Foster a Dog

Welcome to the first step of opening your heart and home to a dog in need of fostering.

Apart from being a very rewarding experience, foster carers form an integral part of our team and play a large part in helping us re-home the many dogs that come into our care each year.

Without the generosity of people like you, many of our dogs that are not candidates for the kennel environment would have no choice but to endure the shelter environment day in and day out.

The longer they spend in the environment that is stressing them out, the more likely they are to not present well at kennel front, which ultimately results in them having a harder time finding a home.

There are many reasons why certain dogs don’t cope in kennels:

Stress and Anxiety

Many dogs that come into our care understandably feel quite stressed when they first arrive. Whilst some dogs come from the pound, others have been surrendered by their owner and go from being in the comfort of their home to being in a loud and busy shelter. Some dogs will eventually start to cope better given time, but unfortunately, there are many that don’t and therefor require urgent foster care to help them de-stress so they have the best chance at being adopted.

Pregnant dogs or dogs with puppies

Giving birth or raising puppies in a shelter environment is certainly not ideal which is why we will always try to find suitable foster carer’s who can commit to around 6 – 10 weeks of care or until the puppies can be cleared for adoption. Because this is such an intensive commitment, our foster carers will need to be available 24/7 to care for the Mum and her puppies. Ideally you will have had experience with a litter of puppies previously.

Medical conditions, palliative care and surgery dogs

Our medical foster dogs can need anywhere from short-term foster for minor medical conditions to long-term palliative care for dogs who need a loving and nurturing home for the last period of their life.

Dogs with behavioral issues

We’re always in need of people who are experienced dog owners to foster some of our special residents. Some of our canine residents display behavioural issues, which require a relaxed home with someone confident who can work with our qualified trainers to help get these dogs adopted.

I’m Ready to Foster, What Do I Need?

All you need is a home where your foster dog can spend lots of time indoors, a secured yard/outdoor area, time to spend with your foster dog and unconditional love. DRH covers all costs involved as well as provides everything needed such as:

  • Medication and vet costs
  • Food
  • Enrichment toys
  • Bedding
  • Leads and Harnesses

Your Responsibilities as a Foster Carer

Your responsibilities are:

  • Keeping your foster dog safe by securing your yard and home
  • Never take your foster dog off-lead in public places – EVER!
  • Always make sure your foster dog is wearing their collar with an ID tag
  • Always alert us to any medical and behavior concerns you may have
  • Non-emergency vet visits must always be done at Subiaco Vet
  • Emergency vet care must be approved by the President of the Dogs’ Refuge
  • Home (available by phone 24/7 for emergencies)
  • Making sure your foster dog gets adequate daily exercise
  • Transportation to the vet for medical check-ups and to the Refuge for potential adoption meets
  • Keep us up-to-date with photos and behavior feedback so we can promote your foster dog for adoption


Can I choose the dog I want to foster?

Whilst we make every effort to match you with a suitable foster dog, there are cases where we may not have a dog to match your needs or lifestyle. Unfortunately, we don’t allow foster carers to choose which dog they’d like to foster otherwise dogs that are coping perfectly fine in kennels will end up waiting longer for a forever home. Our dog selection process is based on which dogs NEED foster. Our Foster Coordinator will suggest which dogs will suit your lifestyle and requirements and after you have met them you can choose which dog you’d like to help.

How long am I required to foster for?

This depends on the dog being fostered and the individual foster carer. It can be anything from one night to on-going for palliative care. Our Foster Coordinator will try and match the dog with your requirements and lifestyle.

What happens if I have to go away during the fostering period?

If you have travel plans while you are fostering a dog, please get in contact with our Foster Coordinator so we can find a suitable temporary home for the dog while you are away.

We ask that our foster carers provide us with at least two weeks notice and at least four weeks notice if you are planning to be away for an extended period of time.

Do you do home visits?

No we don’t, however we may request to view your premises for specific cases.

Can I foster if I work FIFO?

Yes, you can. Many of our dogs require much-needed R&R (rest and rejuvenation) and depending on your roster, this could be the perfect break for one of our dogs from the kennel environment.

What if I decide I want to adopt the dog?

If you feel you are falling in love with your foster dog and you’d like to offer him/her a forever home, please get in contact with our Foster Coordinator as soon as possible. You will still be required to go through our normal adoption process, which includes completing the Adoption Questionnaire and paying the relevant adoption fee.

Do I have to pay anything to foster?

No, we provide you with all of the supplies you will need. If you decide you’d like to adopt your foster dog, you will then need to pay the relevant adoption fee.

Ready to Foster a Dog? Click here to fill out our Foster Application form!