Fostering Guidelines

Because we do not have a shelter, we can only help as many dogs as we have foster space. It is always preferable to have a dog in a loving home environment where he can be socialized, rather than keeping the dog in a shelter atmosphere. Having a dog in a foster home allows us to better see the dog's true personality.

Costs

Fosters house and care for the foster dog at their own expense (i.e. food, toys, etc.), with the exception of veterinary and grooming costs. Veterinary costs are reimbursed by the Cocker Spaniel Rescue Group (see “Vet Care”). Cocker Spaniel Rescue has volunteer groomers who will groom the dogs for free by appointment.

Vacations

If a Foster has to leave town, boarding or babysitting accommodations are arranged beforehand with the group.

Getting Attached

It happens. It is often hard NOT to become attached to the dogs in our care, especially since the dog is being treated like one of the family, but hopefully the dog will be adopted before that happens. It’s important to remember that if you keep a dog and can no longer foster, you won’t be available to help future cockers in need.

If a foster wishes to adopt their foster dog, notification to the group must be made PRIOR to any public applications on the dog.  If there is an application from the general public to adopt the dog, that application is given priority. While we understand that it is difficult, if not impossible, to not become attached to our fosters, it isn’t fair to advertise a dog as being “available for adoption” only to change our minds once an application is received.  If a foster has notified the group that he/she wants to adopt, then the process for adoption is the same as for the general public and adoption fees apply. (If needed, Cocker Rescue will work out a payment plan with the foster family).

Custody

Even though fosters keep dogs in their own homes, custody belongs to the Cocker Spaniel Rescue group, and any decisions about the dog are made by the group. The only time the foster has final disposition on a dog is if the dog is ADOPTED by the foster.

Meetings with Potential Adopters

Any arrangements for meetings with potential adopters must be approved by one of the directors of Cocker Spaniel Rescue. Under no circumstances should a meeting be set up with anyone who has not filled out an application.

Length of Stay

The amount of time one of our dogs stays in our program is very hard to predict in advance. Some dogs are adopted right away, while others may spend months waiting for a forever home. The average length of stay is about 2 or 3 months. If you can only commit to fostering for a short while, that's okay, too! Just let us know when you'd be available and we'll happily work with you to meet your schedule.

Vet Care

All dogs in the Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio program will be vaccinated and dewormed prior to adoption. We will not adopt out sick animals unless vet care has been arranged with the adoptive family. In the event that a Cocker Rescue dog needs vet care, please contact the directors to make arrangements.

Behavioral Issues

Fosters who observe behavior problems in their foster dogs should report them to the group. Any bite must be reported to the group, regardless of how severe.

Contact with Shelters

We have designated volunteers who are in contact with area shelters. Only designated volunteers can confirm that a dog has been accepted into the Cocker Rescue program.  If a foster hears of a Cocker in need in an area shelter, vet office, owner surrender situation, etc., the contact person should be referred to the co-directors of our group or our hotline at 512-527-9923.

Rules

Fosters should maintain the same standards required of potential adopters, with one exception in regard to the adoption of fosters mentioned earlier (if a foster wishes to adopt their foster dog, notification to the group must be made PRIOR to any public applications on the dog).

  • One must be an adult with responsibility for maintaining a household (no students under graduate school level).
  • Fosters should have a fenced in yard.  ** Those living in apartments may be considered on  a case-by-case basis, but there MUST be permission from the landlord.
  • Fosters are required to have current identification showing address and/or phone number.
  • There must be knowledge and consent of all adults living in the household.
  • Fosters must be able and willing to spend the time and money necessary to provide for the training, medical treatment, and proper care for the pet.
  • Fosters must understand that all Cocker Spaniel Rescue pets should be considered members of the family and should provide the pet with an indoor home and an environment that is safe and secure.
  • Cocker Spaniel Rescue pets are not placed in homes with children under 7 years of age. 

Facilities

The adult caregiver to foster dog ratio should not be more than 1:5. In cases of emergency, that number may be exceeded on a short term basis, not to exceed 10 dogs per household in any circumstance.

The group will plan on visiting each foster home at least once per year.