Foster Homes Needed Today

By becoming a part of the Happy Hearts foster parents program you can offer the nurturing safety of your home to a dog who would otherwise be euthanized. Dogs are like young children, needing the safety and protection of a loving home to heal the emotional scars of neglect, abuse, and abandonment and to grow emotionally. The more foster families we have, the more dogs we can save from death and who are languishing in noisy, cold and uncaring shelters.

Please help us. We need you.

If you can make room in your home and your heart please consider fostering a dog. Dogs that have been in foster homes have a much better chance of finding their forever homes. They receive needed exercise and stimulation, learn how to behave in a home and develop necessary social skills iinteracting with other dogs and people. Dogs in shelters and kennels do not show well due to excel energy and stress and are upset and distracted. Nobody is aware of their sweet gentle ways or funny little habits. Does she sit when asked? Does he walk well on his leash? Come when called? Does she love playing ball? Diving in the pool? Knowing these things and more about a dog helps them find their forever homes very quickly.

We evaluate and take in as many dogs as possible from high kill shelters throughout Southern California and beyond. Not all dogs are immediately adoptable and some are so good we wonder how they got there. There are always dogs waiting, sad, depressed, abandoned. You see it in their faces when they’ve given up hope.  Every day, every week, we run out of boarding options and must turn down another beautiful and adoptable German Shepherd. Most are out of time already but without foster families available, we are forced to make the difficult decision to leave a dog behind.

The most difficult situations are when we receive calls from shelters asking our assistance for a dog that is scheduled for euthanasia that very day. We are left scrambling to determine if one of us can handle one more dog in an already crowded household or if one of our selfless fosters can squeeze another dog in for a few days.

We work closely with our fosters to help them decide which dog is best for their particular situation. And like them, you will always be able to rely on our counselors for advice. The comment we hear most often is that it would be too hard to foster and then let the dog go. The reward you'll get from helping these dogs find wonderful homes is well worth the price of letting go when the homes they go to are better than we can provide in our crowded, busy schedules. We often let our foster dogs go with tears of gratitude for the wonderful forever home they are being welcomed into. Most of us in rescue do it because of a special dog we've known, one whose presence has touched our hearts and lives. Once you have loved and been loved by a dog that has touched your hearts and changed our lives. its impossible not to see their face in in that of dogs that have been left deserted, and are bereft, wondering what happened to their life and home and why they are in this place they may never come out of.

The three different kinds of foster homes we desperately need at our rescue: 
Fostering to adoption, short term fostering and long term fostering for special needs dogs.

A fostering to adoption home cares for a dog until it is adopted. This allows us to save more dogs that would otherwise die, without putting them into boarding. Boarding ties up valuable resources that are needed for vetting, food and training and although it can be a transition for a week or two dogs often become depressed lacking personal interaction in a home.

A short-term foster home is normally needed for less than two weeks while a foster opens up or an adopter needs time to prepare their home for a new dog. It is a transition time for a dog in the process of coming or going and gives the dog some time to decompress in a safe and loving environment.

A long-term foster home is needed for senior and hospice dogs who are nearing the end of their life span. They may have terminal illness or just be old. They just need an extra helping of TLC to support them through to the end of their journey. Occasionally when a dog has undergone extensive surgery and will need extra care and a quiet environment to recuperate in we need a warm, loving home on a temporary basis.

Most of our dogs are located in the San Diego area. If you can help us by fostering one of our dogs, whether a German Shepherd or one of our occasional Chow Chows please fill out our foster application. 

Foster Home Process & Application

Fostering a Rescue dog is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Many of our dogs have endured a very difficult past such as abuse, cruelty, neglect and lack of socialization. As a foster you have the chance and opportunity to gain a dog’s trust, show them kindness and human touch and love for the first time, providing an environment where they can feel safe and loved and watch them transform before your eyes. Seeing a dog's demeanor change once they are out of the shelter and in a car, riding to a new life with a big doggie grin on their face when realizing they are safe, is priceless, but it’s just the start. Helping these dogs find hope, realize they are loved and valued, is a priceless gift only you can give to them. We cannot stress how important foster homes are for these dogs!

The dogs we rescue range in age from puppies to seniors, with the majority in the 2-5 year old range. They come in every color and are often pure bred. Our dogs are usually neutered or spayed before we place them in foster homes. If they haven't been, we usually see that it happens soon after going into their foster home, unless there is a medical reason for waiting. They are normally updated on all their shots as well.

Happy Hearts representatives evaluate the dogs before they are accepted into our program. We try to get as much information as possible about the dog's history, but usually we learn more about the dogs once they are under our care. We screen the dogs as carefully as we can but this is not a guarantee that nothing bad could ever happen. Dogs with behavioral problems remain in training until the issues are resolved or remain in retirement in sanctuary with experienced fosters for the remainder of their lives.

We work with you to determine what general type of dog will adapt to your household for a successful fostering experience for both our dogs and your family. We have a strong support system for our foster families before and after you take the dog home. Some foster families will require more assistance from our volunteers, especially first time fosters. Someone is always available to lend a hand. We are proud of our successful network of volunteers and foster homes, without whom we could not save the number of dogs that we do.

If you enjoy caring for and living with a German Shepherd, fostering a Rescue dog may be for you! Just fill out the application below and you will be on your way to the very rewarding experience of saving a life by becoming part of the Rescue Effort!

About Fostering

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