Introduction to Havanese Rescue, Inc.’s Foster to Adopt Program
First, some acronyms:
HRI = Havanese Rescue, Inc. = non-profit focused on rescuing Havanese or Havanese mixes from shelters, puppy mills, and owners who need help to re-home their dog
F2A Program = Foster-to-Adopt Program = an adoptive home that first acts as a foster home with intent to adopt a specific rescue dog or dogs
SC = State Contact, the HRI representative in charge of all rescue dogs in a particular state. The SC is the F2A home’s “go to” person for questions and situations that arise with their F2A dog. The SC will direct the F2A home in all aspects of fostering and adopting through HRI.
What is the Foster to Adopt Program?
HRI’s F2A Program is designed to place a foster dog needing surgery or treatment, ie. spay or neuter surgery, in his permanent home while he receives treatment. The F2A Program has also evolved to give an adopter the opportunity to foster a rescue dog first, to determine if that particular rescue dog is a good fit with the adopter’s family and/or current dog(s). The goal for a F2A home is to adopt the dog that they foster. Please be aware that an HRI rescue dog is the property of HRI until the adoption is approved by HRI and is complete.
What are the steps involved in being a F2A home?
- HRI’s policy is that all rescue dogs must be fostered for a minimum of two weeks. After that, it depends on the dog’s behavioral evaluation and medical needs. An example of a situation that might require a longer foster period is a young dog that needs to be spayed or neutered. In this case, adoption would not be completed until after the dog has recovered from this procedure.
- F2A homes must sign the Volunteer/Foster Contracts, and these signed contracts must be in the possession of a HRI representative before a dog can be placed in foster care at that home. Both contracts must be signed. The contracts outline responsibilities, ownership, and legalities.
- F2A homes have their four references checked, plus a vet reference check, if they have one. All get a home evaluation and are approved by aHRI committee.
- Once approved, the F2A home is ready to receive a rescue dog. The SC will match an incoming rescue dog with the appropriate F2A home. A F2A home may refuse a dog if they do not believe the dog will fit into their situation or skill level.
- F2A homes will need to make and keep a veterinary appointment or appointments (if necessary), fill out the Comprehensive Dog Record, observe the dog for any unacceptable behavior, and frequently communicate with their SC for assistance, advice, and guidance.
- F2A homes are expected to work on basic training with the dog they are fostering, to include walking well on a leash, house training, and basic commands.
- F2A homes are required to write up a short narrative and take a few digital photos of their foster dog to be posted to HRI’s web site.
- F2A homes are expected to donate the financial request that is determined by HRI when adopting their foster dog.
- Once a F2A home is ready to adopt their foster dog, an Adoption Committee will review and approve the adoption per HRI guidelines. Once approved, the F2A home is required to sign the Adoption Contract and return the signed form to their SC.
How do I become part of the F2A Program?
Simply click the box in front of Foster To Adopt on your Adoption Application. The SC for your state will contact you. Please discuss any questions or concerns you might have with the SC.
What’s in it for me?
The first grooming and veterinary visits are paid for by HRI. Additional veterinary appointments and medications or surgeries, if indicated and approved by HRI, are also covered by HRI while the dog is in foster care. Once the F2A dog is adopted the grooming and veterinary costs transfer to the adopter. The F2A Program is a great way to begin your potential adoption if you already have a dog and don’t know how your dog will adjust to another dog in the house, or if you are not sure another dog is something you can handle.
As a F2A home, you will be keeping a rescue dog out of a shelter, giving him or her a soft place to land, and giving him or her the love they deserve rather than a cage.
What if I don’t want to adopt the dog I foster?
Remember that the goal of our F2A program is to place a dog needing a home with the fewest interruptions. It's very important to have all of the facts and thoughtful consideration given before a dog is placed in a F2A home. If, for whatever reason, the F2A dog does not work out in your situation, you are not obligated to adopt the F2A dog. If the dog is doing well in your home, we may ask that you foster the dog until a permanent home is found. If that’s not possible, then your SC will find a second foster home for the dog. Your SC will work with you and the second foster home to set up a transfer of the rescue dog, all supplies, and records.
Can I become a foster home after I F2A?
Yes! If you enjoy your experience of fostering a F2A dog, please let your SC know so that he/she can work with HRI’s Volunteer Committee to get you signed up and approved as a full-fledged foster home volunteer. You can find more information about fostering here.
Why did HRI develop the F2A Program?
Like all rescue organizations, HRI is always looking for good foster homes for its rescue dogs. In the case of a dog needing prolonged veterinary care, for example, spaying or neutering, the F2A Program allows the dog to be in its permanent home while it receives treatment. Occasionally, the F2A Program is used to bridge the gap between not having an available foster home and a person who might want to adopt a particular dog. It’s a good situation for the dog, since it only has to be placed in one foreign environment, rather than two (a foster home and then a “forever” home).
I am in the F2A Program, and have found a dog through another rescue organization, shelter, or family friend. Can I go ahead and adopt that dog?
Yes. Please let your SC know if you’d like to remain in the F2A Program or not. If you do, an additional home visit may be required prior to a HRI rescue dog being placed with you.
I am in the F2A Program, and there is a dog on your web site that I want to adopt! Can I get that dog?
Possibly. Please let your SC know if you see another HRI rescue dog you are interested in. Adopters are selected based on the dog’s needs, so if you are found to be the best match for the dog you are interested in, it’s likely you will be selected to adopt that particular dog. The fact that your references have already been checked and your home evaluation completed is something that will work in your favor!