About Our Foster Process
Thank you for considering joining our Foster Family team. We rely on our foster families to care for waiting Goldens while being matched with their permanent families. As a foster volunteer, you play a vital role in helping prepare your Golden for adoption, and you experience the joy of watching them become a part of their very own forever home.
Because Homeward Bound continues to be responsible for the dog while in your care, we ask that our foster families live within 50 miles of our adoption center in Elverta, CA outside Sacramento. Exceptions can be made. On our Foster Application, please add a comment in the appropriate space explaining your particular situation.
UPDATE: In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we received hundreds of foster applications and qualified many families. We are so grateful for your support! To reduce demand on our volunteer staff, we are temporarily pausing our foster applications. As we need more, we will post the application again. Please continue reading to see if this volunteer opportunity would be a good fit for you in the future.
Why we ask if your pet is spayed or neutered:
From a health and well-being perspective:
An intact male will do almost anything to find a mate which can lead to roaming and behavioral issues. Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion can help prevent testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
Unspayed female dogs attract unwanted attention every six months. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which can be fatal.
From a humane perspective:
We see the results of pet-overpopulation in shelters every single day and it is heart-breaking. Millions of unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized each year. Spaying or neutering your dog is an important part of responsible pet ownership and it saves lives. Talking to you about it is an important educational component of our mission. So if your answer is “no,” please don’t be surprised if we ask “why?” Because saving lives is what we do.
Becoming a Foster Family
Prospective families receive a visit from one of our Home Visit team members. The purpose of the visit is to ensure a secure, loving environment for the Golden, and to learn what type of dogs are a good fit for you and your family (i.e. age, sex, activity level, short-term foster, long-term foster, etc.).
When You Get Your Foster Dog
Your foster dog will be current on all of its vaccinations, heartworm tested, spayed/neutered, and any health issues will have been addressed. When the dog is brought to you, you will also receive a supply of food and flea and heartworm preventive.
If, at any time, the dog is not working well in your home, please contact the Foster Coordinator. Homeward Bound’s goal is to ensure that this is a good experience for you and the dog.
Your Responsibilities as a Foster Family
Your most important role is to love your Golden. Many of the dogs are confused and not sure of their situation. What they need most is your kindness and patience. You can help prepare your dog for adoption by helping it adjust to family and home living. You may need to teach basic obedience such as sit, down, stay, come, and good house manners. If your foster dog has not been housebroken, you can help them accomplish this very important step.
Also, we ask that you keep your dog clean and brushed. After all, you never know when you will get a call from the future family!
We ask that you give the Foster Coordinator periodic updates, and photos, if possible, on your dog’s progress. The more information we can give to potential adopters, the better.
What You Are Not Responsible For
You are not responsible for veterinary care. If you believe your foster dog requires veterinary care, we do ask that you get prior authorization.
When You Have Questions
At Homeward Bound, we have team members experienced in behavior and training issues, nutrition, health issues, and just about any other dog-related question. The Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue team is always available to help you through any situation.
Meeting An Adoptive Family
We will contact you when we believe we may have an adoptive family for your Golden. You will be asked to meet them at the HBGRR Adoption Center.
Foster Dogs Love Forever
Some families have a hard time saying goodbye to their fostered Golden. Please keep in mind that much time and effort has been put into finding the perfect home for your dog. Sometimes, our families decide to adopt (we affectionately refer to these as our “foster failures!”). Our foster families always have the first option to adopt. However, we hope you will remember that by deciding to let your dog move on to its forever home, you are making yourself available to help another dog that desperately needs you. By letting go, we keep the process going.
Please consider becoming a member of our team. Without you, we could not rescue and care for the many Golden Retrievers that come to us. You truly are golden angels!