All you need to know about short term and long term fostering. Are you that special person? Join our team.

We are often asked about what fostering entails with our dogs and cats.

How to go about it? The benefits? The difference between Long and short term fostering.

Here’s an explanation of both to see if you could be another one of our growing team of foster carers who volunteer for TCDR. These amazing people help keep our dogs out of kennels and in a loving, family environment. It’s not always an easy job, and sometimes there are tears when saying goodbye to short and long term foster dogs and cats  but it’s hugely rewarding for them and for you! There is always another foster dog or cat just around the corner waiting for the opportunity of that loving environment, which sadly for some has been too long in coming. Another reason why having our Dogs and cats in foster care is such a benefit is that we don’t own the kennels so the boarding fees swallow  the majority of our funds. TCDR is run completely be volunteers who tirelessly raise money for the upkeep and welfare of our animals. A “by product” of fostering is that we pay the dogs and cats vets fees at our chosen vets. However if saving money on vets fees is one of the reasons for fostering then you’re probably not for us. Fostering should be a passion and it is all about being in a patient, loving and empathetic home. Rescue animals may not be perfect and they may need a little work from yourselves to help them along the way. Always remember they are in our Rescue Centre through “no fault of their own”. All foster carers will need to live significantly closer than our usual re-homing 50 mile drive radius. This is for easier and faster access to our vets and us. Particularly for short term fosterers.

Short term fostering

Short term fostering is as it says, short term. That means the dog you have could be re-homed quite quickly. It could be 2 days, 2 weeks,2 months or longer. We don’t know. To apply you would need to have a talk over the phone to see if you are suitable and then you would come in for an our office in Bourne. This is followed by a homecheck to make sure your garden is secure. This also helps us decide which dogs would fit into your home and your lifestyle. We are looking for people who are not away from there home for long periods and are flexible.

The dogs for short term fostering generally have no health problems and are usually younger. Occasionally we appeal for short term foster carers if we has a dog with special needs that needs monitoring  so as to help place that dog eventually in the correct home. Sometimes they are puppies or one of the adult dogs on our website. Or they could be one suggested by us and matched up with your home environment. We ask that you are able to bring your foster dog to the kennels to see prospective new families where we will introduce them. You may be asked to do this several time before finding the right home and your in put will be taken into consideration and you can pass on the dogs likes and dislikes.

During the time you have a short term foster dog, we will pay vets fees and assist at all times.

We like to think of it as TEAM WORK!  If your foster dog requires vet treatment, we ask that you notify us before you book an appointment and that the dog or cat goes to our chosen vets who are  Burghley Vets in Stamford and Deeping St James.

This is where our animals have all their medical history.  Before a foster dog comes out to you there will be the same requirements that we have for adoption, that is an interview and a home check for adequate fencing etc.

The reason we like to put our dogs and cats into short term foster is that they always do better in a loving family environment. The foster carer can then pass on valuable information to the new adopting family…….things like how are they with other dogs, their favourite toy, do they like cats, do they sit on your knee, can they play fetch and the list goes on. We also are happy for our foster carers to send photos and videos directly to us to keep our webpage bang up to date. Also we like you to let us know how things are going ? What’s happening? Developments etc. All of which can be added to your foster dogs webpage to keep it fresh and up to date. So there’s a little bit of work your end and nice for you to take an active part in the re homing process. We always enjoy positive input from our growing team of foster carers.  If at any time time you change your mind and decide you can’t live without your foster dog or cat because you have fallen in love them you have the option to adopt with our blessing (fingers crossed you might be able to foster another along with your new adoptee!)

Lauren and Pete tell us why they short term foster for 3CDR

My partner and I have been fostering for over two years now, and have been lucky enough to be able to help nine dogs during that time. Fostering is without a doubt the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Knowing that we’ve been able to offer a dog a little bit of love, comfort and security during their time in need is priceless.

Fostering isn’t always easy and requires lots of patience. Many of the dogs that come into Three Counties Dog Rescue have had a really tough time of it and may have their own issues. Our second foster dog, a little terrier cross, was as thin as a rake and petrified when we brought him home. Watching him fill out and come out of his shell over the following days and weeks was incredibly rewarding and inspired us to carry on fostering. Saying goodbye is always difficult, but over the years we have seen the amount of work Gyll and her volunteers put into finding perfect families for their dogs so we know that they only go to the best possible homes. There are almost always tears when it’s time to say goodbye, but sending a dog off to their permanent home also means there’s space for us to bring another dog in need home.

All in all, I really can’t recommend fostering enough, and would encourage anyone to think about whether or not they’re in a position to offer short-term foster care to one of the dogs and cats at Three Counties.

Love Lauren and Pete xx

Long term fostering

Long term fostering requires the same interviews and home checks as adoption and short term fostering. The difference with long term fostering is that you will be fostering a dog or cat who has been over-looked either because they are in their twilight years or they may have special medical requirements. This is hugely rewarding because often these animals aren’t given this second chance at being part of a family and may have been ” through the mill ” so to speak! They often go on to do really well with their foster carers and bring them lots of joy and happiness, what more could you ask for. To do long term fostering you need to be a certain sort of person. This is important because it isn’t about aesthetics and cherry picking and we are very specific which dogs or cats are in need. It’s about what you can do to help that dog or cats life. The dogs and cats that are in desperate need of long term fostering are always listed on this page at the bottom of this description. We sometimes have a priority list. If you become a long term fosterer for us we do enjoy visits, e mails and pictures and you will become an important part of our team

We will be there at the end for you as well because often the older ones have the final part of their little lives with you. If you want us with you at that point, we will be, and will walk you through every stage.

Saying goodbye to your long term foster dog or cat is terribly sad but nothing is more rewarding than knowing that you made a positive difference to their lives. We have heard from our long term foster carers over and over again about how rewarding it is that these loving companions shared their lives with them and didn’t have to spend their last days in the kennels.

Again, just like short term fostering we will cover all vets fees and we ask that we are notified before appointments are made and that they go to Burghley Vets. We can provide food and we can board while you take a holiday.

Gyll will be happy to have a chat about fostering, so why not give us a call and make a difference to a dog or cat now, who through no fault of their own have found themselves being in our rescue centre.

Gyll can be contacted (Between 9:00 and 17:00 except in an emergency)  on: 01778 440318 or 07708 589792 or  email GYLL.

Dogs available for Long Term Foster are – Harrison – Skippy – Tess – Sammi  – Mia – Floyd – Flynn – Lexi – Ben


Annabel and Philip tell us why they long term foster for 3CDR.

It has only been the last 5 years that we have been in a position to actually have a dog now our children are older and we work from home. But we didn’t want to go down the route of having a puppy, for us it was about helping a dog who has the misfortune of being over looked because of age, health etc. We felt it was the right thing to do. Asthetics have never been important to us

Our first dog was our sweet Jasper who stole our hearts for ever. He had a life limiting condition most likely caused by overbreeding. Our aim was to give him quality of life because unfortunately we knew it wouldn’t be quantity. He had an amazing 13 months with us and he won everyone over who in the beginning thought we were mad dedicating so much time to keeping him well. He was approximately 2 when he died and we were with him when he took his last breath.

We now have an elderly girl called Lucy or Lumpy Lucy as we affectionately call her. She’s had a rough time and was living in a back garden with all her multiply allergies being ignored for what appears to be years.  It’s taken a while to get her sorted out, but nothing gives us more pleasure than to see her looking so well and relaxed and sometimes puppy like. Like our Jasper she has stolen our hearts and she will have been with us nearly two wonderful years.

For us Long Term Fostering is a way of life and one we won’t change. We feel blessed to have made such an obvious positive difference to our wonderful companions.

Love Annabel and Philip 🙂


Marian who provides a foster home tells us why she fosters dogs

A few years ago if someone had asked me to consider fostering I would have said “Whatever for? Either get a dog or don’t – there’s no middle course” . Sometimes it is so nice to be proved wrong. And, yes, I am also a failed fosterer who finds it very hard to let go – but I’m learning. Seeing a dog you have cared for move on to the perfect home is one of the most satisfying things I know.

What does a Three Counties Dog Rescue foster dog need? Food, love and security, in buckets. Some have been in the Charity’s kennels where they have good food and kind treatment but no loving family. Others are handed in as unwanted, dogs of all ages completely bewildered by their rejection. Some look like they haven’t eaten in a month. The best thing anyone can do for these dogs – once any medical issues have been dealt with – is to place them in a home situation, build their confidence and let them learn the boundaries of normal home life. You will also be assessing them for re-homing. What are their characters, their strengths and fears? Do they like cats? Can they live with other dogs and (perhaps most importantly) older or younger children? A dog with a “dossier” is more easily matched to a perfect home. Any problems can be discussed with Gyll or with the Charity’s vets (and of course all veterinary care is paid for by the Charity).

I foster for the same reason I adopt rescue dogs: – the sheer pleasure of watching an animal fill out, relax, get a shine on its coat and a swagger in its step. Dogs can be hard work but they are very rewarding. I would recommend fostering to anyone with a warm heart and a sense of humour.

Three Counties Dog Rescue desperately needs more fosterers to give its dogs a better chance of life. Could you help?