About Fostering

Fostering is the lifeblood of rescue. WBCR has no facility — without foster families, we would not be able to save the lives of Border Collies in danger. Because all of the dogs in our program are in foster care, our ability to save lives is completely dependent on the number of available foster homes.  Every foster home can mean not just one but two lives saved: the dog being rescued from a shelter, and another dog for whom space opens up in the shelter.

Fostering is work of the heart and it’s not always easy, but it is the most direct and meaningful way to help Border Collies in need. Fosters help a dog to feel safe, to grow, to learn about love and happiness and find their place in the world. It’s an experience like nothing else.

Fostering is a complex and greatly varied undertaking, and people who foster have a variety of motivations. By far, the most common reservation we hear about fostering is, “I could never do it; I could never let them go.”  But those of us who have fostered many dogs over the years will tell you that you can absolutely enjoy and appreciate a dog and then let them go. First, dogs are as individual as people, and not every dog that comes through your home will be a great fit for you or visa versa — call it chemistry. Which means you really won’t fall in love with every foster! But even if it feels like your foster dog could be a great fit in your home, it helps to know that WBCR’s approved adopters tend to be very well-qualified people, able to offer a dog a life that is as good – or better – than your own. So, if you are only willing to let a dog go to a home just like yours (or better), then WBCR fostering is for you. At WBCR, foster families are very involved in deciding who adopts their fostered dog, so when it comes time to let them go, you can be confident that it’s a great match, and that your foster dog will thrive in his/her new forever home. Many WBCR fosters stay in touch with adopters, watching from afar their former fosters thriving as beloved companions to compatible families.

The greatest motivation for fostering is in looking at the bigger picture. For many fosters, it is always in the back of our minds that there is another dog out there whose life is in danger and who needs rescue. This sometimes eases the decision to let a foster go to an adoptive home, allowing another dog in need to then come to you.  As a foster, you can help save many more dogs than you ever could as an adopter. In the end, the gift is in the goodbye, to send your foster dog off to a loving forever home and to help the next one in need.

Here are some thoughts on fostering from some of WBCR’s dedicated fosters:

“Let them go? I never had them in the first place. These dogs pass through my home on their way to their forever home. I’m happy to help them on their journey and appreciate the happiness they give me as they pass my way. I can let them go because I’m anxious to see the next traveler and see what he’s like; and try to figure out what he needs from me as he passes through…”

“Every dog is hard to give up because they each get a piece of my heart BUT what keeps me going is knowing that WBCR won’t waste any time and will ship me another new black and white adventure in the shape of a dog ASAP.”

“I focus on the bigger picture. By letting them move on to forever homes, a new spot opens up in our homes, thus helping one more deserving dog with a second chance on happiness.”

“I see myself as a stepping stone to their perfect life. I am not the perfect home for them but I know there is one out there “I am a link in the chain to complete families, I have touched so many lives and they in turn touch mine.

Why do I foster? It warms my soul. I started as skeptical but willing to give it a try and 18 foster dogs later, I have new friends all over the West and get frequent updates from them.  It’s so rewarding to see pics of my former foster dogs showing those once doomed faces with now bright eyes, silly BC grins on their faces, and a bright future ahead. There’s nothing like it.”

If fostering is something you might be interested in, we’d love to talk with you! We welcome you to complete the foster application below, and we’ll get in touch with you to answer questions, address concerns, and get you started on this wonderful journey.  WBCR offers support and guidance to new and veteran fosters alike, and now with our new Foster Mentor program, this support is more thorough than ever before.

Become a Foster Online App: Foster Application

FAQ About Fostering

What is fostering like?
Each foster experience is unique and is tailored to your needs as well as your foster dog’s. You may foster an adult dog that is housetrained, socialized, and well-behaved. Or you may foster a puppy who needs basic training, like housebreaking. Another dog may have some behavioral issues or be scared of its own shadow. An older dog may need medication. Fostering experiences are as varied as the dogs, but we will do our best to match your foster dog(s) to your family and lifestyle.

What are my responsibilities as a WBCR foster?
You will need to provide your foster dog with food, water, a safe place to stay, lots of love, exercise, and in many cases some training. We ask that you treat your foster dog like you would treat your own while providing love, guidance, and training to increase his or her adoptability – that’s what fostering is all about.

WBCR’s goal is to make sure every dog we rescue never needs rescue again. We take the time to ensure each and every dog is placed in a loving forever home that is well matched to his/her new family’s lifestyle, activity level and environment. WBCR relies on its foster homes to provide information on their foster dog’s temperament, likes/dislikes, special needs/issues and more to ensure the dog’s proper placement into a forever home.

What support does WBCR offer?
Western Border Collie Rescue will assist you throughout the entire fostering process, from Day 1 to adoption day. If crates, leashes, collars, toys, training, behavior recommendations, etc. are needed, we will work with you to provide them. WBCR pays for vet expenses and some of the basic care expenses for the dogs in its care.

How long does a foster placement last?
It varies. Some fosters (typically adorable puppies and older issue-free dogs) may be adopted within a month or less. Other dogs, especially those that are older, have special needs or behavioral issues, may take several months to be matched to their perfect forever homes.

Can I set restrictions on the kind of dog I am willing to foster or the time of year I foster?
ABSOLUTELY. You’re always free to say you can’t or won’t or don’t want to foster a dog for any reason and we will always respect that.

What is “Foster to Adopt”?
Our Foster to Adopt program is great for those folks ultimately interested in adopting a dog, but we may not currently have a suitable match for them in rescue.  We would look for a potential match from the dogs waiting to come into rescue, then ask you to foster the dog for at least two weeks. During those two weeks, you get to spend time with the dog and determine whether you’d like to adopt, making it a permanent situation.   After two weeks of fostering, should you decide your foster dog isn’t a great fit as a permanent addition to your family, we will post the dog as available for adoption and work to find him/her a forever home.

Become a Foster Online App: Foster Application





Interested in fostering but not quite ready to fill out an application? Reach out to us below with your questions and we’ll get back to you ASAP!