Fostering FAQs

Interested in fostering but have questions about our program? Read on!

What is fostering? How is it different from adopting? Foster families care for a dog while the dog searches for his forever home. Foster homes are temporary, but treat the dog like a member of the family. Adoption is forever.

What are the requirements to foster? Foster programs vary between organizations. Here at Home Fur-Ever, our foster families must offer a loving and safe environment and be responsible pet owners. We also require fosters to bring their dogs to our weekly Saturday adoption events. At this time, we typically rotate between the Troy and Roseville Petco, with the occasional special event within the metro Detroit area.

Can I still foster if I can’t make it to Saturday events? Why are adoption events so important anyway? Adoption events are vital to finding forever homes. Since HFE is foster based and does not have a shelter or facility, events are the only time for potential adopters to meet our dogs, and the only time that we accept applications. We strongly believe that potential adopters need to meet the dog that they are interested in before applying to ensure that there is a connection and that the dog and family are a good match for each other. If you can’t make it to every single event, that’s okay- we have a great network of fosters and volunteers that are happy to help with transport if possible. If you know that you will never be able to make any events, however, we will likely suggest that you look for an organization that fits your schedule better. We do occasionally have dogs that do not need to attend adoption events right away, such as dogs who are pregnant or have Heartworm, Parvo, or another illness/injury. In these cases, we may accept a foster who cannot attend events but can care for the dog throughout treatment.

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Do I have to stay at the event all day? No, but we strongly recommend it. Potential adopters often have questions that only a dog’s foster will know, and they love to have a chance to speak with fosters. If you are unable to stay, though, you are welcome to drop off before noon and pick up at four.

How much does fostering cost? We do our best to keep fostering as low cost as possible. At HFE, we cover all medical care, from routine vaccinations to emergency care. We can also provide food and other supplies (crate, toys, etc) to fosters who cannot afford to purchase it themselves.

How long does a dog typically stay in foster care? Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer to this question. We can never predict how long a particular dog will be with us. Some dogs may be with us for just a few weeks, others are with us for months are longer. A good rule of thumb is to prepare for at least four months- but this is by no means a set rule. There are certainly factors that we cannot control that effect a dog’s adoptability- age, breed, size, etc- as well as factors that we can control, which will be discussed below.

What is a foster’s day to day responsibilities? What do “above and beyond” foster families do? Aside from providing the basic care that any dog needs (food, shelter, affection, etc), fosters should be prepared to provide basic training and socialization. Many dogs, especially puppies, will need help with house training and basic commands, such as sit. Fosters must also keep an open communication with HFE’s director and social media team so that we are all on the same page about events, vaccination schedules, etc. The best fosters are those who do everything possible to make their dog as adoptable as possible. This may include socialization with people or animals that are not already in your home- kids and people of all ages and sizes, other dogs of all ages and sizes, cats, etc. They expose the dog to as many new situations as possible- car rides, boat rides, pet-friendly public spaces (for dogs who are fully vaccinated), music and noises, etc. The best fosters provide ample information for their dog’s website bio as well as pictures and videos that may be shared on our social media sites- the more there is for a potential adopter to see and read, the more likely your dog will get adopted.

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Are fosters a part of the adoption interview process? Fosters know their dogs best. We ask that you are open and honest about your dog’s strengths and weaknesses, personality traits and habits, energy level, and compatibility with other people and animals so that we can match him with the perfect forever family. Although official interviews and home visits are conducted by trained volunteers only (these volunteers have a lot of experience and a keen eye for red flags), we strongly encourage fosters to stick around at events to speak with potential adopters and to meet with an approved adopter at the time of adoption. Many of our fosters will provide the adoptive family with a note about the dog’s daily routine and habits, their contact information to keep in touch over the years (we all LOVE updates on our former fosters), and a blanket or toy that will give the dog comfort as he settles into his new home.

What if my foster dog has behavioral problems? No dog is perfect. It is not uncommon to run into a minor behavioral problem such as chewing, marking, digging, jumping etc based on a dog’s age or background. But do not fear! We have a great team of volunteers and fosters with a TON of experience with behavior and health issues of all kinds that can help you work through any issue. We do occasionally have dogs with behavioral issues that may require a foster with more dog experience or a strong hand- if a dog has any known issues before coming to your home, they will be communicated.

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Will I need to alter my liability insurance policy to become a foster? Will my foster need to be licensed with my city? Does my foster dog count towards my city dog limit? Although all valid questions, there is no straight answer. Every insurance company, home owner’s association, and city has different rules and policies, which we encourage you to research.

What if my city has BSL (Breed Specific Legislation)? Will this limit who I can foster? Yes. We cannot place any dog that resembles a ‘pit-type’ dog in any city or community that has legislation against them, whether it is a foster or adoptive situation. Many cities base breed on site identification alone, not the breed listed on their paperwork. Want to learn more about BSL? Check out http://www.makemichigannext.com

How do you manage the feelings of loss that may come when you have to let the foster go? Seeing our fosters go to a forever home is always bittersweet. It’s completely normal to feel some sadness and even shed a tear or two, but take comfort in knowing that we do everything possible to ensure that our dogs are only going to the very best, most loving homes. Fosters are encouraged to stay in contact with adopters- many adopters are more than happy to provide pictures and updates over the years. Letting one foster go also means that you can help another dog in need. When you foster, you are truly saving a life, and there’s nothing better than that.

What if I want to adopt my foster dog? Am I automatically approved? Do I still have to pay a fee? Fosters go through the same adoption process as everyone else. An application, interview, vet check, home visit, adoption fee, and adoption contract will all still be required. Have a question that hasn’t been answered? Comment below or email us at HomeFurEver@Gmail.com

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Top 10 BEST Inventions for Dogs

When you ask hard core dog people what their favorite things are for dogs, this is the response you get.

1.  Antlers  – Dogs love antlers and we love the peace and quiet we get while said antlers are being gnawed! There are deer and elk antlers to choose from and we were surprised to find out that dogs can be picky between the two. We love that these come from a renewable resource that are packed with minerals and HOURS of chew time. antler chews2. Nylabones – Another tough, long lasting chew for our four legged buddies. Don’t get us wrong, we love to actually spend time with our dogs, but dogs need to chew sometimes comes up while cooking dinner, or doing homework or well… you get the idea! 10472763_10152525332988945_1686587436_o3.  GoughNuts -  We love that GoughNuts toys are not only fun and durable for your dog, but we love that they put safety first even more! Each GoughNuts pet toy has an included in it’s design the GoughNuts patent pending visial safety indicator where green means “go” and red means “stop.” Ingenious! 4.  Varsity Balls - HOURS of entertainment for both you and your dog with these durable play toys. The Varsity Ball was designed to be a challenge for your dog. It is too big for your dog to put in its mouth, but your dog will spend hours trying to figure it out!

 

5.  Doggie Life Jackets - Here in Michigan, we’re surrounded by water. Many folks are lucky enough to spend their free time out on the water and even luckier, in their own boat.  Dog life jackets are a certain peace of mind for most boaters out on the water.

10377629_10202163391667552_4147883045669030076_n6.  The Furminator - What’s in a name? I’ll tell you, awesomness. The Furminator does what it says it will do, it eliminates the unwanted fur! This tool is great for your big shedders, seasonal shedders, and the normal upkeep pets. The Furminator can help eliminate mats, keep a dog more hygienic and can reduce allergens in the home. the new pet 0047.  Sadie’s Snacks - Whether you’re looking for a wholesome treat that’s MADE IN THE USA or the perfect training aide, Sadie’s Snacks was the top recommended treat. They are a family owned and operated business that offers multiple flavors and sizes of treats that contain no fillers or preservatives. These things are like crack for dogs. 10459070_669214476482904_674749852128410842_o8.  Peanut Butter - Peanut butter you ask? YES!  This stuff is ewey, gooey, gold.  You can stuff it in a bone, a kong or simply get entertainment when your dog licks it off of the spoon.  You can stuff peanut butter in just about anything and freeze it for an even longer lasting nut filled experience. The dogs love it. Try your hand at this awesome HOMEMADE recipe from Alton Brown. PB R9.  Smart Toys – The brain is a muscle and needs to be worked out just like any other muscle in your dog’s body. Smart toys were developed to put your dog’s brain to work! There are a variety of sizes and skill levels to help keep your dog occupied and give that old noggin a work out! NO-Worker10.  Fluff and Tuff Toys - There are dogs that chew and then THERE ARE DOGS THAT CHEW!  Fluff and Tuff dog toys are made to outlast the strongest of chewers/toy destroyers! These fluffy creations are high quality, durable plush stuffed toys. The best part is they are Giving Partners to the Leader Dogs for the Blind! 10368299_663666557037696_8468019008916118899_oAnd there you have it.

Top 5 Questions Asked about Heartworm Disease

What you should know about Heartworm disease, testing and the monthly preventative.

1. What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is one of the major health problems of dogs in the United States and throughout the temperate and tropical areas of the world. As well as being found in dogs and other species, it is now being found in cats in ever increasing numbers. The disease develops when a pet becomes infected with parasites called Dirofilaria immitis that are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Heartworms are “foot long” worms that live in the heart and major blood vessels of the lungs. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes to both dogs and cats as well as other animals, such as foxes, coyotes, and wolves, which act as reservoirs and help spread the disease. While dogs can be infected with just a few to hundreds of worms, cats generally have low worm counts. Even one or two heartworms, however, can be life threatening to a cat. While there is a treatment for infected dogs it is time consuming and costly. There is NO treatment approved for cats so prevention is critical. Heartworm infection often leads to severe lung disease and heart failure and can damage other organs in the body as well.Map of Heartworm Disease Concern

2. How can I tell if my pet has heartworms?

Early on, many dogs show little or no symptoms. The longer the infection persists, the more likely symptoms will develop. Clinical signs depend on the number of these “foot-long” worms in the dog’s heart and major blood vessels, the dog’s lifestyle, and any other health issues the pet has. More active dogs, pets heavily infected with heartworms, or those with chronic disease often show prominent clinical signs.

In dogs, signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure commonly recognized by an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen giving the pet the appearance of a “swollen belly.” Dogs infected with large numbers of heartworms can develop a sudden blockage of blood flow within the heart leading to a life-threatening form of cardiovascular collapse called caval syndrome. Signs of caval syndrome include a sudden onset of labored breathing, pale gums, and dark bloody or “coffee-colored” urine. Without prompt surgical removal of the heartworm blockage, few dogs survive.

In cats the presence of just one or two worms can lead to severe respiratory symptoms and even death. The symptoms in a cat can easily be confused with a respiratory infection like pneumonia or “asthma-like” symptoms with wheezing or shortness of breath. Other than supportive care, there is no approved, safe treatment for heartworm-infected cats. Prevention is critical!HWPbanner

3. Can you tell me more about heartworm testing?

Two common types of tests exist for diagnosing heartworm infection in dogs. Because adult heartworms release their young (microfilaria) directly into a dog’s bloodstream, a relatively simple blood filter test can identify them. A positive test tells us adult worms are present. Positive means positive! Unfortunately, 15% to 20% of heartworm-positive dogs will not have “microfilaria” circulating in their bloodstream and a negative test will sometimes be falsely negative. The most accurate test for detecting heartworm infection in dogs is the antigen test. This test looks for the presence of small proteins released by adult female heartworms into the dog’s bloodstream. A positive test tells us mature female worms are present. And, while false-negative results are uncommon, they can occur if a pet has a “male-only” infection (since the test detects antigen from females), if only one or two worms are present, or if the female worms are immature.

In cats, there are two different tests that can be helpful in determining if a cat has a heartworm infection. The antibody test can tell us if a mosquito has infected the cat with microscopic baby heartworms called larvae. This is important because the arrival and death of even these baby heartworms can cause respiratory disease in the cat (wheezing, coughing, “asthma-like” symptoms). The antibody test has the advantage of being able to detect infection by both male and female worms, as larvae of either sex can give a positive test as early as 2 months after infection. A “positive” antibody test confirms exposure to heartworm disease!

While the antigen test is the “gold standard” in diagnosing heartworms in dogs, it can commonly give a “false-negative” result in cats. This finding is more common than in dogs because infected cats generally have only a few adult heartworms present, because “single-sex” infections may consist of only male worms, and because immature but symptomatic infections are more common in cats. A positive antigen test does indeed mean that adult female heartworms are present but a negative test does not rule out an infection!

In both dogs and cats your veterinarian may have reason to suspect a negative test result to be inaccurate and might recommend follow-up testing, chest x-rays, and/or cardiac ultrasound to help identify heartworm disease.heartworm-month-001

4. How often should I have my dog tested for heartworm infection?

All dogs should be tested for heartworms every 12 months. This usually takes place during a pet’s annual visit for routine preventive care and is your insurance policy against what could turn out to be a serious illness.

Nothing is perfect. People miss doses of medication or fail to give it the same day each and every month. Pets vomit frequently and at times “lose” their dose of prevention. At times they spit it out. Heartworm preventives are “nearly” perfect, but nothing is perfect and the danger of not testing is in not knowing.

If you administer heartworm prevention to your pet as scheduled, the chance of your pet developing an infection is extremely low. Your veterinarian’s job, however, is to ensure your pet’s good health by detecting problems before they progress into serious issues. Heartworm disease is a serious issue and when present, should be detected and treated as soon as possible. Testing annually is important.heartworms in a dog

5. How long should my dog be on heartworm prevention?

For a variety of reasons, even in regions of the country where winters are cold, the American Heartworm Society is now recommending a year-round prevention program. Dogs have been diagnosed with heartworms in almost every county in Minnesota, and there are differences in the duration of the mosquito season from the north of the state and the south of the state. Mosquito species are constantly changing and adapting to cold climates and some species successfully overwinter indoors as well. Year-round prevention is the safest, and is recommended.

Home FurEver has four heartworm positive dogs right now. If you’d like to make a tax deductible donation toward their care, please click here: https://www.youcaring.com/hfevetbills

4 hw positive dogs in hfe care

5 reasons the retractable dog leash is the worst invention, EVER

The hidden dangers of a retractable leash

How often have you been out for a walk and seen someone walking their dog on a retractable leash? Probably a lot, they’re everywhere. Well let’s take a look at the hidden dangers that are associated with those “convenient” retractable leashes.

5 reasons the retractable dog leash is the worst invention, ever

  1. Severe burns: That’s right, you can get a severe friction burns from the thin line of a retractable leash. I can tell you from experience they are painful and take forever to heal. The backs of both of my knees have deep scars left from my friend’s retractable leash line. The dog went after a squirrel and the leash wrapped around my legs, burning the backs of my knees wide open. It took 2 months for this to heal because of where the burn was.leg-400x297
  2. They cut through skin like butter: Have you ever seen an old mobster movie where someone gets axed with a piano wire? Well, those retractable leashes can do the same thing. Imagine accidentally grabbing the thin line of the lead only to have your hand sliced right open.leash injury
  3. Severed tendons in your dog: The skin on a dog’s leg is much thinner than the skin on a human leg. If a dog’s leg gets caught up in a retractable leash line, not only will it slice their skin open, it can potentially cut right though the muscle and tendons of your dog. Possibly even an artery.60619683825898_orig
  4. They break too easily: Quality has nothing to do with cost. These retractable leashes can set you back $50. A total waste of money considering the dangers as well as their horrible quality. I had a friend that had to buy 2 a year because the spring and internal mechanisms would break. Now imagine walking your dog after work. Your dog takes off after a rabbit, the retractable leash breaks and your dog is off chasing the rabbit only to be hit by a car. Tragic end to a well-intended afternoon walk.  There are several documented cases of dogs being hit by cars because of a retractable leash breaking. Several years ago in front of one of our adoption events, a customer of the pet store was trying to walk her beagle back to her car when the retractable leash broke. The dog ran out into traffic on Coolidge Highway and hit kit and killed. NoRetractable
  5. No control over dog: Get back to basics. A standard 6 ft leash is all you need for a walk. This gives you more control over your dog when the unexpected squirrel decides to taunt your dog, the unsupervised neighbor’s dog charges at you, or the ever popular bunny in a bush darts out in front of you.10155408_10202855003229560_4703923939379823620_nKeep your dog and your family safe. Use a 4 or 6 foot leash when walking your dog.

New year, new name, hopefully a new family to boot

Eve

Hey everyone!! I’m Eve. They call me this because my old family moved away without me, and the nice neighbor lady was feeding me until New Year’s Eve. It was going to get really cold that night, so she called and some nice people came and picked me up.1

The first night in my foster parent’s house they let me sleep with them in their big bed, and my foster mom laughed all night because every couple hours I would wake up and jump around on the bed then cuddle up really close to her. Boy do I like being part of a family again.1619586_10151958237631200_201308560_n

She says I’m a big goof ball because I just LOVE to cuddle, which means laying right on top of you, right?? I also a have a baby foster sister here (she doesn’t have hair like me), and I look out for her like a good big sister would, right?1779752_10151958237656200_364641643_n

I also have 3 foster fur-siblings that I LOVE to play with. We rough house as much as mom lets us, but we also love to cuddle together.2

Everyone that meets me tells me how pretty I am, and says I’m such a “sweetheart.” I don’t know what that means but I think it’s good because they always pet me and let me lick them.4

I love my foster family, but I can’t wait to have a family to call my own. I just want a home that I can cuddle with my people in and a family that hugs me and kisses me good morning and good night every single day.5

Come meet me at one of our adoption events. Are you my FURever family??

To learn more about Eve, click here: http://www.adoptapet.com/pet/10366372-detroit-michigan-american-staffordshire-terrier-mix

To learn about Home FurEver’s adoption process, click here: http://www.homefurever.com/How_to_Adopt.html

Who says dogs and cats can’t be friends?

We often hear from people who would love to foster a dog, but don’t think it’s possible because they own cats. It’s a myth as old as time- dogs and cats are mortal enemies and just can’t get along. We’re here to prove that myth wrong!

Meet Ace.

1455142_10151820584197877_1974042480_nWhen this sleek little kitty was first rescued, he was a scared, timid little guy who wouldn’t dream of approaching any of the dogs in the house. But he soon decided to give it a try.

1888497_10151944700067877_862134824_nBefore long, Ace couldn’t get enough of the dogs! He cuddled with them, played with them, and quickly became best friends with them.

1779339_10151937521647877_1881302332_nOver the past year, Ace has had the pleasure of sharing his family with several foster dogs. Some of the dogs are quick to become friends with Ace, but others aren’t always so nice in the beginning. Yet in the end, he always wins them over.

1724100_10151937518492877_48838966_n 1656382_10151945075097877_290393439_n 1653879_10151944697697877_2071873037_n 1604828_10151944707907877_1727215863_n 1560709_10151937517792877_134612603_n 1557516_10151937523322877_1109412636_n 1526643_10151937535097877_1489030977_n 1013211_10151937514112877_1370324947_n 68484_10151937516137877_971695136_nWith the right introduction, some patience, and a little correction, most dogs and cats can learn to be friends- or at least coexist. Ace isn’t the only kitty to make friends with his family’s foster dogs- check out these other cat and dog friendships!

1796477_10202864771408396_685915383_n 1690493_10152153098611405_80373963_n 1622142_10102021352829738_872937840_n 1507966_10203004368014187_861568165_nCats aren’t the only ones who want to get in on some puppy love. These dogs have bunny friends, too!

1623436_10151937525112877_91738505_n 1557541_10151944704607877_1107521297_nDon’t let your cat hold you back! Fostering a dog or puppy saves a life. For more information on becoming a foster family, visit us at http://www.HomeFurEver.com or http://www.facebook.com/HomeFurEver

April is no fool; she wants a home of her own

April is no fool! It has been almost one year since April was found by the Detroit Police Homicide division during an investigation. It was on April 1st, 2013 when she heard the sounds and came crawling out of a dilapidated garage asking for help. photo 1 Thanks to the kind souls that called HFE April was saved. Her road to recovery was not an easy one; her wounds were very severe. photo 3There was talk about April needing skin graphs and needing her leg amputated, but she had many people fighting for her and angels on her side. photo 4After spending over 30 days in the hospital she walked out on all 4 legs with just a few scars.

April

April

April remained in a cast for another 60 days while rehabbing with her foster. She became an inspiration to everyone for many reasons; everyone saw a little bit of themselves in her. Her ability to stay so sweet and loving with everything she went through was touched everyone’s heart. April also had a hidden talent (or not so hidden), like most pitties April loves to give kisses.

Gemma, April and Jack in the Kissing Booth

Gemma, April and Jack in the Kissing Booth

April’s foster mom had an idea; she wanted to help change people perceptions about Bully breeds and she wanted to help raise much need funds for HFE.

April and Gemma

April and Gemma

The Kissing Booth was born and April and her foster sister were ready to kiss. Every time the booth was set up April jumped in and kissed the day away.b As the months went by April was still looking for her Furever home. And now as we reach April’s one year anniversary we all wonder; why has she not been adopted yet? Is it her scars? I personally see them as a sign of strength and perseverance. April still remains a very happy loving girl that is ready for her furever home and ready to kiss.c

To learn more about amazing April, click here: http://www.adoptapet.com/pet/9096694-detroit-michigan-american-staffordshire-terrier-mix
To learn how to adopt April, click here: http://www.homefurever.com/How_to_Adopt.html