HOW DO I TELL IF MY FOSTER DOG FITS IN WITH MY LIFESTYLE?
One of the main reasons why we offer this program is to ensure the perfect match for both animals and humans. We do everything possible to match our rescue animals and hopeful pet parents with their forever furry friends! Some food for thought...
If you’re fostering a Border Collie that needs constant, day-long exercise and mental stimulation, and you work from a desk for eight hours of your day and live a sedentary life, this may not be your dog. Similarly, if you’re an outdoorsy person, and you want a dog that can keep up with your hikes and adventures, a Miniature Pinscher is probably not for you.
This isn’t to dissuade you from adoption, as many people change their lifestyles to accommodate their new forever friend, but please be realistic with yourself on what a dog’s needs are, and what you are willing to sacrifice!
You might fall in love with your Border Collie foster, and be invigorated by all the time you end up spending outside, but three or four months down the line when it’s the dead of winter and they are tearing at your throw pillows because you can’t step away from a zoom call to take them outside in the freezing cold for another round of agility training, then you might be wishing you’d reconsidered.
For this reason, we offer our Foster-To-Adopt program so the dog has enough time to decompress and be exposed to your environments/lifestyle. Maybe you've discovered after the decompression period (minimum 2 weeks) that the boat you go on every weekend, your foster-to-adopt dog hates! This could be your deal breaker and we never want to stress the dog or the pet parent! We will help you with your search and start again! :)
WHAT IS A FOSTER-TO-ADOPT AKA FTA PROGRAM?
An FTA or Foster-To-Adopt program is when we have the opportunity to intake a particular dog, know enough about them from our trusted network of rescue partners and believe they are ready for adoption. The dog enters the approved FTA parent's household with the intent to adopt after the decompression/foster period.
TBBR DOES NOT do blind adoptions! Blind adoptions are when the adopter have finalized adoption before meeting the dog.
The reason we do not do blind adoptions and strongly encourages all hopeful rescue pet parents to apply as fosters first and to indicate on their application that they are interested in our FTA program with a description of their future forever pup.
We have found that jumping straight to adoption without any time to get to know the dog — either by fostering the dog yourself, or adopting a TBBR dog after the mandatory decompression period — can be a recipe for a high number of surrenders.
For the first two weeks of your FTA experience, all costs associated with the dog are covered by us. This includes all foster package supplies, food, vetting, etc. If you're still needing more time but think this may be your forever furry friend, please contact your Canine Coordinator to discuss the next steps!
WHERE IS THE BARKING BILLBOARD RESCUE LOCATED?
The Barking Billboard Rescue is a non-profit, foster/adoption focused rescue based in the downtown core of Toronto.
WHERE ARE THE RESCUE ANIMALS FROM?
The dogs that enter our care come from Northern Canada, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Southern Texas and California.
To learn more about why we rescue from these particular zones, please visit our About Me page!
AM I GUARENTEED TO BECOME THE ADOPTER IF I FOSTER-TO-ADOPT A PARTICULAR DOG?
We DO NOT do blind adoptions, therefor we do not guarentee you our FTAs either. Our FTA program is simply a trial run with all expenses paid for by TBBR in order to ensure the perfect match for all parties involved.
We understand the excitment, but we have also been in the position ourselves where an adoption was processed quickly before the dog was ready.
Our goal for our FTA program is to eliminate surrenders, returns and euthanzing from a disconnected match and are MORE than happy to be patient with you while you discoer is this is your forever furry family member.
ARE WE A MATCH?
A lot (and we mean a LOT) of people will tell you the same thing when talking about how they met their forever dog. Over and over you’ll hear “when you know, you know.” So much so, that one of our partners, the podcast Tiny Gremlin Dog, did their first 3 episodes about it.
That’s why we encourage many adopters to foster first! It gives you and the pup a chance to suss out the situation and really get a sense of whether this could be the right fit. That being said, having a forever dog is very different from having a foster. Our mission has always been to help people find their forever furry friend within rescue and that’s why we love love LOVE and encourage a foster fail.
We’ve set up our rescue program to help future pet parents find their forever friend. We are strong advocates for foster fails, in fact we WANT you to foster first. If you’re planning to adopt, make a note of it in your foster application, and let your Canine Coordinator know before intake. We want you to use the time fostering to get to know the dog, and make sure that it’s a right fit.
Some people know right away that a dog is right for them, and others need more time to suss out the dynamic. There’s no right way to know if a dog is your forever dog, but when thinking of adopting your foster, keep in mind some of the more common reasons for surrender after adoption and be open and honest with yourself.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BE A FOSTER-TO-ADOPT PARENT?
TBBR is by your side every step of the way and cover the food, fitted harness, martingale and vetting during this time! It is the responsibility of the applicant to purchase all the required/mandatory supplies such as a crate, bedding, leash and training supplies. All approved applicants will be given their designated TBB Canine Coordinator followed with a deposit of 50% of the adoption fee request, FTA liability form prior to the foster period. Once signed and submitted, we'll provide you with our FTA on-boarding package and provide you with all of the information needed to enter your hopeful forever furry friend into your home. Your TBB Canine Coordinator will check in with you regularly to see how things are going and if you're considering moving forward with adoption!
WILL MY FOSTER-TO-ADOPT DOG GET ALONG WITH OTHERS?
Enrolling into our FTA program is extreamly similar to our foster program. The reason for fostering is to discover the dog and understand who they are and what the best environment/owner is best for them. Therefor, we cannot guarentee that your foster dog will get along with everyone!
Engagement training on the other hand, can make leaps and bounds when it comes to reactivity and an aversion to strangers. But when your partner asks you to move in with them and suddenly you’re finding your Doxie attacking their ankles and growling at any slight movement, you’ll have wished you had checked in. Make sure you know that anyone who is important and a constant in your life, both human and animal, can coexist with your dog.
I LIVE IN A CONDO, CAN I STILL FOSTER-TO ADOPT?
Definitely! TBB launched to showcase that there are rescue dogs available for adoption in the downtown core of Toronto. We love having our fosters, FTAs and adopters reside in the city either it be in a townhouse, home, condo or apartment.
With that said, we do understand not every dog is going to do well in this setting. Downtown can be a lot for a skittish foster. If after the first 3 days you find this to be an issue, please contact your Canine Coordinator immediately so we can triage the situation.
CAN I BRING MY FOSTER-TO-ADOPT DOG TO THE COTTAGE WITH ME?
We highly recommend for our foster-to-adopt parents to show our rescue dogs as many environments as possible, but only once they have settled in and are ready for an adventure. Typically, overnight stays in a new environment can begin around the 3 week mark when engagement training has been thoroughly conducted.
Please contact your Canine Coordinator to develop a plan of action for any away trips you want to bring your foster on!
CAN I STILL FOSTER-TO-ADOPT IF I DON'T HAVE A CAR?
Of course! Foster-to-adopt humans are responsible for taking their potential forever furry friend to our partnering vet appointments located in Corktown/Canary before the adoption is processed.
If you're a downtowner and use the streetcar line, this is about a 5 minute ride and drive from Union Station. If you don’t have a friend who drives, or you are reluctant to bring a dog to their appointment via public transit, Uber also offers an “Uber Pet” option that allows dogs to ride with you.
Always plan ahead, but if a ride falls through, or you find yourself stuck, reach out to our network via our Facebook group for support.
CAN I STILL FOSTER-TO-ADOPT IF I HAVE OTHER ANIMALS IN THE HOME?
Definitely! Within our foster application we have a whole section dedicated to resident pets in order to match you and your pets with the perfect foster-to-adopter.
IF I REALIZE THAT MY FTA DOG ISN'T FOR ME, IS IT HARD TO LET GO OF THE DOG AT THE END?
The short answer: every time.
The long answer: A lot of people assume this is the most difficult part of fostering, but watching a foster dog find their forever home is also the reason we do it and can be the most rewarding moment of the entire foster journey. If you’re doing your job right, not only will that foster leave you a thousand times happier than they were, you will also teach them how to trust and love. We want you to fall in love with your foster, and we want you to connect with them. You’re teaching them what love and connection feels like, and that’s a crucial part of a successful foster period. So, yes, it’s incredibly difficult to feel the emptiness of your home once your foster leaves, but it is an incredibly bittersweet feeling. We’ve found that little rituals marking each pup’s last day in your home can help you transition from foster-brain back into your usual routine.
One foster liked to take polaroid portraits of each dog and stick them on a specific wall in her room to commemorate each foster passing through. One couple on TikTok would do a dog-safe ink print of their paw and frame those on their adoption day. Local vendor and advocate Sam Casey started her company One Dog Co. because she commemorated each of her fosters with a specific, hand-sewn bandana.
Finding your own creative way to commemorate your foster dog can help give you closure and celebrate your journey together!
OK...I'VE DISCOVERED THAT THIS IS MY FOREVER FURRY FRIEND! WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Please let your Canine Coordinator know so we can get the process started and transition you from foster to forever. Once your adoption liability form is submitted, our team will schedule a meeting with you and discuss the next steps!
WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE IS NEEDED TO BECOME A FOSTER-TO-ADOPT PARENT?
No experience is needed! All of our foster-to-adopt humans will be enrolled in an extensive training program to make sure you and your home are ready to take on the tiny dog-shaped tornado taking a pit stop at your house for the next 3+ weeks. We want to provide you with the tools you need — both physically and mentally — to lead your foster dog seamlessly from their life, to their forever home. It’s you who provides the training, stimulation, and love to these pups.
WHAT SUPPLIES ARE PROVIDED FOR ME AS A FOSTER-TO-ADOPT PARENT?
TBBR is by your side every step of the way and cover the food, fitted harness, martingale and vetting during this time! It is the responsibility of the applicant to purchase all the required/mandatory supplies such as a crate, bedding, leash and training supplies.
I HAVE KIDS, AM I STILL AN ACCEPTABLE APPLICANT?
Of course! Fostering/FTA/adopting a rescue animal is an opportunity that should be open to families of all shapes and sizes. In order to match your foster-to-adopter with your family as best as possible, please provide as much detail about your family and home within your foster application.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE PLANS AND REQUIRE A SITTER?
Our rescue program has been thoughtfully organized to provide the best of care for not only our dogs, but for our foster and foster-to-adopt parents as well and it really takes a village sometimes. For this reason, we have a specialized program for our fosters and FTAs called "The Puppy Sitter's Club". We understand that life exists beyond fostering, and the Puppy Sitter’s Club is there to help!
UNFORTUNATELY, THIS ISN'T MY FOREVER FURRY FRIEND BUT THEY ARE READY TO FIND THEIR PERFECT MATCH! WHAT DO I DO NOW?
We will now begin promoting the dog as an available adoptable. Once the dog has an adoption pending, your Canine Coordinator will arrange a meeting between the foster parents, the potential adopters, all family members in the adoptive home, yourself and of course the foster dog!
We absolutely love having TBBR foster parents apart of this provess, and gives you the chance to provide feedback on whether you think it’s a good fit. It’s also an opportunity to answer questions they may have and for you to offer any advice!
Meet and greets will be scheduled by your Canine Coordinator and conducted in person at a location that works for all parties.
Please keep in mind that TBBR pre-screen applicants before we schedule a meet and greet. So if you have a friend, family member or co-worker who wants to adopt your foster dog, please contact your Canine Coordinator and have your interested adopters submit our adoption application.
After a meet and greet with a potential adopter, please share your feedback with us — we will take your thoughts and insight into consideration in selecting the best home for your foster dog. After all, you live with them!
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DISCOVER THAT THE DOG IS NOT A GOOD FIT FOR MY HOME?
Unfortunately, sometimes this happens, but we've been here before and pride ourselves on being a supportive network of rescuers. Please let your Canine Coordinator know at the earliest convenience so we can find another placement for the dog in a more suitable area.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A FOSTER-TO-ADOPT PARENT WITH THE BARKING BILLBOARD RESCUE?
The Barking Billboard highly recommends for those who reside within GTA to apply to become TBB fosters and foster-to-adopters. Becoming an approved foster or FTA with TBB enables us to plan future intakes and save more dogs. However, to foster with us, you must…
- Be 21 years old or older
- Live in a home that allows pets, including foster pets
- Read through the entirety of our foster manual and partake in the TBB foster training program
- Be available to take time off / work from home for at least three full days after intake
- Provide your foster dog with daily engagement training games/walks
- Crate train your foster dog for the duration of their time in your home
Invest time in training to equip them with basic commands (e.g., sit, stay, recall, etc…)
Accompany your foster dog to ALL vet appointments
- Provide written updates, pictures and videos to your Canine Coordinator
- Promote your foster dog on social media
- Participate in meet & greets with potential adopters
- Attend TBB adoption/fundraising events with your foster dog
CAN I TAKE MY FOSTER-TO-ADOPT DOG TO THE DOG PARK?
Simply put-no we do not allow you to bring your foster-to-adopt to a dog park. If you decide to use a dog park, we require you to cover all costs if any incidents occur. Our reason for this is the ol' saying "better safe than sorry". Our goal is to ensure our foster and foster-to-adopt dogs are safe at all times where unforutunately, scary incidences to occue at dog parks.
Once your adoption has been processed, we will be provide you the support needed in order to encourage loss prevention and public injuries through our adoption program.
CAN I STILL FOSTER-TO-ADOPT IF I HAVE OTHER PETS IN THE HOME?
Definitely! Within our foster application we have a whole section dedicated to resident pets in order to match you and your pets with the perfect foster.
I LIVE OUTSIDE OF THE GTA, CAN I STILL FOSTER-TO-ADOPT?
Sure! Our vet clinic is located downtown Toronto, so if you're willing to drive the distance for we would love to help you find your forever furry friend!
HOW DO I KNOW IF I CAN PROVIDE FOR MY POTENTIAL FOSTER FAIL FINANCIALLY?
Ask yourself the following:
Does your foster dog have any medical, physical and behavioural properties that are more than you bargained for? Dogs are not cheap, and while you might be able to afford an adoption fee and the predicted monthly cost of a dog, are you in a financial position to afford an emergency trip to the vet, or the fees of a board-and-train session if your dog shows new signs of reactivity?
Sit down with yourself and think honestly about your future. If this dog is reactive to other dogs, doggy daycare or a kennel won’t be an option if you’d like to travel without them. If this dog is reactive to strangers, you likely won’t be able to have a sitter, or a dog walker on your support team if work gets busy, or you switch jobs. If this dog has separation anxiety, you will need to keep an eye on your watch every time you go out, and maybe late nights out aren’t going to be accessible to you anymore.
Consider what is non-negotiable in your life, and think practically about where this foster fits into that. Think also about what potential changes might be too difficult for you, especially as your dog ages and vet trips become more frequent. In some cases, you may be making an 18 year long commitment. A lot can change in that time, so be certain that you are ready, and willing to change, grow and adapt with the creature in your life.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THIS IS REALLLLYYYY MY FOREVER FURRY FRIEND?
As a team of foster fails, we have all asked ourselves "how will I feel if I don’t have this dog with me anymore?" No matter what, the foster dog in your arms will be placed in a loving home, whether it’s yours or another adopters. It can be confusing, especially when you haven’t fostered before, to identify the difference between forever-love and foster-love.
Almost every foster, no matter how long or how many times they’ve done it, feels the pang of “stay with me” when they think of their current foster moving out. Looking practically at your life and the needs of the foster can help clear your mind and making a good old fashion pros-and-cons list can definitely help.
At the end of the day, however, it really is a “when you know you know” feeling. The only person who knows is you. Some people liken it to finding a “soulmate.” Beyond the practical aspects, when you look in the face of your foster, ask yourself: if I don’t adopt this dog, how will I feel tomorrow? How will I feel in two weeks? How will I feel in a few months? How about in a year? How about in 10 years? When you pictured yourself with a dog, was it this one? When you’re sitting with them, do you feel like you’re dogsitting for someone, or do you think “this is exactly right?”
When you picture them at their happiest, and most fulfilled life, is it with you? There are plenty of reasons why a dog may be your dog, and the decision to adopt is incredibly personal. Knowing that you could provide as much joy and companionship to them, as they could to you is the first step in finding the right fit.
OK... I KNOW FOR SURE THAT THIS IS MY FOREVER FURRY FRIEND. NOW WHAT?
After you've considered your lifestyle, imminent breakups or children, how you’ll feel in 10 years, what you’ll do financially and practically for your dog, and you know you would be the best fit for this pup.
Hooray! You’re ready for adoption! We love this for you! Please fill out and submit the adoption application, and let your Canine Coordinator know you're interested in adopting your FTA so we can get the process started and transition you from foster to forever. Once your application is submitted, our team will schedule a meeting with you.
The application process, and subsequent interview is a necessary thing even if you submitted your foster application as part of our FTA program. We know you love your foster, and you can feel as if you’re the perfect fit. Most of the time, we are in total agreement with you. There are times, however, where this may not be the case. More often than not, if you aren’t approved to adopt your current foster, or another dog in our care, we will work diligently to find you the right fit! There are lots of dogs to be saved, so don’t worry if it doesn’t work out the first time (or few times) for whatever reasons!
If you’re a foster in good standing with TBB, we are absolutely dedicated to finding you the exact right fit for you. Feel free to check in on our website, or with our Executive Assistant to make a game plan for you!
I HAVE MORE FOSTER-TO-ADOPT QUESTIONS, WHERE CAN I CONTACT SOMEONE?
We'd love to hear from you! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for one of our volunteers to answer your inquiries!
WHAT IS TBBR’S ADOPTION FEE?
Puppies under 6 months $950 + tax Dogs over 6 months $850 + tax *If a dog is adopted under the age of 3 months and is not altered, an additional $100 deposit is required. Please note this deposit is refundable upon completion of spay/neuter (proof of surgery is required). More explained during the adoption process.