Foster Process

Thinking about Fostering?

There are many reasons why someone who loves dogs and wants to help them would choose not to adopt. If this is your situation, we invite you to explore our fostering program. Fosters save lives - it’s just that simple. In 2016 we saved 87 beautiful, at-risk collies and shelties who are now cherished family members, thanks to fosters. If taking one of these wonderful dogs into your home for a brief time while we find them a home is something you’d like to explore, please read on.

The number of wonderful collies and shelties RMCSR can save is dependent on the number of people willing to give these dogs a safe and loving environment while they await their new forever homes. There are always deserving dogs waiting to come into our rescue. To help them, we need foster homes all along the Front Range of Colorado (and sometimes, even beyond). So wherever you live, if you would like to volunteer to foster, we would like to hear from you.

How Our Program Works

Whenever we learn of a new Collie or Sheltie who needs to come into rescue, we arrange for a foster home to care for them. We try to match the incoming dog to a foster home that is most suited to him based on what we know about the existing pets, family members, and any special circumstances in our network of fosters. Our Foster Director will coordinate the foster application process and, once you are approved, will be in touch with you when we have a dog coming in who we’d like to place with you!

Many of our new dogs are frightened because their routines have been disrupted and they find themselves in a strange environment. Shelties are at particular risk of running away or getting lost because of their shy/timid nature (they want to get away and hide). For this reason, we make sure all dogs are microchipped upon arrival. We also affix RMCSR identification tags to their collars. 

Recommended Foods

We feed our dogs only high quality, high protein dog food. If needed, we can provide food to our fosters. We recommend that our dogs be fed one of the following brands, which offer both canned and dry food:

  • Wellness
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Natural Balance
  • California Natural
  • Canidae
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Innova
  • Merrick

Veterinary Care

All Collies and Shelties who come into our rescue will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated for Rabies, Distemper/Parvo, and Bordetella, heartworm tested, microchipped, and must have baseline bloodwork done. We also treat any pre-existing medical conditions, which most commonly include a dental cleaning.

As a foster, It will be your responsibility to your foster dog to his vet appointments. RMCSR pays for all medical expenses. We work with specific vets who give us discounted rates. We will arrange for your foster dog to be treated by a vet as close to your home as possible, depending on what procedures he will need. If we don’t know a vet in your area it may be possible for us to negotiate a relationship with a new one. Our goal is to make it as convenient as possible for you to get your foster dog to all necessary appointments.

Evaluation and Training

While a foster dog is in your care, you will be responsible for learning about the dog's temperament, training needs, and any special needs, and sharing that information with our Director and our Foster Director. If a dog needs training, we ask that you work with him on basic commands as much as possible. Once you've gotten to know your foster dog (usually within 5-10 days) we request you submit an evaluation to the Director and Foster Director. We ask each foster to write a brief biography and take pictures of their foster dogs so we can post them to our website.

Once the dog has been posted to our website, we will accept adoption applications. As applications are received, RMCSR will review them, check vet references, and send a volunteer to perform a home inspection (much like the the process we follow to approve an application to foster). The foster family is not usually involved in  this process, although we will call upon you for feedback and advice when considering potential adoptive families, as you best know the dog. Your cooperation and regular communication is essential for RMCSR to find the best possible match for your foster dog and ensuring his long term well-being.

Fostering a dog is a commitment. On average, our dogs are with their foster families for 2 months, sometimes more. If you have any trips planned while a foster is with you, we ask that you contact our Director so we can make arrangements for the dog with another foster family.

Adoption Process

When we have located a potential match for your foster, we tell them to expect a call from the dog’s foster parent, and we forward you their application so you can make the contact. You can call them and share what you have learned about the dog while it has been in your care. After you talk on the phone with a prospective applicant, if you feel there is good possibility of a match, you will need to invite them to your home (or other suitable location like a local park) so they can meet the dog and to see if they have the potential to offer the dog his or her forever home. We work very hard to make the right match for dogs in our care.

If we place a Collie or Sheltie with you and your family, you will have the option to permanently adopt your foster dog. Our Director and our Board work hard to make sure the dog is a good match for your family and reserve the final decision in these situations. You must notify us prior to promising the dog to another adoption applicant. If you wish to adopt your foster dog, we’ll want you to fill out an adoption application and sign an adoption agreement, and you will be asked to make the standard donation - just like everyone else.

Next Steps

Working as a team with other RMCSR volunteers, a foster family is a significant contributor to the overall vision and success of RMCSR. We look forward to working with you and thank you very much for your help and support!

If you are interested in fostering for us, please send us an email. A Rescue volunteer will call you to further discuss foster care. We will ask you to complete our Foster Application. Filling out this questionnaire in no way obligates you to volunteer as a foster for Rocky Mountain Collie and Sheltie Rescue. It’s just a way to help us get to know you in case you choose to go forward.

If you decide you want to welcome an RMCSR foster dog into your home, we will check vet references, complete a home visit, and ask you to read and sign a foster home agreement and waiver. And then we’ll hand you the leash.

Thank You!

Each of our wonderful foster families was a first-timer at some point, and we know you might have questions. We are here to help you make the best fostering decision for your family. RMCSR members are always available to provide help and support, and there are many resources available online. Foster Dogs is a support group for people who foster dogs.

We look forward to working with you and welcoming you into RMCSR.