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How long is a foster period? What happens if the pet doesn’t get adopted? What if it doesn’t work out for me?

What happens if the pet doesn’t get adopted? Do you end up having to keep it? How long do you keep it for?

This is the most asked question and the hardest to answer.  There is no fixed time.  Fostering can last from a few weeks, to several months, to a year or more.  A committed foster will keep an animal until it finds its forever home.  I would have to estimate the “average” time to have a foster pet is 3 weeks – 6 months.  Some dogs to faster than others, and there really is no rhyme or reason to why.

Pets in foster homes are always adopted into a permanent home.  The foster family will usually foster the pet until it is adopted.  The length of time varies according to the breed and age of the pet.  For example, kittens and puppies are often adopted quicker than adult cats and dogs.  In some cases, the foster parents decide to adopt the pet themselves.  We find that most foster families want to continue fostering the pet (even if it past their original commitment) because they have come to have an established routine with the pet and it is fitting smoothly into their life-style…plus, they want to be consulted with the choice of permanent adopters.

If a foster family runs into personal situations where they can not foster the pet until it is adopted, the rescue group will search for another foster home to relieve that family.  Do remember that, in these cases, the rescue groups will need time to do this and you should help them plan accordingly instead of just returning the dog without any notice.  Because most foster homes stay full at all times in order to help the most animals possible, foster or adoption returns can take awhile to find an open spot for.  Foster returns can cripple a rescue and their “machine” and can disable the entire system, so please be willing to trade animals or hold on to your foster until another home can be found.

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