Foster homes are critical to the Unleashed puppy rescue organization. Securing temporary homes for our puppies allows Unleashed to save them from being euthanized.
Fostering a puppy is a highly rewarding experience. It’s a chance to have a puppy for a short period of time (maximum of 2 weeks), giving you firsthand experience of having a pet so you can determine if raising a young pup is right for you and your family.
Foster homes are instrumental in the socialization of our Unleashed puppies, preparing them for healthy adjustment to their forever homes. Our rescue efforts depend on our wonderful foster homes, which significantly impact the number of lives Unleashed can save.
Puppy rescue protocols
Unleashed has a rigid health protocol for our rescue puppies including:
- Health exam upon rescuing
- Vaccinations and de-worming
- Assessment for serious illness
- Quarantine for 2 weeks to ensure health
- A second health exam to determine readiness for transport
- Private transportation to the New York City area
Once puppies arrive in the New York City area, Unleashed girls are responsible for observing and socializing the puppies while conducting basic temperament testing. Every puppy spends at least 2 hours with our Unleashed girls and/or rescue volunteers prior to being placed in a foster home. This valuable time spent with our pups enables us to learn more about their personalities so we can effectively transition them to foster care and ultimately match them with the best forever home.
How do I become a foster parent?
- Please review the foster guidelines below, then complete the foster application. Puppies can be challenging to care for and we want to prepare our foster families for a successful experience.
- Providing loving and humane care and treatment of the puppy as a household companion
- Offering proper food and clean/fresh water on a regular basis
- Administering prescribed medications, treatments, or vaccines if necessary
- Safeguarding the pet from harm or loss. Puppies require adequate human supervision at all times, especially when outside
- Allowing an Unleashed representative to check in twice daily via email and to make periodic home visits to monitor the puppy’s status and health
A complete list of Unleashed foster parent guidelines is available along with the foster application. Once you have submitted an application, an Unleashed representative will schedule a time to speak to you about puppy care and “What is Expected when Expecting a Puppy.”
What are my responsibilities as a foster family?
After a puppy had been rescued and quarantined for 2 weeks, transport is arranged and they arrive in the New York City area ready to be placed in one of our local foster homes. Foster families take complete responsibility for the puppy until she/he is adopted, typically within 2 weeks. Foster families must provide a puppy-safe environment that includes food, play time, socialization, and lots of love and attention.
After we have screened a potential adopter, we connect them to you, our foster parent, so they can schedule a time to visit the puppy at your home. Potential adopters will bring their family (and their dog if they have one) for approximately an hour or two to determine if it is the right fit. They may ask you about the dog’s personality and routine and then they will leave to think about their decision for 24 hours. Unleashed does not allow same-day adoptions. Unleashed will follow up and keep you informed about whether or not the family is adopting, and will ask for your feedback regarding the visit.
What is the time commitment involved?
Most Unleashed puppies are less than 12 weeks old. They are not fully vaccinated yet, so they cannot go outside for walks—puppies need a rabies shot to head outdoors in New York City. However, you do not have to be homebound—they can travel with you in a pet carrier, visit your family and friends, and go outside if you have access to a backyard. Typically, we suggest confining puppy to a small space in your home that becomes his/her safe play area. Please note: Puppies this young cannot be left for more than 1–2 hours at a time, particularly in the first few days adjusting into your home.
What are the expenses associated with becoming a foster family?
A foster parent is responsible for supplying puppy food, treats, and toys. Unleashed is responsible for any medical treatment and will lend crates and/or puppy pens as needed.
If I have pets, can I foster?
Yes, keeping in mind there is always a health risk when you expose your pets to other animals. The risk is minimal if your pet is fully vaccinated, healthy, and neither elderly nor under a year old.
What if my foster puppy becomes sick?
An Unleashed representative checks in by email once or twice a day. If you were ever concerned about the health of your puppy (due to lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) contact an Unleashed representative immediately. The Unleashed representative will determine how to best manage the situation. In the event the puppy has to be seen by a vet, Unleashed will make arrangements and provide you with the address of the veterinarian or animal hospital that can examine the puppy. You will not have to pay for medical costs.
Am I responsible for finding my foster puppy a home?
No, Unleashed will find the puppy a home, but we certainly appreciate when foster parents share photos and videos on their personal social media accounts Facebook,Instagram, and Twitter and tell their families, friends, and colleagues about the puppy. Networking does save lives!
Can I return my foster puppy before it’s adopted?
Unleashed recognizes an emergency situation can arise. We ask that foster families provide as much notice as possible so we have time to find another temporary home. We aren’t a shelter so without a foster home a puppy becomes homeless.
Can I adopt my foster puppy?
We do have a foster-to-adopt program, enabling you to select a puppy to foster with hopes that she/he could become a permanent family member. Even if you didn’t imagine yourself adopting but you fall in love with your new companion, you can still go through our adoption process just as long as you have not introduced your foster puppy to a potential adopter. We feel strongly that if a potential adopter visits and is approved, fosters waive their right to adopt the puppy. Please click here for more information about our adoption process.