Foster FAQs

Can I foster if I don't live in the Madison area? If so, do I pick up the dog or does someone from Fetch bring them to my home? 
Fetch welcomes foster families from any area of the state! Fosters can either pick up the dog from the Madison area, or we can arrange a transport to get them to you. 

Can I foster if I live in a condo/apartment and don’t have a fenced-in yard? 
Absolutely! Every dog has different needs. Fetch works hard to match the right dog with the right foster home, and for many that does not need to include a fenced-in yard. 

How am I matched with a dog for fostering? 
All Fetch volunteers that have expressed an interest in fostering are added to a contact list for the organization. As we consider pulling at-risk dogs from shelters, we reach out to our foster contacts to determine whether there will be a suitable foster home for the dog once they arrive in our care. Volunteers are able to accept or decline fostering based on the information provided on a specific dog. 

What costs am I responsible for as a foster? Approximately how much does fostering cost? 
Foster homes cover basic care costs include dog food, toys, treats and miscellaneous supplies like food bowls or kennels. While all dogs and foster families are different, most foster families report average expenditures of approximately $40 per month. 

Fetch pays for all pre-approved veterinary expenses. 

How long should I expect to foster a dog? Is there a maximum length of time they can be with me? 
Dogs can stay with their foster home for as little as a few days, or as long as a few months, depending upon the dog in your care. When reaching out to potential fosters, Fetch always tries to estimate the length of time we expect a dog to need foster care, based on age, medical needs and more. 

What if I need to go out of town and am fostering a dog? 
Fetch has a variety of volunteers who are eager to spend time with our dogs, but aren’t able to foster at this time. With a few days advance notice, we will match you with a dog sitter who can take care of your foster dog while you’re away. 

What if the dog doesn't get along with my dogs? 
We recommend a slow transition to introduce your dog to other dogs to avoid any conflicts. However, if conflicts do arise, Fetch will move the dog to another foster home or a temporary boarding facility so as not to place any undue stress on either your dog or the Fetch foster dog. 

What information am I responsible for providing to Fetch? 
Fetch requests that all foster families provide a minimum of weekly updates on the progress of the dog. Each foster home is assigned a “Foster Partner” who will walk you through the process, explain what information is needed and ensure updates are received. These updates, as well as any photos you share, will be used on the Fetch website and social media channels to provide information to individuals interested in adopting.
What role would I play in the adoption process? 
As the foster family, you know the dog best and play a vital role in helping us place the dog with the home that is the best fit. Fosters are required to fill out the Foster Dog Placement Request form when they feel their dog is ready for adoption, which is after the dog has been vetted (up to date with shots, has current CVI, all health issues addressed). Foster dogs do not get advertised on social media or on Fetch's website until after the Foster Dog Placement Request form is filled out by you. This ensures that adopters are not setting their hearts on a dog that may need medical care or behavioral training in order for the dog to be adoptable. The Foster Dog Placement Request form also signals to the adoption coordinator that you as the foster family do not plan to adopt your foster dog. 

Foster homes will then review adoption applications sent by the Fetch Application Coordinator to determine whether the adoptive home is a good fit for your foster dog. You will also set up meet and greets with interested individuals and facilitate the adoption if the meet and greet goes well. 

Can I specify the size or age of a dog that I'd be able to foster? 
Yes! We'd love to know your preferences so that you have a rewarding foster experience. When filling out your volunteer application, we encourage you to note preferences, so that we can be sure to reach out to you regarding dogs in need of foster that fit your preference.

How do I get started? 
Submit a volunteer application here, and someone will be in touch soon.