Foster Application

Please read an important message from our Executive Director, Rachel Mairose:

"I am so glad you are considering opening your home to an animal in need! I wanted to give you a realistic idea of what it takes to foster.  90% of the animals we help at Secondhand Hounds have been in a kennel in a shelter for weeks or months, so they are not guaranteed to be housebroken or litter-box trained. Even animals who are housebroken often have accidents for a week or so when adjusting to a new home/schedule/people.  So, if accidents in the home are a big issue for you, fostering may not be for you.  To help with this, I like to find an area of my house that is not carpeted (i.e. kitchen) where I can contain my foster animals while I am learning their habits, signals, etc.  Try to take the dog out frequently so they learn to go to the bathroom outside.  Create a schedule and routine when you take them out so they learn not to jump up as you are opening the door.  Repetition is key!

Our dogs are always people and dog friendly as far as the shelters can test, and our cats are often tested with other cats, but they are often not exposed to small children before they arrive at our rescue. We rarely have issues with kids (I have a 7 and 2 year old who meet a ton of our dogs/cats and have never been hurt or even close to hurt), but we cannot guarantee they are 100% kid-friendly.  We always stress that any new animal needs to be treated with space and respect, so dog-appropriate children are often fine with our pooches (no fast movements, loud noises, pulling ears, sitting on them, etc.)!  Please ensure your children are aware of how to treat the animals prior to and during their time in your home.

Rescue animals often need a little help with potty training, litter-box training, crate training, and can sometimes have separation issues with their foster humans. Some dogs have resource guarding problems (i.e. growling when they have bones, food or special toys) since they have not had much in their lives up to this point. For this reason, we always suggest that high value treats, toys, and food are not laying around with resident animals before you get to know your foster. We also recommend feeding your foster in different areas than your resident animals so as not to tempt them to fight over food.  Some of the animals have not had a consistent food source in their life, so will eat all food available to them and eat it quickly.  Creating a schedule for feeding can help with this as well.

If for some reason the foster animal is not working out in your home, we ask that you keep him/her until a new foster can be found. We are foster based organization, so don't have the capability to take the animal back on a moment's notice unless there are severe aggression issues and your family is being put at risk. Sometimes it takes 1 day to find a new foster, and sometimes it can take weeks or more. We try our best to move the animal as quickly as possible.  Ideally, we prefer the animals are not bounced from home to home, so we ask that you use our help and support to keep working with your little friend! Our foster coordinators have tips and tricks for many common behavioral issues, and are happy to help you work through challenges with your foster.  We also have a foster manual for you to reference with common questions and support.

I don't mean to overwhelm you, but I wanted to give you great, clear expectations when it comes to these animals. If you are no longer interested in fostering after reading this, please inform us via email at Otherwise, we are so excited to welcome you to the team!"

if you would like to continue to apply to be a Foster with Secondhand Hound, please click the "Next" button.