Once Loved Dog Rescue

Giving hope to UK pound dogs


foster2Help save a life by fostering an abandoned dog.

We are always in urgent need of foster homes We are looking for people who have lots of love to give and time available to care for a rescue dog whilst they are looking for a forever home.

If you would like to foster for us, please read all the information on this page and consider all the points very carefully. If after reading all of the information, you feel you would still like to apply to become a foster carer, you can find our contact details at the bottom of this page.

General information about our dogs: Most of the dogs we rescue come to us from pounds where they are on the pound ‘Put to Sleep’ list, as they have ‘served’ their seven days at the pound and have been unclaimed by their owners. We therefore have no history on them, ie if they lived with dogs/cats or children in the past, or how they respond in a home environment in everyday situations. As soon as we offer a pound dog a rescue space, they are transported to emergency boarding kennels. They have to spend 2 weeks in kennels for an isolation period. We do this to ensure they are not carrying any illnesses that could be transferred to other dogs. They have a full behaviour assessment in kennels, and they are also assessed in kennels with other dogs.

I’m interested in fostering. What do I need to consider?

Commitment Fostering is very worthwhile and it is the best way to help an ex pound dog, but it requires commitment. You would need to offer us your commitment to foster any dog for as long as it takes for us to find a forever home for a dog. We cannot say how long that will be. It differs from dog to dog. With some dogs it can be a matter of a few short weeks, but with other dogs it can be several months. You need to be absolutely sure you can provide a foster home until the dog is adopted.

If a foster carer takes on a dog, and then they change their minds or ask us to find another foster home, it causes great distress to an already confused and possibly traumatised dog. It is also a great strain on our time and resources, plus there simply are not enough good foster homes available, which sometimes leaves us no alternative but to put the dog back into kennels. This is not something we ever want to do, as we know it causes such distress to a dog. Plus of course, it depletes our funds rapidly. These are funds that could be going towards saving another dog rather than putting a previously fostered dog back into kennels.

We like to give any dog at least a few weeks in a foster home so that the dog’s behaviour in every day situations can be observed, as a home is different to a kennel environment and there will be new situations that the dog obviously hasn’t been exposed to in a kennels. When a few weeks have gone by we know by then what sort of home would suit a particular dog, and at that point, the dog becomes available for rehoming. As a foster carer, you would need to be happy to have visitors from potential adopters for the dog you are fostering.

We look for foster homes where a dog will not be left alone for any period in excess of 4 hours. Although less than 4 hours would be far more preferable. If you work full time, we are sorry but it wouldn’t be right for a dog to be left for such a long period of time.
Rescue dogs will have often experienced stress and trauma. For this reason, we look for foster carers who can give them the time and patience they need. They may be frightened, stressed and/or confused for a time while they are settling in. You will need to be sure that you can cope with any behaviours that happen as a result of their initial emotional state. These may include excitable behaviour, having an upset stomach, restlessness, chewing, toileting indoors, barking/whining. These behaviours are understandable in a stressed dog, and will probably stop after a few days. On the whole, we find that most dogs settle fairly quickly and these behaviours stop, but of course there are some instances where behaviours will continue. We need to be told about these immediately so that we can begin to help the dog by working on any particular issues in order to help the dog become balanced, happy and ready for a permanent home. These are just things you need to be aware of, as they may happen, and if any of them are not acceptable to you, it is best not to apply.

What if I don’t live in Once Loved Dog Rescue’s local area? We are based in Sleaford, Lincs NG44, but our dogs come from pounds all over the UK so you do not need to live local to Lincs. We would of course prefer dogs to be fostered in the south west area, so we can be near them, but this isn’t always possible. We do have a network of volunteers in most areas though, so we will consider foster homes in most areas. We can also arrange transport to a foster home.

I have children. Can I still foster? We prefer foster homes without children. This is because the majority of our dogs are ex pound dogs and therefore we have no prior history about them. With these dogs we will only place a dog into a foster home with children if they are teenagers. From the age of 14 upwards. With dogs that we have history on and we are 100% certain that they are good with children, we do place dogs into foster homes and adoption homes with children but our policy is only children over the age of 8 years old only. Although please note: No child must ever be left unsupervised with any dog.

What if I have another dog? Yes but Please note: Any dogs already owned by foster carers must be neutered/spayed, fully vaccinated, and up to date with worming and de-fleaing. All our dogs are fully vaccinated, neutered/speyed, microchipped, wormed and de-flead before they are placed into a foster home. (However please note: On the occasions that it is not possible for us to neuter/spey a dog before they go to a foster home, for medical or practical reasons, we do ask that you are prepared to provide after operation care. We do, of course, cover the costs of the operation and there will be an extra clause in your fostering agreement that covers safety and protection of an un-spayed female or un-speyed male). We will ask to see proof of your dog’s vaccinations etc at your homecheck, should you apply to foster for us. All our dogs are fully assessed with other dogs before they are placed into a foster home. Generally if a dog is good with other dogs in kennels, they are likely to be good with other dogs in a home, but there is a small possibility that a dog’s behaviour may not be the same in kennels as it is in a home, or that your own dog’s behaviour may alter with a new dog in the house. So there may be issues that crop up in a home environment, as they would whenever there is more than one dog in a home. You need to keep this in mind when considering become a foster carer.

It also takes time for a new dog and a resident dog to settle with eachother. We ask that you have somewhere that the foster dog is able to be kept separate from dogs already in the home for an initial period whilst introductions and integration with the other dogs in the home takes place. We go through this process with foster carers and we are on hand for advice and support at all times.  This separation doesn’t mean that a dog wouldn’t be ok with dogs, but our ex pound dogs are in boarding kennels, and therefore have only been assessed in a kennel situation with people and other dogs, but obviously we cannot assess them in a home environment where there are other dogs/cats or children.

What about cats? We generally do not place any dog into a foster home with cats unless we have been able to test a particular dog with cats, but this is rare as our dogs are in kennels where it is not possible to test them with cats. However we do have some dogs that either may not have come to us from a pound, or that we have full history on that are excellent with cats.

Will fostering cost me anything? No. Once Loved Dog Rescue cover all veterinary and care costs. We do not ask foster carers for any financial contribution towards the cost unless they would like to contribute. Obviously as we are a voluntary organisation, financial contributions towards a dog’s keep are always more than welcome, but it is not expected.

What support will I have? We are on hand 24 hours a day for foster carers for any training advice/guidance or problems that may arise. We also work with professional behaviourists and we can organise a consultation with a qualified behaviourist if needed, to help you get through any problems with your foster dog.

Other important information:

You will need an enclosed garden, with adequate fencing and no areas that a dog can escape from. We will check the height of your fencing at your homecheck. We also insist that any fostered dog is always kept on a lead when on walks outside of your property. This is a very important requirement which must be adhered to.

Please note: All potential foster carers will be required to have a pre fostering homecheck, and post fostering homecheck, plus we also ask for references.

How to apply to become a foster carer

If you think you could help by fostering a dog please apply via email or post for an application form to sophie@oncelovedrescue.org.uk

Or by post to: Once Loved Dog Rescue, Unit 23, Masher Lane, Sleaford, Lincs, NG34 8AD enclosing an SAE if possible. 

Once you complete and return your application form by email or post, we will contact you again to arrange a homecheck and also to take up references.

If you have any questions you may telephone: 07773 76874 Between 10am – 7pm Monday – Saturday. Please note we are not available to speak to on Sundays other than in an emergency.
If your enquiry is regarding an initial application for fostering or adoption please contact us via email or by post, rather than by telephone.

Please note, if we are unavailable to take your call, we will call you back, but please leave a landline number where possible. Mobile phones are expensive for us to call back. Thank you.