Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Freedom Project week: Day 3

Could you be a Volunteer Foster Carer for the Dogs Trust Freedom Project?


We couldn’t run the Freedom Project without the support of our volunteer foster carers who give up their time and open their homes to dogs in need. 

To become a foster carer, you will need to: 
  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Have experience of caring for a dog.
  • Be at home for most of the day as we ask that our foster dogs are not left for more than a few hours at a time.
  • Have the time to commit to the project as, on average, foster placements last for 3-9 months.
  • Be patient, committed and have a genuine love of dogs.

How the Project works

When a new dog is referred to the project, we ask the dog’s owner to complete a detailed information form about their dog to help us find a suitable foster carer.

Once we have found a suitable carer, we collect the dog from the owner and take the foster dog directly to the carer’s home. 

During the placement, foster carers will receive ongoing advice and support from Freedom Project staff, including monthly home visits. 

All information about the client and the foster carer is confidential. The owner is not able to visit their dog whilst in foster care but we keep the owner updated on their dog’s wellbeing and send them regular photos. 

The Benefits of Fostering
We think there are many fantastic benefits to becoming a foster carer for the Freedom Project:
  • The enjoyment of caring for a dog without the lifetime commitment.
  • Helping a family and their dog to escape from a violent or abusive home.
  • Walking a dog is a fantastic way to exercise and keep fit and healthy.
  • Dogs are a great talking point and a way to get out and meet new people.
  • Foster carers receive ongoing advice & support from Freedom Project staff.
  • Dogs Trust covers all food expenses and veterinary bills.
If you live in Greater London, Hertfordshire or Yorkshire (or in the immediate surrounding areas) and you would like to find out more about fostering a dog for the Freedom Project, please visit

If you live outside of these areas but would like to get involved in fostering, please contact your local Pet Fostering Service

Volunteer Foster Carer Case Study

Name: Stephen & Carol

Why did you become a foster carer?

We didn't want to own a second dog but we wanted to help other dogs. We think we have the right home to help a dog feel safe and loved. And we have our own dog who is very adaptable and can help the foster dogs come out of their shell.

Do you find fostering an awarding experience?

Yes very rewarding. It's one of the most pleasurable experiences you can have. You're helping the dog and helping the owner and you get such a variety of dogs. And it's good for us too. We enjoy going out and walking with the dogs. We have the time and the space to foster.  
What's the best thing about fostering a dog for Dogs Trust?

 The best part of fostering is when the dogs become more confident and settled. They start to bring you their toys to play with and come and sit on your lap.

What would you say to encourage others to foster for the project?

You get so much love and affection and joy from the dogs. It's one of the most pleasurable things you can ever do.

What is the most challenging part of fostering a dog?

Getting to know the dogs' personalities and what they are like and how they like to play. We want them to settle in as quickly as possible.

How do you feel when the dogs go back to their owners?

We feel sad. Our dog sulks for a day or two. But we know they are going back to someone who loves them and that makes it much easier to deal with.

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