“The most fulfilling feeling… that is what I get from fostering.
When I first saw the post on Facebook from Spot’s Last Stop, I was looking more to foster than to adopt. We have always had two dogs- and since losing one of them six months prior, our dog Sophie was depressed.
It was so easy! Casey, the founder of Spot’s, met with us and gave us a chance. She provided everything; all we needed to do was love them.
I fell in love at the first transport! There is nothing like the feeling when the dogs melt into your arms because they just want love and affection! I thought it would be hard to see them get adopted. It is bittersweet, but when you see how much the new families love them, it is so heartwarming to know you have saved them from the unthinkable.
I have now had the privilege of fostering several beautiful dogs through SLS. From some tough cases that are in need of lots more love than others (which makes it even more rewarding), to a momma and her five adorable pups! Fostering is one of the best things I have ever done!"
-An SLS Foster
Fostering a dog is a wonderful experience, full of lots of joy and tail wags. That being said, it is also a great responsibility requiring your time, patience, and commitment. Please take a few minutes to read through our foster Policies and FAQ's. Then, if you think you’re ready, please click here to fill out the foster application.
As a foster, it is your responsibility to do as much as possible to help your foster dog get adopted. We ask that within 48 hours of bringing the foster dog home (regardless of whether or not the dog has interest or has already been adopted), you fill out and submit a Foster Update Form so that we are able to keep our online listings current.
Your responsibilities as a foster home include housing and caring for the dog in an appropriate manner, reinforcing manners, working with problem areas (leash manners, house training, etc.), feeding appropriately, and housing the dog indoors.
We request that you commit to the foster arrangement for a minimum of one week (barring unusual circumstances). Ideally you would care for the dog until they find their forever home to eliminate further transitions.
As a foster, you will have 48 hours with the foster dog to introduce your family and friends. After this 48 hours is up, the dog will be put up for adoption publicly and you may not have priority for adoption. If you decide that you would like to adopt the dog, PLEASE let us know as soon as you decide so that we know to stop accepting applications on the dog.
If you feel that your foster dog needs immediate medical attention, you MUST get prior approval first. If you choose to get medical attention for the dog without prior approval, you may be responsible for the fees incurred for treatment.
All food and supplies necessary to foster will be provided at no cost to you through Spot's Last Stop.
Who can foster?
Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to foster with SLS! As long as you have the time, patience, energy and a loving home we would love to have you be a part of our foster family!
How do I become a foster?
Simple! To start, please fill out the Foster Application. Once it has been submitted we will review your application and if it meets the requirements, we will contact you to set up a home visit. This is a time to meet you, see where the dog would be staying, and answer any questions you may still have. Once this is complete, we will get you added to our available foster list and contact you when we need help fostering.
Can I foster if I have kids?
Yes! Fostering is a great experience for kids of all ages. It teaches them good stewardship and is a great opportunity to learn through a rewarding opportunity about giving back to the community. Our current foster families with children have had nothing but great things to say about what a positive experience it has been.
We ask that our fosters educate their children on how to properly interact with a dog (e.g. what to do if the dog jumps up, wants to play, is mouthy, how to respect the dogs personal space, stay out of their food, ect.) so as to stay safe with every new dog that comes into their home.
What is expected of me as a foster?
We expect all of our foster families to provide a safe and loving home for their foster dog(s). If needed, you will need to work with your dog on house, crate, and leash training as well as socialization with both humans and animals. If you need advice or have never done any of these before, just ask and we can help!
Our fosters will need to help get their dogs to adoption events, meet and greets, and vet appointments. If you are unable to make it to a scheduled event or appointment, just let us know as we can arrange for outside transportation.
Additionally, we ask that within 48 hours of bringing a foster dog into your home (regardless of whether or not the dog has interest or has already been adopted), you fill out and submit a Foster Update Form so that we are able to keep our online listings current.
What if the foster dog doesn’t work out with my family?
It’s important to keep in mind that your foster dog may not have had the best past. Some dogs may be fearful, shy, or skittish. We ask that you attempt to work with them through their issues, especially during their first week in rescue. SLS can help you with tools and training techniques to get over their “first week jitters”.
If you feel that your new foster dog is unsafe around your other pets or children, we first ask that you contact us immediately to assess the situation and allow us to recommend changes that may help alleviate any issues the dog is having. If this does not work and you are unable to keep the dog in your home, we will immediately start to network for another foster who is able to take the dog. Please keep in mind that this can take up to a week. SLS will assess the situation on a case-by-case basis, and if needed we will remove the dog immediately.
What do I do if the dog needs medical attention?
If your feel that your foster dog requires medical attention, you will need to contact an adoption coordinator who will arrange a veterinary appointment ASAP. If it is an emergency, please contact an adoption coordinator who will tell you which vet to go to and will meet you there.
Where do the dogs come from?
Spot’s Last Stop currently works with recue groups and high kill shelters in Alabama. We have partnered with these groups due to the intense animal rights violations and overpopulation issues that are occurring in the south. Occasionally, we do take in local owner surrenders if we have enough fosters at the time.
How long should I anticipate fostering a dog for?
On average, our dogs are in foster care for 1-5 weeks. However, you should be prepared to foster longer than that if needed. We have had dogs in foster for up to 6 months.
What do I do if I am going out of town?
At Spot’s Last Stop, we work very hard to accommodate the schedules of our foster families. We ask that, when applicable, you give us a minimum of a 2 week notice so we can arrange a temporary foster home while you are away. If you are going somewhere where you are able to bring your foster dog with you and would like to do so, please gain prior approval from your adoption coordinator.
How does the adoption process work when I am a foster?
The first 48 hours after your foster dog arrives is reserved for your friends and family to visit with the dog and get to know them before we post them for adoption. If a friend or family member would like to adopt during this period, they will need to contact us right away and fill out an adoption application. Once the 48 hours is up, we will post the dog to Petfinder and Facebook and begin taking applications.
As applications begin to come in, we will screen them to find the best fit for the dog. Once we have approved an application, an Adoption Coordinator will conduct a phone interview. If the applicant is approved, the adoption coordinator will arrange a meet-and-greet time that works for both you and the applicant. Meet-and-greets can be done at your home, Petsmart, or at a nearby park- it all depends on what you are comfortable with.
An adoption coordinator will be present at every meet-and-greet, but we ask that the foster try to answer as many dog related questions as possible. You will know more about the dog than we do!
If the applicant would like to adopt the dog, we will typically tell them to wait for our call the following morning so you’re able to discuss with the adoption coordinator if the applicant is the right fit or not. If they are, we will contact them and set up a time for pick up. If the meet-and-greet is an undeniable match and you agree with the adoption coordinator at the time, the new family can adopt and bring them home that day.
Do I get to pick the Dog I want to foster?
Yes, once you are set up as an approved foster we will add you to our monthly new dog email where you are able to select 3 different dogs that interest you. We will then assign you the dog that we feel will be the best fit for both you and the dog.
Can I post about my foster dog on social media?
Yes, you certainly can! If you post and have someone interested in your foster dog, we will need either you or them to email us about their interest as well as fill out an Adoption Application. They will have to go through the same process as everyone else. For your safety and that of the dog, you should never arrange a meet-and-greet by yourself without the consent of a Spot’s Last Stop Adoption Coordinator.
If I fall in love with my foster dog, am I allowed to adopt them?
YES YES YES! We love when our fosters adopt! However, we ask that you be respectful of the 48-hour rule. If it is past this point and there are approved applications in, you may be unable to adopt. There is a lot going on behind the scenes with applications and interviews.
If you do adopt, we ask that if at all possible you either continue to foster or help us to find someone to replace you as a foster. This helps us to be able to place each of our dogs in homes every month. Fosters are a critical part of rescue!
How much does it cost to foster?
It’s FREE! SLS provides everything you will need as a foster. We will give you a food bin, kennel, bedding and any other necessary supplies.
Do I keep the supplies given to me if I plan to continue fostering?
No, we ask that once your foster dog is adopted that you please bring the supplies you have left back to an Adoption Coordinator's home. This helps us keep track of our supplies and reduces the overhead cost for the rescue.
What if a dog is adopted and returned, do I have to take the dog back?
In the event that a dog is returned to SLS, we will contact you to see if you’re able to take the dog back. If you are not able or don’t want to, just let us know and we will try to find a different foster to take them. If you are able to take them for a short time while we make other arrangements, it is always appreciated!
Will I be reimbursed if I spend my own money on my foster dog?
Potentially, yes- but you must contact a SLS director for approval before you purchase anything. We are usually able to get what you need for a lot less than you would pay at your local pet supply store. We do keep a large number of extra supplies at our office that might match what your foster dog needs. Just ask and we will see what we can do!