Maddie's Pet Forum Admin

Fostering is a humane, cost-effective and safe alternative to the confinement and stress of kennel housing whether pets are in short term foster care programs or longer stays with dedicated fosters.

What are some of the benefits of short-term foster care programs like doggy sleepovers or day outings?

  • June 17, 2019 at 12:13 PM

    Volunteer retention (in addition to everything mentioned below)! It empowers caregivers to get behind an animal and take action by fostering.

  • June 16, 2019 at 06:34 PM

    It takes the dogs out of thicker kennels, even for a short time. The people get a chance to see the dog in a frees up the kennel for a short time

  • June 16, 2019 at 09:03 AM

    Simple. Short-term can turn into forever. The bonding often leads to adoption, although not always. It did with me--four times.

  • June 14, 2019 at 08:22 AM

    I feel like it's similar to when I take my dog to the park. When they come home, they are absolutely exhausted. It gets out so much pent up energy, it gets them face time with potential adopters, it socializes them.

  • June 14, 2019 at 06:20 AM

    Day outings not only give the animals a wonderful break from a shelter setting, it helps whoever is taking them out! Fur and fun time! My friend had lost her beloved dog a few months ago, but wasn't ready for a full-time fur friend yet. She discovered doggy sleepovers at her local shelter and signed up to become a foster caregiver for this program. She told me how much that helped her with her loss and grief - she was so happy to be with a happy, frolicking doggy again, and the short-term connection was perfect for her.

    PS If you haven't seen it, take a look at this cool program - it's been around for awhile and is catching on around the country:

  • June 13, 2019 at 09:10 PM

    socialization with humans and other animals; also getting the animal(s) out of a serious or dangerous situation.

  • June 13, 2019 at 07:20 PM

    We are a small shelter, and on weekends it can be difficult. With short term fosters it allows us to send dogs home with our fosters and they get the home environment, socialization and constant care. It’s really works out well for all involved, and sometimes the foster will decide to keep long term, or adopt.

  • June 13, 2019 at 05:32 PM

    One of the best things about short term fostering is that new fosters get to "dip their toes in" with fostering. It's a great way to manage expectations and get the opportunity to troubleshoot things right away without a long commitment.

    Day Out programs are a phenomenal way to show progress when you let some of your barriers down. Ours just opened for the public to sign up with minimal info and come in to take a dog out. There were a lot of concerns, but it has been nothing but good to see feedback on some of our longer stay and larger dogs in all sorts of situations they otherwise might never be exposed to.

  • June 13, 2019 at 09:04 AM

    I think the biggest benefit is the opportunity to create awareness...for the cause and the individual animal. Everyone in animal welfare works very hard every day but we tend to forget that we need to expand our audience. Community participation is vital to helping animals, reducing compassion fatigue and reaching No Kill 2025. The average person doesn't have the same understanding of the current problems that we do so advocacy is a must. Fostering & outreach programs create opportunities to start conversations and encourage volunteering/donations/adoptions -- to be true ambassadors for the cause.

    For the individual animal, it allows for him/her to be just individual. The foster provider can learn about and share their personality, effectively "pre-screening" for potential adopters; the animal can interact in a less stressful environment and not be distracted or overwhelmed and the individual animal can hopefully become more confident and require less decompression upon placement -- reducing the chance of returns.


  • June 12, 2019 at 06:31 PM

    I have participated in both in-home fostering and short term fostering.

    Although both my in-home foster dogs would be deemed "foster failures" we don't see it that way--we are blessed every day!!

    My short term foster experience consists of once a week taking dogs for a truck ride [they get to be "front seat dogs"] to the local park that has amazing trails through a forest--they get to sniff for wild-life mark every thing they want and BE A DOG. After this we go to the local McDonald's for plain cheeseburgers and then back to the shelter. The whole outing is about an hour but they often fall asleep on the way seemingly relaxed and contented.

    Although my perception of the benefits for the animals is 100% subjective I know there have been studies that demonstrated positive physiological responses [sadly they seem to go away when returning to the shelter..].

    Interestingly what I have found is how this experience has benefited ME. In my other life as a physician there is a lot of stress and these outings melt this away!! Fostering is mutually beneficial and we should remind ourselves all the time of the benefits we get as "foster parents".

    I also am happy to say the others have now started doing the "doggies day out" so sharing my experience has multiplied the benefit to animals in our shelter.

  • June 12, 2019 at 04:57 PM

    Having foster dogs spend time with other foster providers helps socialize them and helps them learn to adjust. It can also help the provider not get too attached. One of the challenges is making sure any commands that are being worked on are consistently followed at the visiting home.