Fostering – what it is and what it isn’t 

We’ve been getting hundreds of enquiries a week, from people asking about fostering or adopting. We’ve had numerous people sign up for fostering but when asked to foster, crickets. So, I thought I’d clarify exactly what fostering is, and more importantly, what it isn’t, so that people can better decide if it’s actually something they want to do. Some people may be offended by what they’re about to read, and I’m sorry for that, but this is our reality at the moment. 

 

What fostering IS: 

Fostering means that a dog in need has come into CSRA, and needs a soft place to land. A carer steps up and takes the dog into their home and family, loving them as their own, until they are adopted, or in some cases, forever. The dogs we take come from all kinds of backgrounds and some have either health or behavioural issues as a result. Our carers work with these little loves, with the help of a trainer where needed, to help them overcome these behavioural issues, or get their health issues sorted. Other dogs come in, who have been much loved all their lives, and their owners have no choice but to surrender them – reasons such as going to aged care, terminal illness or the family contacts us because the owner has died. These are gut wrenching cases. These dogs are in the minority, the majority of our dogs don’t come in for these reasons. 

Fostering is at times a lot of running around – think back and forth to the vet; Frustrating – lack of toilet training for example; Heartbreaking – when a much loved foster is either adopted, or passes away, and at times just plain hard work. Some days really shake your confidence. What we post on FB is just a snapshot of what is involved. 

It is also one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. The first time a broken, shut down, terrified dog picks a toy from the toybox on their own your heart will leap and you will burst into tears of joy. Or the moment an elderly dog, who came in riddled with arthritis after years of neglect, stands up on their own and waddles over for a cuddle, your heart will smile. Our carers light up like a Christmas tree when they get an email or message from someone who adopted their foster dog, they LOVE to hear how they’re doing. Some who’ve adopted from us have become lifelong friends. Our foster carers are truly the most wonderful people you could ever be lucky enough to meet. Along with our beautiful rescue dogs. 

 

 

What fostering is NOT: 

Fostering is not, and never should be thought of as a way to jump the queue, or get your “dream”, made to order dog. Carers don’t choose the colour, sex* (with common sense exceptions of course), age, whether they’re toilet trained or whether the dog is pure or cross bred or even a Cocker at all, and someone who is wanting to foster because they genuinely love dogs, and want to be involved with rescue in a hands on way, won’t care about those things. 

Every single one of our darling CSRA dogs is beautiful, and anyone would be lucky and beyond privileged to be owned by one. They have their own story to tell, their own history written on the slate of their lives so far, but they all have one thing in common – they are beautiful, loving and deserving of nothing but the best. 

So, if you genuinely love dogs, want to get involved in rescue in a hands on, on the ground way, and won’t be precious about a little pee, poop, fur, or paw prints on your floor while the little love learns right from wrong, send us an email, info@csra.org.au we’d love to hear from you. 

If you were under the impression that fostering was a quick way to a cheap, purebred dog, or aren’t willing to foster a dog who’s not purebred (I still don’t understand why that matters but I digress…), or only want a dog of a particular colour, with papers, fostering is not for you and that’s ok. It’s not for everyone.