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Fostering FAQs

How do I apply to foster?

Please apply via our foster page by clicking the link to the application form.

Will I need to have a home check?

Yes. We home check every potential foster to make sure that we are placing our dogs and cats in the right homes. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Can I become a foster carer?

As the dogs and cats that pass through our foster scheme can sometimes have quite complex needs, it is beneficial if foster carers have had experience with dog or cat ownership. However, it is not essential - willingness to follow our advice and guidance is the most important thing. We are looking for adult-only homes or homes with older children for dog fostering, and homes with older children for cat and kitten fostering.

All our foster carers need to be compassionate, empathetic and adaptable to the needs of the individual animals that come through their care, as they are all unique. You must be willing to provide all the basics of care, such as feeding, cleaning, exercising (dogs), grooming, training, playing and socialising, and be willing to follow our guidance and regulations on training and safety.

Why might a dog or cat need to be fostered?

The kennel and cattery environments can be a shock to the dogs and cats coming into our care. As a result of their change in circumstance some of them can become stressed and anxious, which can be detrimental to their mental and physical wellbeing.

As well as this being bad for them, it also makes it very difficult for us to assess their character and understand them as individuals – and therefore what type of home they would be best suited to once they are ready to be rehomed. We often find that once placed into foster care and given time to settle into a normal home environment, they are better able to relax and their true personalities shine through.

Can I foster to adopt?

Fostering is not meant to be a way to adopt. We really need foster carers who can commit to fostering long term so that you can help many different dogs or cats who need foster homes. 

Can I foster when I have resident pets within the home?

Yes you can, however, we will assess the dogs/cats needs and choose the correct animal for your home environment. E.g. if you have resident cats, it might be more beneficial for you to foster cats for us.

I've seen an animal I like on your Facebook page, can I foster it?

Not all of our animals qualify for or needs fostering, so we prioritise those that will most benefit from being in a foster home environment. We only foster those who have compromised welfare due to stress or medical issues, or those animals that are simply being overlooked.

I work full time and I am out all day, can I foster?

Adult foster cats can be left for a working day.

Time alone for foster dogs needs to be kept to a minimum. At the beginning of the foster period, dogs cannot be left at all and the maximum daily leave time once settled is no more than 4 hours.

Can I let my foster dog off lead on a walk?

For safety reasons, foster carers are not allowed to let their dog off lead in public places. We recommend working with our dogs in an enclosed field and on a long line.

Can I leave my foster animal with a house sitter or a friend?

For safety reasons, we do not permit our foster carers to leave animals with house sitters or people they do not know. Rocky Road Rescue assesses everyone who takes care of our animals.

Do I have to buy my foster animals food and accessories?

We do ask for all of our fosters to provide food and accessories for their foster animals. We pay all vet expenses while they are in your care.

What happens if I am going on holiday?

We understand that foster carers have their own commitments and may not always be available to foster dogs or cats. If you know you have holidays or other commitments coming up then please let us know. If you have been fostering an animal for a while, and an unexpected commitment comes up then please let us know as soon as possible. We will do our very best to make other arrangements for the foster animal.

What training do I receive?

We hold an induction where we cover everything you need to know before fostering your first animal. This includes general information, animal behaviour, body language, identifying stress signals, and appropriate handling. We will also go into detail about each animal’s background and behaviours before you foster them.

You will be fully supported during foster training by our Aftercare team of qualified behaviourists. You will also join in our group of fosters to share your experiences.

Read to apply? Please click here and apply via our application form.