Foster for CHR
Foster parents are the backbone of every rescue group, and we are always very grateful for our foster families. Without them we could not save lives.
For more information on our Paws of Zen Foster Program, CLICK HERE.
Please take a few minutes to read about what is involved in becoming a foster parent. Please feel free to contact us if you have a question on something that is not listed here.
What Is Involved in Fostering?
The Foster Parent Provides:
Regular meals and exercise.
Feedback and photos of the foster dog to be used to market the dog for adoption.
Optional input into the selection of an adopter
Communication with prospective adopters once they have been approved for adoption
And last but not least- affection and patience
Caring Hearts Rescue Provides:
medical care and medication, including monthly preventatives
food and other supplies as needed
behavioral and training support from our trainer
an experienced foster “coach” for first-time foster parents
a temporary foster home when you go out of town
transportation to vet and other appointments if needed
How to Become a Foster Parent
Complete our foster application prior to fostering.
If you have pets, we will contact your vet to make sure your current pets are up to date on vaccines, spayed or neutered and on heartworm preventative.
We will ask you to let us visit your home to make sure it is a safe environment for your future foster dog and to help us match you with the right dog for your home.
We will discuss with you what your expectations are, and take the time to fit you with a dog that fits your experience level, your lifestyle, your home, and your needs.
Once approved, we will put you on our foster list and email you information about dogs needing a foster. You choose the one that you are interested in fostering and we go from there!
*Note: Due to safety concerns, we do not place dogs in foster homes with children under the age of 11 years old.
If you are interested in fostering, complete our online foster application. Email with questions. We look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for your time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do your rescued dogs come from?
Our dogs come from urban and rural shelters in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland; local and out-of-area rescue partners; owners who relinquish their dogs to our rescue; and, occasionally, from hoarder, backyard breeder, or puppy mill situations.
What type of behavioral problems do they have?
Some of the dogs come from backgrounds where they were abused or neglected, which may make them fearful or timid—at least initially. Some may require a lot of the foster parent's time, energy and attention. But most are just happy to be in a home and respond quickly to attention, affection, and the rules of their new home.
Rest assured that all our dogs receive a behavioral evaluation by our trainer upon intake before being placed in the foster home. We provide the foster parent with information about the dog’s behavior and needs, which allows the foster parent to determine if the dog is the right fit for them. If any behavioral issues are noted, we provide tips and strategies on how to deal with them. We will never knowingly place an aggressive dog in your home or place a dog with you whose behavior is more than you can handle.
Will I have out-of-pocket expenses?
We provide food, supplies such as a bed or leash, monthly preventatives and medical care. If the foster parent wants to buy the dog food, then we welcome the kind offer but do not expect it.
Do I have to take my foster dog to regular adoption events?
No. CHR does not hold regular adoption events. Adopters usually find our dogs on adoption sites such as Petfinder.com. Potential adopters make arrangements with a CHR representative to meet the foster dog. We then contact the foster parent to arrange a meeting at a time and location convenient to the foster parent.
What is the average length of stay for a foster dog?
The average stay is 1-6 months for a healthy adult but this depends on the dog. Senior dogs often require a longer commitment of time since they are harder to place. If there are behavioral issues that will need to be addressed with training, a dog’s stay in the foster home can take longer. However, if at any time things aren’t working out in the foster home, CHR will take back the foster dog.
The time spent in the foster home prepares the dog for eventual adoption and helps the dog heal from the trauma of being rehomed. Also, the more we know about a dog’s behavior and personality, the better we can assess whether he/she is a good fit for a prospective adopter.
What type of support do you provide?
Foster parents are very important to CHR. Rescued dogs could not be saved without the help of these special people. You can rest assured that CHR will offer any assistance and support needed to our foster families. CHR has its own dog trainer who provides guidance on any issues that may come up. And first-time fosters are assigned a foster coach to provide support and guidance throughout the foster experience.
If you still have questions or concerns about whether fostering is right for you, please read the following:
WHY YOU CAN FOSTER A DOG—EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU CAN’T!
“I MIGHT GET ATTACHED”
We acknowledge that most fosters do get somewhat attached to their foster dog. It’s only human. Yes, you may feel sad when your foster dog leaves for a new home. However, we promise you that the feeling of satisfaction you will get when you see your foster dog go to a good, forever home will be HUGE. And, because we encourage our fosters to participate in the selection of their foster dog’s adopter, you will feel extra good about the process. Last but not least, you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you saved a life. This is a priceless feeling and will make up for any sadness over the loss of the foster dog.
“MY OWN DOG(S) MAY NOT GET ALONG WITH A FOSTER DOG”
This is always a possibility. However, we try to avoid this scenario by careful screening the foster dog we place in your home; by conducting a compatibility test between your dog(s) and the foster; and by providing ongoing behavioral support to give you advice on how to avoid problems between your dog(s) and the foster dog. If all this doesn’t help, we will remove the foster dog from your home.
“I LIVE IN AN APARTMENT”
We have a number of foster parents who live in apartments. Because our dogs are usually 20 pounds or under, they don’t require a lot of exercise, just short walks outside for elimination. Some can even get by with using pee pads in a pinch. Due to their small size, they usually meet apartment/condo restrictions regarding dogs. And, if you’re concerned about your neighbors being bothered by a foster dog’s barking or crying, please know that we screen for this and avoid placing with you a known barker or a dog that has separation anxiety.
“I MAY NEED TO GO OUT OF TOWN”
If you need to go out of town for work or vacation, we have other fosters who will watch your foster dog while you are gone. If no vacation foster homes are available, we will pay to board your foster dog in a facility.
“I WANT TO FOSTER BUT DON’T WANT TO MAKE A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT”
We are always looking for short-term fosters who can watch a dog for as little as a weekend and as long as 1-2 weeks while their regular foster goes out of town on vacation. We also desperately need “transition fosters” who will offer a dog a temporary home for 1-2 weeks while we search for a longer-term foster home.
“I CAN’T AFFORD A DOG RIGHT NOW”
Not a problem. Caring Hearts Rescue pays for everything. We provide you with food and supplies and take care of medical expenses. If you want to buy something for your foster dog, that’s your choice but we never expect it and we will give you a tax receipt for what you have purchased, upon request.
“I’M NOT SURE I HAVE ENOUGH EXPERIENCE TO DEAL WITH A NEW DOG OR A DOG WITH PROBLEMS”
We have that one covered! We will assign you a foster coach who will check in with you by phone and email regularly to make sure all your questions are answered and all your problems are addressed. And, since one of our volunteers is a positive dog trainer, we offer free behavioral support throughout your foster experience.
“IF I DON’T FOSTER, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER FOSTER HOMES”
Sadly, there are never enough foster homes for all the dogs that need to be rescued. Not having enough foster homes is the single biggest reason we can’t rescue more dogs. It is no exaggeration to say that fostering saves lives.
Questions? Email us at