The definition of the word “foster” is to promote the growth or development of or to give parental care to. To The Love Pit, becoming a foster parent to a dog means exactly that and has become a vital part of the organization. When asked what is the best way to help The Love Pit, fostering a dog is one of the top answers. TLP even lovingly calls it the Bully Buddy program.
So, what does it mean to foster a dog from TLP?
When looking at the website, the information provides an overlook at the first steps one must take to become a Bully Buddy. The objective for The Love Pit is to “create a learning and continuing education culture that benefits the dogs, the volunteers, the rescue, and our mission.” Training plays a vital role in The Love Pit and as a foster it is a requirement that fosters commit to participate in the training program. The training program is set up through a team of highly motivated volunteers.
Meet Meredith, who has a very important job with The Love Pit. She is responsible for managing the foster coordinators and keeping track of the Bully Buddies. A foster coordinator is a volunteer who has a handful of fosters they keep in touch with daily. They will check in to see how everyday life is going with the dog and support the Bully Buddies with any questions or challenges they might have. After looking at the website, I decided to contact Meredith to fill the gaps and possible questions one might have about becoming a possible Bully Budd.
- How does the foster program work?
After filling out the Bully Buddy Application, one of the Bully Buddy Coordinators will give you a call for a brief consult to go over any questions you have. Next, your coordinator will present you with a dog (or multiple dogs) in need of a foster. We play match-maker and find a dog who would best suit your household and lifestyle. Then we setup a meet and greet, if all goes well you take the dog home and begin your foster journey.
- What is the first step in becoming a foster parent?
Filling out the Bully Buddy application online.
- Do I get to choose the dog I foster or is one assigned to me?
Sometimes we post for a dog in need of a new foster home, and you can request a specific one. Or sometimes we’ve pulled a dog from a shelter who has not yet been posted to our social media channels and we present you with them.
- Can I foster more than one dog?
Of course! Just if they’re both TLP dogs and they get along.
- Once I become a foster, what are my responsibilities?
Other than loving on your dog, we ask you to get them to any necessary vet appointments and schedule training with us. Also, we like to see you attend at least a minimum of two events per month to give your foster ample exposure in finding their forever home.
- Do I pay for any unforeseen medical costs?
No. If you use our in-network vets, everything is covered. If you have an emergency or personal reason for taking your foster to your vet of choice, we will reimburse you what our network cost would have been.
- Do I supply the food, and crate or does TLP?
We can provide you with as much food as we have donations, and a crate. We just ask that you coordinate your own transportation to our storage unit, or specific location throughout DFW to pick it up.
- Who would be my point of contact once I foster?
Your Bully Buddy Coordinator is your number one point of contact. They serve as your quarterback, connecting you to medical, training, and adoptions/events. If you have any questions, challenges or just need general support, they are your person.
- If the dog is having issues with my household (kids, other pets, etc.), can I switch my foster dog and get another?
Before you throw the towel in, we advise you to reach out to our training team immediately. Sometimes it can be a simple fix or takes just a few weeks of patience. If for whatever reason it is absolutely not working, we ask you to give us at the very minimum of two weeks’ notice, so we have time to network for a new foster home.
- What if I decided to adopt the dog I am fostering? What are those steps, and fees?
This is what we call foster failing, but it is a good fail! When you receive your foster dog you have two weeks to “fall in love” before we post them throughout our social media channels. After that point they are visible. If you decide further down the road you’d like to adopt just let your Bully Buddy Coordinator know as soon as possible. The adoptions team is constantly receiving applications on our dogs and once they’ve approved an application to meet your foster – you need to honor the process and allow the potential adopter a chance to meet your foster! The adoption for puppies is $250, and $200 for adults
- Once my dog is adopted by someone, can I foster again? Would I have to go through the same process as before or would just be given a dog?
Of course! When a dog is adopted they are on a 7-day trial period, in which your home would stay open in case the adoption didn’t pan out. The foster could return to your house. Once the trial is complete, you are welcome to step up whenever you see a dog you’d like to foster for us! Just stay connected to our social media channels and private foster-only Facebook group! When you join our Bully Buddy Network and foster a dog, you are making room for TLP to pull another dog in desperate need of help. You are literally saving two lives at once; the life of the dog you foster, and the life of a dog pulled from the shelter.
As you can read, Meredith is euthanistic and passionate about the fostering program with The Love Pit. While I am sure there are more questions to be asked, this is a good start to understanding what it takes to be a foster for TLP. In fostering, you are giving that dog the opportunity for a loving and healthy home.
So, if you feel like this route is the best for you, please go to The Love Pit website and fill out a Bully Buddy application. We need you more than you know!