Foster a four-legged friend to help it find new forever home

Zoe James with Burly, who hopes his time in foster care will improve his chances of finding his forever home. Pic: Kayleigh Docherty
Zoe James with Burly, who hopes his time in foster care will improve his chances of finding his forever home. Pic: Kayleigh Docherty

Each year Dogs Trust cares for many dogs, some of whom find it difficult adjusting to life in kennels.

Now the team at the charity’s Glasgow rehoming centre in Uddingston has appealed for more foster carers to come forward to give the animals the best chance of finding their forever home.

Since launching its Home From Home fostering initiative two years ago, Dogs Trust Glasgow has placed more than 200 dogs into temporary foster homes.

More than 80 per cent have gone on to find permanent homes.

That shows how effective fostering has been to date but the team is still on the lookout for more willing foster carers.

In the last two years, dogs have spent more than 3000 collective days out of kennels as temporary members of loving families.

This has significantly aided their chances of finding permanent homes due to a combination of the nurturing home environment, as well as how much is learned about each dog’s unique character through fostering.

The scheme was developed for dogs like 10-year-old terrier cross McGregor, who was in the care of Dogs Trust for just over a month before finding his forever home.

As an older gentleman, staff at Dogs Trust Glasgow believed McGregor could benefit from time away from kennels as he had just been neutered and would need some additional care while recovering.

The scheme gives dog lovers who are not in a position to adopt on a permanent basis the opportunity to experience the rewards of dog ownership on a temporary basis and helps canine residents experience life in a home environment.

McGregor found his forever home nearly a year ago. More recently the programme has helped many more dogs like Burly, a Rottweiler who is less than one year old and currently looking for his forever home.

Time in a family environment at such a young age is very beneficial for social development and can make puppies much more comfortable around new people, other dogs and household pets.

Zoe James, Home From Home co-ordinator at Dogs Trust Glasgow, said: “Fostering stays range from as little as one week up to nine months. For certain dogs, foster carers don’t need a lot of previous canine experience.

“We are also on the lookout for people who do have a little bit more experience to help us care for expectant or new mums and their pups, as well as providing extra TLC to dogs with medical needs recovering from surgery.

“I am so proud of everything we have achieved so far with the Home From Home programme.

“But it is all thanks to our amazing supporters who devote their own time to help the dogs in our care.

“The programme has definitely proved its worth and we still have plenty more dogs in our care who could use valuable time in nurturing homes.”

The Home from Home foster scheme was developed to give dog lovers who are not in a position to adopt the opportunity to experience dog ownership.

All foster families receive full support and advice for the dog in their care.

Zoe said: “Fostering would most likely suit someone who can be home most of day and generally has no other pets; although a compatible dog can help build confidence in our foster dogs.

“We also equip foster carers with everything they need such as food or bedding and any veterinary treatment is covered by the charity.

“Not only is fostering rewarding, but it can also have benefits for our mental and physical well-being.Caring for a dog allows us to stay physically fit by going for walks, while also getting a sense of fulfilment from knowing we are having a positive impact on their life.”

Foster carers should have access to their own transport in order to take foster dogs to and from the rehoming centre for vet visits and to meet potential owners.

If you are interested in adopting a dog or becoming a foster carer, contact the team on 0300 303 0292 or email Zoe James at HFHGlasgow@dogstrust.org.uk.

Dogs Trust is working towards the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.

It is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for more than 15,000 dogs each year through its network of 20 rehoming centres across the UK and in Dublin.