Become a Foster Parent

CSTR is currently accepting Foster applications for our Tallahassee program.

What will I be responsible for as a foster parent for Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue?

Foster homes are extremely important in the operation of Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue. CSTR does not operate any kind of shelter or kennel, and so we rely on foster homes for the temporary housing and care of the dogs that come into our program. We are also limited in the number of dogs that we can take in by the number of available foster homes that we have, so the need for additional foster homes is always ongoing.

Foster homes provide such information as whether or not the dog gets along with other dogs, cats, children, etc. and other behavioral observations. They also give the dogs their first opportunity to have a loving caregiver, something many of these dogs have never had. Using the information provided by the foster home, we are able to then screen potential adopters to find the right one for the dog as well as give the adopting family as much information about the dog as possible.

We ask that foster homes provide regular reports to the CSTR board regarding behavior and temperament observations, provide reinforcement of basic obedience commands, as well as provide love and security to dogs who have just left what was probably a very traumatic experience.

What will CSTR provide for my foster dog?

Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue covers all veterinary costs for the dogs in our program with the requirement that foster homes use the vets that CSTR has developed a relationship and has an agreement with. We ask that foster homes provide a high quality food and toys for their foster dog and anything else that they feel inclined to provide, but food and other supplies will also be provided by CSTR if the foster home requests it. Heartworm and flea preventative are also provided by Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue. Grooming costs are reimbursable, as well, or a donation verification letter can be provided for tax purposes.

How long will I be expected to foster a CSTR dog?

Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue requires that dogs remain in foster homes for a minimum of two weeks for evaluation and observation, but the actual placement length depends on the particular dog. Healthy, young dogs may only be in the foster home for a few weeks while dogs in poor physical condition when entering rescue may be in the home longer as they convalesce. Other factors affecting the length of foster placement may be the age of the dog and the number and quality of adoption applicants. We understand that foster home situations may unexpectedly change; however, we ask that whenever possible the dog remain in the foster home until it is placed in its own forever home.

Do I have to have a fenced yard to be a foster for CSTR?

CSTR does not require that a foster home have a fenced yard, although in certain fostering cases it is preferred. Puppy mill dogs and dogs from other situations are sometimes what we consider a “flight risk” and so are more secure in a fenced yard. All CSTR foster dogs must be harnessed and leashed when outside in an unfenced area.

Who chooses which dog(s) I will foster?

CSTR does everything possible to match the right foster dog with the right foster home. The CSTR foster application asks a series of questions as well as includes a place to list your preferences for the dog you will foster. CSTR then utilizes that information to make the best possible match.

What kind of training will I receive as a foster parent?

Foster parents are given a Foster Handbook that includes a lot of information and guidelines that are useful when fostering a CSTR dog. New foster parents are also assigned a mentor to assist the new foster parent/foster family. CSTR board members are also always available by telephone or email to answer any questions or help with any problems or situations that arise.

What if I want to adopt my foster dog?

The purpose of a foster home is to provide a loving and safe environment for a dog that has, most often, been literally pulled from death’s door. The ultimate goal is to prepare the dog for its forever home. For every foster dog that is adopted by its foster family, that is one less foster placement opening for future dogs needing to come in to rescue.

CSTR understands, however, that sometimes the bond that develops between a dog and its foster family is a forever one. In those cases and after discussion with the CSTR board, foster families will be allowed to adopt their foster dogs. A foster contract will be signed, and the appropriate adoption donation will be required, based upon the dog’s age.

What if I am currently fostering for another rescue?

When fostering for CSTR, we ask that our foster parents only foster for us.

I understand and want to be a CSTR foster parent. What do I do next?

Complete the online Foster Application. Once it is received, it will be reviewed and references called. The next step is a home visit, which will be scheduled once the application and references are approved. Please allow 2 weeks for the processing. If after two weeks you have heard nothing, please e-mail us.