Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation (KBTF) Foster Families provide a safe and secure home environment in which our rescue dogs can be evaluated and cared for while awaiting permanent placement. The KBTF considers its Foster Families to be essential to the welfare and proper placement of its rescue dogs.
Our Foster Families:
- Temporarily provide a safe and loving environment for a Rescue Kerry (generally from 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on the dog’s needs).
- Provide any medical treament or training necessary.
- Evaluate the dog’s temperament and behavior in a variety of situations.
- Meet with potential adopters and provide full disclosure on the Rescue Kerry.
- Cooperate fully with the designated KBTF Rescue Coordinator on the dog’s care and placement.
The joys of fostering a Kerry are many.
Many people think they cannot foster a Rescue Kerry for a variety of reasons. Yet may of these reasons are relatively easy to work through. While fostering
a dog is NEVER convenient, neither emotionally nor logistically, it has to be done. Our Rescue Kerries need some place to go.
Here is a list of excuses Rescue Coordinators hear when searching for a temporary foster home. But none of them should preclude you from volunteering to foster.
Nobody has enough time. If you are between jobs, work part-time, are retired, or have already proven you have time by breeding your own litters, then you may have more time than most. The truth: You will probably have to temporarily give up some nonessential activity to properly care for a Rescue dog. But ask someone who's fostered a dog if the sacrifice was worth it.
Nobody has enough room. The truth: Puppies do perfectly well with a patch of grass and a safely enclosed area of the house for play. Walks 2 or 3 times a day for older dogs easily compensate for small homes and yards--or no yards at all!
ALREADY HAVE A MALE & FEMALE
Many of us do. The truth: Unless one or both of your dogs is highly dog aggressive, this situation simply requires a bit of creativity. The use of crates, tie-downs (tethers), baby gates, ex-pens, and doors can all be used effectively to separate dogs, as well as vigilance. No, it's not an ideal way to live, but remember it's temporary. The alternative is that the Rescue dog has nowhere to go.
CAN'T WALK TWO DOGS
Although many of us walk two dogs, I wouldn't recommend it with a Rescue Kerry--at least not in the beginning, before you know its temperament and how it reacts to other dogs (including yours). The truth: Walks can be rotated or done in shifts, or you can enlist help. You can also substitute quality playtime for walks to ensure that both dogs get exercised.
MY KERRY IS DOG AGGRESSIVE
This is the single most serious obstacle to fostering, yet breeders and other experienced owners have overcome the problem, and even dogs with a history of dog aggression have surprised their owners and done just fine with a new dog in the house--even dogs of the same sex! The truth: In responsible hands, with the right techniques, where safety comes first, it can work. Every case is highly individual, and the pros and cons need to be weighed in each situation.
CAN'T AFFORD IT
A Rescue Kerry needs a collar, leash, and ID tag, a temporary food bowl and bed, and food. It may need a special diet, medicine, and medical treatment. And it needs grooming. The truth: the Kerry Foundation reimburses out-of-pocket expenses related to a dog it rescued. Discuss these costs with the Rescue Coordinator up front so you know how and when you'll be reimbursed. Note: Many of these necessities are donated by our volunteers, pet supply manufacturers, and others. Vets and some trainers usually provide discounts for their services for rescue dogs.
I'LL GET TOO ATTACHED
Wonderful! That means you'll provide the love and attention a Rescue Kerry needs. And if you truly love the dog, you'll recognize the dog's need to have a permanent home of his own. Maybe that's you, but chances are it's not. The truth: In Rescue, love means letting go.
MY NEIGHBORS WILL COMPLAIN
People have a low tolerance for a lot of things these days, but a barking dog is annoying for everybody. The truth: Talk to your neighbors and explain the situation and what you are doing to solve the problem. Courtesy goes a long way in reducing tension and promoting understanding, and anyone with half a heart would have some sympathy for a homeless animal--especially since it is temporary.
DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO
People who are pet owners and not breeders consider themselves unqualified to foster a Rescue Kerry. The truth: Anyone can foster who has the desire to do so. Help and advice can come from all directions: the Rescue Coordinator, the national Rescue Director, local trainers, your vet, the Kerry Foundation web site, or members of your Kerry club or all-breed club, or KB-L! All you have to do is ask.
In short, all these excuses add up to DON'T CARE. In reality, no foster care situation is ideal. But permanent homes that are perfectly matched to a rescue dog are nearly never immediately available. In the meantime, the dog needs somewhere to go.
The average Rescue dog requires only about 3 to 4 weeks of fostering. That's not forever. One month out of your life is a small investment for you, but can mean everything to a dog who's lost his home. Those who have done it don't regret it. Neither will you.
If you are knowledgeable about the breed, have experience caring responsibly for a Kerry, can evaluate temperament and provide some basic training if needed, and have an interest in volunteering as a Foster Family, please review our Foster Family Agreement and learn more about our Rescue Program. Then contact a Rescue Coordinator near you.