Pay It Forward
By now, most of us have
seen this movie. It touched many hearts
and we all thought it was a great idea, though many walked away wondering how
to apply it themselves. The Heart of
Texas Labrador Rescue has an idea for you: become a foster parent for a sweet,
The Heart of Texas Lab
Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
dedicated to rescuing Labrador Retrievers in the central
“What is fostering?” you ask. Well, let me tell you… It is opening your home
and heart to a rescue dog in need of a temporary home until we can find the right
forever-home for each individual dog.
“How long does it last?” We have need for both short term and longer term fostering. Short term fostering is generally a weekend or a weeklong thing. These are situations where for example, we have a dog we just claimed and placed with a long term foster but for some reason or another is not working out. Well, obviously, we need to get that dog someplace else while we figure out what to do. Or, for example, a foster family is going out of town for Christmas…and needs to put the foster lab some place during that time. Long term fostering is generally until we can find a suitable forever home (average of about 8-10 weeks).
“What am I responsible for?” We ask that the foster parents please provide a good quality dog food. We also would like the foster home to give the dog some basic training, ie. housebreaking, sit, and leash manners…anything to make the dog more appealing. HOTLR will manage the veterinary care and generally any extenuating training situations. HOTLR also provides a crate for the dog, so the foster can limit the puppy damage of an untrained lab youngster.
“What kind of dogs are these? Are they aggressive?” Well, we certainly hope NOT. HOTLR evaluates the dogs prior to agreeing to claim the dogs. Many come from local shelters and are either strays or were given up by their previous owners for many reasons. The main issues we have with these dogs are that they have little to no training and they are generally attention starved. Some might have health issues such as heartworm positive tests. We treat these dogs and then try to get them placed. Some are older; some are young and silly still. These dogs, as a rule, are very good-natured dogs that just need to learn how to live with a family…they truly deserve some love and attention. HOTLR will NEVER knowingly accept a dog that has bitten someone or shows any signs of aggression.
“What special things do I need to have in order to foster?” If you have a love of dogs, a bit of extra love and time to spend with a needy dog, a fence, and you are willing to allow the dog to be part of your life for a while...including sleeping inside…we would love to have you apply to foster a lab in rescue. It is not necessary to devote hours a day to the dog; often times, just having the dog near you satisfies many of them ...especially our older rescues.
“Why should I foster?” There are many reasons to foster a dog…first and foremost the opportunity to save a life. These dogs are special and our foster families do grow attached! Our foster families know when the dog meets its new family how special it is for that dog to have a place of its own. This is also a great opportunity to teach your kids about the responsibilities of pet ownership as well as what happens to dogs who are not wanted and how they can make a difference.
“What if I get attached?” Short answer…all of our foster families do! Most have decided that they want to save several lives rather than just one and choose to let the dog move on so that they can then help another dog. Falling for the dog just gives another indication that he was worth saving! Our long term fosters have discovered how rewarding it is to get pictures and email updates from the new families. These happy moments make it worthwhile to foster again and again. Even the ones who only foster one time have said that it is a great experience and was awesome when their foster dog found its forever home!
“How do I begin?” You can complete our Volunteer/Foster application online at www.hotlabrescue.org. If you do not have internet access, call 512-259-5810 and leave your name, phone number and address and let us know that you would like an application to foster. We will gladly drop one in the mail. We look forward to hearing from you!