Fostering – some hard facts

Please read the following short introduction to the reality of being a foster carer.

Fostering a pug – or any dog – is not at all like having your friend’s dogs to stay.  It is an unknown dog coming into your home. In reality, fostering is harder than adopting, as you can stipulate what sort of pug you would like to adopt, but this is difficult – if not impossible – with foster pugs.

Pugs are surrendered for a number of reasons ranging from partnership breakdowns, changes to work, pregnancy or newly arrived baby, moving to rented accommodation where pets are not allowed, owners unable to meet financial needs, or that they simply don’t have time for the pug any more.

Many have been passed from pillar to post, possibly having been bought from back street breeders on the Internet, and their history will remain forever unknown.

Surrendering owners are not always honest about the reasons for giving up their pug, so a pug declared to be healthy could have health issues. House training may not be as you are expecting, as there are owners who believe “accidents” are normal. Likewise regarding behavioural issues, a surrendering owner may be very economical with the truth. In short, you will have no idea what to expect when a pug is surrendered until the pug is in your home and he/she has been vet checked.

All foster pugs need a vet check as soon as practicable. Many pugs are unvaccinated, are not microchipped, and some are un-neutered. Some will need a dental operation. Some have skin conditions, including fleas. Some are obese, requiring strict diet and exercise. You will find yourself having to take a foster pug to the vet on several occasions. Of course PDWRA cover the vet costs and any transport costs.

PDWRA do need more foster homes, as there are an increasing amount of pugs being surrendered. It can be a tough and time consuming job, so please think carefully if you want to go ahead. PDWRA will give you a lot of support and help from the Area Co-ordinator, Trustees and fellow fosterers and volunteers.

If you feel that fostering is too much of a commitment, but would still like to help with transport, collection or even short term foster e.g. overnight, PDWRA would very much appreciate your help. PDWRA values all volunteers in whichever area they can help us.

On the plus side, fostering can be hugely rewarding, when rather neglected pugs blossom with good care and veterinary attention. It is heart warming to see a pug go into his or her new home where the adopters may have been waiting for some time for their pug.

PDWRA have a Facebook page for proud parents, so fosterers can share pictures and stories of foster pugs enjoying life to the full. This page is kept confidential for obvious reasons, and only fosterers who have passed their homecheck will be invited to join.