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Madison Small Pups
How To Foster

Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster parent for Madison Small Pups Rescue & Adoption. We hope that this information will help you in making a decision to submit an Application to Foster. That application is very similar to our adoption application, and we will need to process it in the same way we do for an adoption. It will require reference checks and a home visit to see where any dog you fostered for us would be living. If you are not located near Madison, never fear. We have a network of rescue contacts and can usually get a volunteer to visit with you within a week or two.

Please note that we do NOT do "trial adoptions." You cannot foster a dog because you think you might be interested in adopting that dog. The dogs you see on our list are already in foster homes and do not need you. If you are interested in adopting one of them, you need to submit an adoption application and go through the adoption process. That is not to say that you are not allowed to adopt a dog you foster. All of us have been "Foster Failures," some of us many times.

Complete The 4 Page Application
Click the link below to complete the 4 page foster application. You will be able to click in the fields to type your answers, then click the "Send Button" at the upper right. Upon completion we will review your application and contact you as quickly as possible.

  • NOTE: There are 4 pages to the application form found at the following link. You must complete ALL 4 PAGES for your application to be considered.
  • Click here to complete the 4 page application now.

If Your Application Is Accepted
In that case, you would already be approved to adopt and would simply need to pay the donation and submit the adoption contract. But please don't enter into the fostering arrangement thinking that you can foster a certain dog on our list. As foster parents, we are pretty much independent in that we take whatever dogs we are personally interested in fostering (from shelters, owner surrenders, found dogs, etc.) Any dog must be totally vetted before it can be adopted. This means being spayed or neutered, all shots up to date, heartworm negative and on preventative.

As a new foster parent, we try to start you out with a foster dog that has already been vetted so that you can get used to the routine and see if you like it. Your primary responsibility is to provide good quality food, heartworm and flea preventative, and to process applications that come in for that particular dog. You would do the vet reference check, calling the vet to make sure that the applicant's current or past animals had been altered, up to date on vaccinations, and kept on heartworm preventative.

Then, you would either do the home visit yourself if local or ask to have a request posted to rescue lists to find a volunteer in the applicant's area. We have a fairly good network of people for this purpose.

The final decision about the dog's home would be up to you, as the foster parent. You have the right to refuse an adoption for any reason, even if it's just your "gut." But assuming you approved an applicant, you would then work with them to make arrangements to get the dog to its new home. This might mean driving a bit to meet them halfway, or just giving them directions to your house, all depending on the situation.

You would obtain a signed contract, the adoption donation (in cash, money order or cashier's check), and give the adopters a receipt and copies of all vet records for the dog, along with any other information you think would be helpful to the new owners. Some of us do what we call a "going home letter" which tells as much as we know about the dog's background, habits, likes, dislikes, etc., as well as giving general helpful information.

Finally, you would send the signed contract, the donation money, and copies of the vet records to our treasurer and notify our webmaster to mark the dog "adopted." If the experience was a good one, you can then ask for another dog to foster. If you do this for awhile, you will eventually build up a local reputation so that people start calling and asking you to take dogs, or you visit local shelters to find those in need, but that can be at your own pace. Most of us were constantly searching for dogs to foster when we first started out. Now, we have to turn down requests because we don't have enough foster homes.

If you do take a foster dog on your own, we will work with you on getting the dog vetted. We have some vets that work with us on costs by giving a "rescue discount," and our goal is to at least "break even" on a dog--to have that dog's adoption donation at least equal its vet expenses. For this reason, we have to be somewhat "creative" and can't always do things the easiest way, which is to just take the dog to our own personal vet. We ask that you consult with us before making arrangements with a particular vet for routine care. Obviously, this would not apply in a life threatening emergency.

We do ask that you start out slowly and take only one or two foster dogs at a time until you get some experience with it. We also ask that you be very careful in taking a foster dog on your own unless you are absolutely sure that you want to foster it until it finds a home. Although any dog you personally take is a Madison Small Pups dog and we will do our utmost to care for it financially, its physical care is ultimately your responsibility barring some dire circumstance.

We have had the unfortunate experience in the past of having foster moms who pulled dogs from shelters that were basically not adoptable, then decided they no longer wanted to foster and expected the others of us to absorb those dogs into our homes. This is rarely possibly and definitely not fair. Nobody should have to take a dog into his or her home that he or she does not choose. Obviously, this does not apply to a foster dog that we send to you from somewhere else in the group.

The best advice we can give you as a new or potential foster parent is, "When in doubt, ASK." We have all been new, and we welcome your questions. That's what our group is for. Before committing to anything with an adopter, a vet, or somebody wanting to surrender a dog, the easiest answer is "I have to check with our adoption committee." That gives you some breathing room if you don't know how to answer. We are excited that you are considering fostering with us and hope that you will find it as rewarding as we do. Please let us know if we can answer any other questions for you. If you would like to be considered as a Madison Small Pups foster parent, please submit a fostering application.

  • NOTE: There are 4 pages to the application form found at the following link. You must complete ALL 4 PAGES for your application to be considered.
  • Click here to complete the 4 page application now.

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