands such as sit or down,
  • behavior modification to correct jumping, dashing through doors, etc.,
  • socialization and temperament evaluation (to determine whether the dog is good with different types of people and other animals),
  • dispensing medication, if needed, and
  • plenty of playtime and snuggling. 

Fostering for Save the Strays can be short-term, until date of adoption, or open ended.

What's In It For You?

Providing a foster home for a dog in need can be an incredibly rewarding experience for you, your family and the dog. Many experienced foster parents feel the same pride at turning over a foster dog to a new adoptive home as people who raise service dogs when they turn over their newly grown pups. You have given an animal a new chance at a wonderful life – a chance they may not have otherwise had.

Fostering can be a good option if you aren’t in a position to make a lifetime commitment to a dog but miss having a dog’s companionship. You’ll get the experience of being a pet parent and the satisfaction of knowing you helped save the life of an animal in need.

If you are interested in eventually adopting, there is no better way to try a new family member. If you don’t want to adopt your foster pet, that’s fine, too. We just ask that you hold onto your foster until we can find them a permanent home or another foster home.

What Support Does Save the Strays Provide?

We will provide food, a crate, bedding, a leash, collar and harness. We also pay for any veterinary care that may be needed during the foster period.

Of course, you are welcome to pay for any of these expenses if you can. In that event, keep your receipts because Save the Strays is a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit, and these costs are tax-deductible. We will provide a letter verifying your foster status with us, as additional documentation for your tax records.

We check in with fosters at least weekly. You are always welcome to call, email or text us in between to provide updates, ask questions and get help if you need it.

How To Become a Foster

Helping a dog get ready for adoption into a forever home is a rewarding experience. But we do have a few up-front requirements:

  • The actual foster parent(s) must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Everyone in your household must be on board with fostering.
  • You must live within two hours’ drive of Camden, SC.
  • You must have previous experience owning, fostering or caring for dogs.
  • A current or recent veterinary reference is preferred.
  • There may be specific additional requirements for individual dogs.

If you’re accepted into our foster program, you’ll receive foster care guidelines and helpful tips. You’ll also be asked to sign our foster care agreement and waiver of liability.

So, are you ready to take the next step? Complete our foster care application.