Home Fostering Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions About Fostering PDF Print E-mail

Q: How often are foster homes needed?

Midwest BREW is always looking for foster homes since the demand for our assistance continues to grow. The more foster homes we have, the more beagles we can help.

Many of our foster homes care for foster beagles on a regular basis, while others foster when they are available to help.

Midwest BREW receives a large number of pleas to help beagles in need, but we can only help when foster homes are available. Despite our efforts and successes, beagles are still euthanized in our region when space and time become an issue. Midwest BREW needs foster homes to give homeless beagles the time they need to find their “forever” family.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a foster home?

A foster home provides their foster dog with food, treats, and love. They also work on socialization and basic training skills and HOUSETRAINING. Most of our beagles are not housetrained so our foster homes must be willing to work with the beagle on this.

The foster home evaluates the health (with veterinary assistance), personality, and traits of the foster beagle. They will also evaluate the sociability of the dog with adults, children and other animals and determine the level of training the dog has had in the past. Is the beagle active? Does the beagle need to be in a one-dog family? Does the beagle need another dog as a playmate? In special cases, Midwest BREW will assist with the evaluation through referrals to certified animal behaviorists and obedience trainers. Midwest BREW expects foster beagles to be treated as part of your family, as you would your own pet. Safe places to sleep, eat, rest and play are essential.

Q: Do foster homes have to complete any paperwork while fostering?

Yes, but it is minimal and easy to do. During the fostering period, foster homes are asked to evaluate the beagle and write a bio about him/her for the website. Foster families work with our adoption counselors to recommend appropriate placement in permanent homes. Foster homes typically speak with potential adopters, prepare the appropriate paperwork for adoption and forward the completed paperwork to Midwest BREW once the adoption has taken place.

Q: How much notice is given when a foster home is needed?

Rescue is unpredictable. Sometimes Midwest BREW receives several beagles within a short period of time. It is important for foster homes to be flexible and available as much as possible. Midwest BREW will contact foster families as soon as we receive word of a beagle in need of foster care. Most beagles are transported on the weekends when volunteers have more free time.

Q: Are there any costs involved in fostering?

The foster family is asked to provide good quality dog food in quantities appropriate for the size and age of the beagle. Should a foster beagle require a special diet, please notify Midwest BREW. A crate, dog bed or blanket and toys are also needed. Midwest BREW will loan foster homes a crate if necessary. The most important thing a foster home provides is LOVE!

Q: What costs does Midwest BREW pay?

Midwest BREW pays for all approved veterinary expenses, including vaccinations, spay/neuter, heartworm and flea preventative. We work with vets who offer reduced rates and bill us directly. If a foster dog is injured or needs emergency care, we ask foster homes to seek appropriate medical attention and notify one of the co-directors as soon as possible. If a foster beagle needs obedience training or if other special circumstances arise, the foster home should contact one of the co-directors so that the appropriate arrangements can be made.

Q: What should a foster home expect when the dog first arrives?

In most cases, the dogs that come in are happy and healthy. They may be nervous or a bit restless for the first few days/nights, as they do not understand what is happening and everything is new to them. They usually settle in within the first few nights. Some dogs take a little longer. It is very important to realize that each dog is different. The settling in process may include an occasional accident during the first few days.

You are learning about a new dog, they are learning about a new home. You may have some issues until the foster dogs become accustomed to the household routine and the foster home learns beagle cues. These initial accidents do not indicate a lack of housetraining, but are a clear reminder of how confused and/or stressed these dogs can be during this transition. In some cases, a beagle may not be sure what door to go to, or even where the door is located. Some dogs will need a "refresher course" in housetraining and other basic house rules.

A crate can be a welcome and safe place for a foster beagle. Our foster homes rely on crate training to provide the foster beagle with essential “quiet time” and to make housetraining easier. Midwest BREW has found that beagles settle into their foster homes much easier if they continue to have the security of a crate. We will provide you with information on crate training and housetraining.

Q: What about beagles that need special help?

Midwest BREW occasionally takes in a beagle that needs some very special help. He/she may have been living outside and does not understand what it means to live inside and follow the “house” rules. Maybe they have been crated whenever they have been in the house, and haven't learned the “house” rules either. Sometimes we take in a dog that has not been fed or trained properly, and has some issues around food or feeding. Some dogs have never been socialized properly, and are extremely shy or fearful of objects or strangers. All of these problems are directly related to their prior lifestyle, and not the fault of the dog. We need foster homes for these dogs too. Midwest BREW has a lot of resources to help you help these dogs. With help, and gentle and loving guidance, these dogs can go on to live normal well-adjusted happy lives. If you feel that you are prepared to take on one of these bigger challenges, please let us know of your interest to assist these special beagles.

Q: What if problems occur with a foster beagle?

Midwest BREW does not abandon its foster families and is committed to providing guidance throughout fostering experiences. If there is a problem or question, contact us immediately so the appropriate action can be taken – help is just a phone call or email away.

Q: Do foster families have a say in who adopts their foster beagle?

Yes. The adoption counselors and foster families work together to find the best match for each foster dog. You are the one living with the beagle. You know habits and preferences. Your opinion is important for a successful adoption, however the co-directors have the final say.

Q: Is it difficult to give up a foster dog when the time comes for the foster beagle to move to their forever home?

Yes, we must be honest and say that it can be bittersweet, but remaining focused on the reason for fostering is helpful. The empty spot will soon be filled with another homeless beagle looking for your help. Many foster homes keep scrapbooks of the dogs they have helped along the way. Some adopters choose to keep in touch with the foster home and share pictures and stories which are always welcomed by the foster home.

Q: What happens if a foster home falls in love with their foster dog and wants to adopt the dog?

While BREW loves to see foster dogs move into new homes, we understand that sometimes a foster home wants to adopt their foster dog. If the Adoption Coordinator feels it is an appropriate match for the dog and family, the adoption can take place. We always hope that the foster family will continue to foster and help other beagles that are waiting and hoping for assistance. Please note, though, that a foster home cannot adopt their first foster dog.

Q: Can foster homes take a vacation while fostering?

Yes, everyone needs a break now and then. If a foster home needs to be away from home while they are fostering, they should contact one of the co-directors as soon as possible. Midwest BREW will try to make arrangements to have the foster beagle cared for by an alternate foster home, or the foster home may decide to place the beagle in a local kennel while away.

Q: How long are beagles in foster care?

Every beagle is different and many factors affect a beagle's adoptability, including: age, temperament, appearance, time of year, and location of foster home. Midwest BREW has had beagles in foster care for only days, while others have been fostered for months.

Q: What are the rewards of fostering?

The satisfaction of knowing you have helped save a life is the biggest reward of all. Many foster families tell of a warm happy feeling and a feeling of self worth when they help a beagle find a loving home.

Foster homes with children have found fostering to be a wonderful way to teach their children compassion and giving of themselves.

Q: Interested in fostering for Midwest BREW?

Please submit an application to become a volunteer or if you need more information please send email to volunteer@gotbeagles.org

After submitting your application, we will call to discuss fostering with you and also give you a chance to ask any unanswered questions about the Midwest BREW foster program. Midwest BREW also completes a veterinary and/or reference checks to ensure you have treated your past and current pets well. We will then arrange a home visit by one of our volunteers. If everything works out, you will then be ready to foster and help a beagle in need.