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After reviewing our become a foster page, does fostering sound like your thing? Hopeful Tails will provide everything you need including a bed, food and treats, toys, crate, leash, collar, vetting, medication (if required), and whatever else you may need. In return, we do have a few things we need from you:

  • Provide a loving, nurturing environment for the dog.

  • Bring the dog to any vet appointments they may have.

  • Provide some basic training (e.g. crate training, basic commands, leash walks, etc.).

  • Pick up the dog's supplies. 

  • Provide the adoption coordinator with regular updates on the dog's progress and photos.

  • Attend meet and greets with potential adopters

Have more questions about fostering? We have the answers! You're always welcome to reach out to us to ask any questions that you have. But first, we recommend taking a look at the frequently asked questions below.

  • How long does the adoption process take?
    Typically from start to finish, the process can take approximately 7 to 10 days, depending on everyone's schedule. However, in some cases, the process can take a few weeks. What does this process look like? Once the application is received, if you're deemed a potential adopter, you will be called by a Hopeful Tails Adoption Coordinator. A telephone interview will be held, and once all suitable applicants have been interviewed, we will have a discussion with the foster family to determine the best possible fit for the dog. Foster families are the primary caregiver for the dog until adopted, so their input is extremely important to us throughout the process. Once a decision is made, the applicant will be notified, references called, a home visit arranged, and then the first of two meet and greets scheduled. All unsuccessful applicants interviewed will be notified and possibly considered for another more suitable dog.
  • Do you do any type of behavioural assessments on the dogs?
    No official assessment is done. We get as much information on the pups before they arrive into our rescue as possible. We also have our volunteer fosters complete an assessment after the pup has settled into foster care. We learn about their personality, behaviour, temperament, how training is going, and if there are any quirks that need to be worked on further. All of this information is passed along to our potential adopters and used to ensure things match up for the best possible forever home.
  • Why do you check references?
    It’s important for us to speak with people in your life who know you well and have seen you interact with animals so that we can gain a better understanding of your lifestyle and history with pets. This helps us to understand your family dynamics and energy levels to ensure we are placing the right pup in your home and that they will be well taken care of.
  • What happens if it doesn’t work out after I adopt a dog?
    We always strive to support our dogs once adopted, whether it be a referral to a qualified trainer, a vet specialist, etc., and although our goal is to place a dog in their forever home, sometimes things don't work out. If for any reason things aren't working out with the adoption and all reasonable effort has been made to overcome the challenges/issues, or should circumstances in your life/home change, the dog is to be returned to the care of Hopeful Tails. Please understand that it might take a few days to secure a foster and we would want copies of his/her veterinary records, post-adoption.
  • Can I meet the dog before going through your adoption process?
    No. It’s important for us to go through our adoption process in the proper order. The process is designed to learn more about you and your family dynamics, lifestyle, energy levels and needs. Only then will we have a better understanding if the dog you are interested in is even a close fit for your family. Our foster families are volunteers and have busy lives so we don’t want to ask them to host meetings with unapproved adopters.
  • Do you offer support after adoption?
    Absolutely! We are always here for you. We want to hear from you often about your new family member. We can assist with referrals for training, insurance, etc. All medical questions should be discussed directly with your veterinarian. If you like, we can also add you to our closed Facebook Furever page so that you can also share experiences with other adopters from Hopeful Tails. You can also share your post-adoption adventures on Instagram with the #HopefulHappyTails.
  • Can I still adopt if I live outside Toronto or the GTA?
    Yes absolutely, but depending on the distance, you will be responsible for travelling to Toronto or the GTA and assist with transport to your home location. This can be organized with your Adoption Coordinator.
  • I submitted an application and haven’t heard back yet, what should I do?
    Please reach out by email and follow up. At Hopeful Tails, we're all volunteers so many of us are working full time and running the operations of the rescue, and navigating life. Our goal is to make sure we get back to everyone in a timely manner, but things happen and we don't mind being reminded in case we miss something!
  • Can I apply for multiple dogs at the same time?
    No. Dogs require attention and training as well as a chance to settle in. Hopeful Tails believes that it’s best to focus on one dog at a time so they can adjust and become amazing companions to your family. After your first dog is settled and you wish to grow your family then please reach out to us to discuss this possibility. There is one exception, which is the case of a bonded pair. In this instance we would adopt two animals out at the same time.
  • How do I know that my adopted dog is healthy? Do I get a medical report from Hopeful Tails?
    Although we cannot guarantee with absolute certainty of the health of each dog, we will ensure each dog that we adopt has been examined by a veterinarian. We will assess the overall health, as well as spay/neuter, microchip and ensure they are up to date with appropriate vaccinations. Seasonal Heart-worm and Flea/Tick preventatives will also be provided while in our care. In the event that the dog is too young for spay/neuter or vaccinations we will arrange to have this done at the appropriate age. All medical reports will be given to the adopters so that they can pass this information along to their own veterinarian.
  • Why do you do virtual or in person home visits?
    Virtual or in person home visits by one of our qualified volunteers is required to ensure there is sufficient room for a pup to have space to relax and enjoy life as well as to ensure there are no hazards in the house or on the property. We like to know where the pup will be spending most of its time with you.
  • Why do you need my landlord reference?
    We require this information to ensure you are allowed to own an animal in your current living situation. We do not want to put you or the dog in a risky position if the landlord does not allow pets on the property.
  • Can I take my foster dog to the dog park?
    We do NOT allow our foster dogs in dog parks. Dog parks, although they look like fun, can be very stressful and not all dogs get along. Incidents at dog parks happen all the time as unwanted behaviours can escalate quickly. We do not know the full background of our dogs and we want them to always feel safe.
  • What is the average time for Fostering?
    Typically the duration is between 3 to 15 weeks but may be shorter or longer depending on the dog's needs. Each animal is different and will have different requirements. Some settle into foster care quickly while others need more time to decompress and get used to a completely new environment. Your foster dog may also have medical needs which can sometimes take more time.
  • What are my responsibilities as a foster?
    Hopeful Tails will reach out to you once we know a dog is arriving to see if you are interested in fostering this pup. If the timing is right for you, you will be assigned an adoption coordinator and as much information as we have will be shared with you. Supplies (food, bed, leash, collar, ID tag, treats, toys, crate) will be arranged for pickup/delivery in preparation for the dog's arrival. You will arrange a veterinary appointment at your convenience, and you will have the support of an adoption coordinator, a foster coordinator and a medical coordinator throughout the process. Most fosters will take three to six weeks, unless there are some medical/surgical issues with the dog. The foster plays an important role and your input will be greatly appreciated in the selection of the adoptive home
  • What if my foster dog is not working out for me?
    We do our best to match the foster dog with the appropriate family environment in order to set everyone up for success. If you are having issues, please reach out to your Coordinator right away so that we can assist you and your foster dog. It’s very stressful to move dogs from foster homes but if it’s absolutely necessary we ask that you continue to provide care for your foster dog until a new foster home is available. Please note that this can sometimes take a couple of days.
  • What if I want to travel, can I bring my foster dog with me or have a friend watch them?
    We will ask you in advance of accepting a foster dog if you plan on traveling over the coming weeks. If you have a planned vacation then we would prefer to work with you after your vacation to avoid having to move your foster dog. Moving can be very stressful on the dog and we want to always avoid stressing them. The dogs are our responsibility and we must know where they are and under whose care they are in at all times.
  • Can I foster if I have children at home?
    Yes you can. We will match dogs that our rescue partners indicate are appropriate to place in families with children. We do our best to assess a dog going into a foster home with children. Most dogs do very well with children as long as there is a general understanding and respect for the dog's space. It is the parents' responsibility to ensure that children are aware of how to interact with the foster dog and must always be supervised when doing so.
  • Can I foster a dog if I travel often?
    Yes, you can. If you are well aware of your travel plans in advance, Hopeful Tails will try our best to place a suitable dog between trips. Many of our rescue partners give us a clear sense of the dog's needs ahead of time, but there are those who occasionally arrive without any vetting, so until a vet visit is arranged, we won’t know exactly what will be needed. But occasionally a dog will need to be moved, but being a foster is a volunteer role, for which we are grateful, so we will do our best to accommodate.
  • If I live outside the Toronto or the GTA can I still foster?
    Absolutely! Please note that our veterinarian partners are mostly located in Toronto and around the GTA. As a foster you will be required to transport and accompany your foster dog to veterinary appointments as required. We ask that fosters have access to a vehicle (or have another family member or friend help with transportation).
  • If I live in a condo, apartment or I rent, can I still foster?
    Yes, of course! As part of our application process we will verify that dogs are allowed where you currently live. You will need to be committed to providing regular exercise based on the dog’s energy level and regular potty breaks. Please note that not all dogs are suitable for condo or apartment living so we will also assess the suitability, with the help of our rescue partners, before approving the intake.
  • I have other animals in my home, can I still foster?
    Absolutely! In many cases having another canine friend can be very helpful in helping your foster dog adjust. Dogs will learn from other dogs what behaviours are expected of them making it easier to settle in. We can help with slow introductions so the pups can get to know each other resulting in more successful meetings. Cats and smaller animals should be kept in other areas of the house for safety reasons. All dogs and cats MUST be fully up to date with vaccinations and be spayed/neutered.
  • What does it cost to foster a dog?
    There is no financial cost to foster a dog. All supplies and vetting expenses are covered by Hopeful Tails.
  • What if I decide I want to adopt my foster dog?
    If you decide you would like to adopt your foster dog then you must discuss this with your Adoption Coordinator. Your request to adopt will be taken into consideration and must be approved by Hopeful Tails. Your home may be the right place for a short term stay but it’s the long term that we are always thinking of when placing the foster dog into their forever home.

Foster FAQs

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