Foundation of Animal Protection in Füzesabony - Fostering
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Monday, 06 August 2012

Fostering a FAPF dog Image


First of all, thank you so much for fostering a FAPF dog! This means a great deal to us and, of course, the animals. For each dog that is fostered we are able to save a new dog, so you really are helping the project more than you know! Without foster homes, FAPF would not be able to work.

What is fostering?

Fostering is basically looking after an animal as if it were your own until it is ready to travel to its new home. It means you give it all the love, care and attention that you would a dog that belonged to you. However, when fostering a dog it is important to remember that you, in essence, are taking care of someone else’s animal. This means that even if you have your own ideas regarding how a dog of your own should be treated/trained/fed etc. it is important to realize that these methods might not be agreeable to the animals new owner, and more importantly the animal itself, so we ask that you please follow basic learning principles; positive reinforcement for good behavior (treats, praise etc) and refrain from punishment of negative behavior but rather ignore it and guide the dog into the behavior you desire.

Our dogs are either rescued directly from the streets (this is the most common) or they are rescued from a place where they neglected or abused them. We know very little about the previous life of most of them. However, our experience is that they adapt extremely well to their new fostering environment. That said, they obviously they need patient guidance in the beginning to show them how things function in our world.
 

 
Are you interested in fostering a dog for FAPF? Here is what you need to know!

 

How do you match us with an animal?

FAPF has several questions we will ask you based on nearly 10 years of experience rescuing and placing animals in foster homes. These questions are designed to help us match new volunteers with the right animal. While there are several factors that are unpredictable, like how a dog reacts to being relocated to the city, for instance, we do try our best to make sure the ingredients are there to try and ensure success.  Of course, we want our foster parents happy, but it is very important that our animals do not have to change homes often. This can cause more stress for them after an already traumatic life with each change potentially setting them back in their development. 

What if the animal I have received does not suit me or my lifestyle for some reason?

Sometimes, things go awry and an animal needs to be relocated to another foster home or taken to a kennel nearby. Since we are all volunteers with full time jobs and other obligations, we ask that you give the Foundation as much notice as possible that the animal needs to be returned. The kennels are often full so we need to find an open place in one of our partner locations. They are not located in the city so we need to coordinate a driver with the kennel and the foster parent. Often, it is very detrimental to send a dog who has been in fostering back to a kennel life, so we need time to advertise them for a new foster home (there are no kennels for cats). Also, due to the animal’s own history or temperament, change can be very difficult. They need time to settle in and show their true personalities. Many of our dogs are absolutely overwhelmed by the smells, noise and chaos of the city and are terrified to go outside at first. Or because they are afraid, they react defensively to things that scare them like bicyclists or other dogs. Some cats can hide for days. The animals we rescue rarely arrive into fostering in “pet” condition, they need to be rehabilitated into more normal behavior.  For this reason, we ask foster parents to give them at least a week to settle in and adjust before deciding if they are a good fit or not. We’re not going to lie, the first 4-5 days can be very overwhelming for the humans too. It’s important to go into the fostering experience with a realistic perspective. Many of our dogs have never lived in a city, never lived in a house, have never been shown kindness or given food and attention regularly. They need compassion and patience but they will come around if given the chance.

What if circumstances change and I can no longer foster the animal as planned?

Life happens. Things change. We understand that but it’s very complicated to move animals around at the last minute. FAPF needs at least a week, when possible, to find another solution for the animal. If it is an emergency situation, contact your point person at FAPF and they will do their best to solve it ASAP.

How long does it usually take before a dog is adopted?

Change happens very fast in this line of work. Someone can see a dog’s advertisement and adopt them on the spot. Others linger in the rescue because they are a difficult breed to re-home, are black, older, have issues, or just have not been advertised effectively with attractive pictures and video to promote them. Probably the average time is about 2 months? If you would like to see your foster animal rehomed quickly, there are many things only you can do to help the process. First of all, help the animal recover from their past and be the best that they can be. For dogs, this means teaching them manners (no begging, no jumping, etc), basic commands (sit, leave it, wait, etc), and taking them to see how they do with cats or kids. We have volunteers within the foster parent community have have experience and who will help you organize these meetings. For cats, sometimes they need time to learn to trust again. We also have a group of volunteer photographers and translators to help you promote your animals. Great pictures are worth a thousand words. Animals without up-to-date photos and videos often stay in the rescue far too long. The more balanced your animal becomes and the more advertising/marketing you help with, the better their chances are to find their perfect family quickly. 

Do I have to pay for food or supplies?

If you can afford to sponsor your foster pet’s food or to buy supplies, it is greatly appreciated but not necessary. FAPF understands that many of our volunteers also live on a tight budget and they will provide the basic necessities. Your time, patience and affectionate care of the animal is all that is required.

Are the animals vaccinated? Neutered?

All animals who come into the rescue are to be fully vaccinated, micro-chipped, neutered and will have a passport ready for travel when the time comes to go to their forever home. However, while the vaccines are always a first priority to avoid deadly diseases like Parvo, sometimes an animal has to wait until they are healthy or of the right age to be neutered. As soon as they can safely have the surgery, the Foundation will schedule them with the affiliated veterinarian for the rescue.

Who arranges and pays for the animal’s medical care?

Foster parents are welcome to sponsor an animal’s medical care but FAPF is fully prepared to pay for all medical related expenses. You will be given de-wormer and anti-flea medicine to apply when needed. We do ask you to be available to meet the driver who will pick them up and take them to FAPF’s vet. We do try to have all care take place with the same veterinarian due to cost and the complexity of managing the care of so many animals. FAPF also has volunteers who act as medical assistants in Budapest. They are familiar with general care such as cleaning ears and dressing wounds. They are available to support the foster parents by appointment.

What do we do with the animal when we travel or have to be away from home for long hours?

FAPF has been developing a foster parent network of support. We have a Facebook group and other forums where foster parents can make a post asking for help with babysitting. Often another foster parent will offer to help, but if no one is available after making an ad and asking around, FAPF will arrange for a spot in the kennels or try to help you find someone within the volunteer community.

Can I take my foster dog home to my country with me over the holidays?

Often the answer is yes, but rules are constantly changing from country to country so it is best if you talk to your FAPF point person to find out if you are eligible.

Who do I contact if I have a problem?

You will have two numbers: Zsanett Molnar who is the managing director of FAPF and your own point person.  You will be given advice on what to do in an emergency, during medical issues, and just to discuss the dog’s progress or development while in your care should you decide to foster an animal for FAPF.

Any more questions?

New foster parents often have many questions. Here we have tried to answer the most common ones. If you have more, please ask! We are all volunteers so we depend upon open and clear communication within the FAPF community to keep the important work of the Foundation moving forward. 

Thank you for your interest in fostering an animal for our organization. We look forward to hearing more from you and hope to work with you in the near future!

Sincerely,

The FAPF Team


 Length of fostering


For adoption to Norway a dog must have its rabies vaccination followed by minimum 21 days "incubation period". During the fostering period we want to learn as much as possible about the dog, be it good or bad, in order to find the most suitable owner for it in Norway. Adopters go through quite a rigorous screening process with questions, several email correspondences and photographs.

When the dog first goes into a foster-home and it has not yet been adopted to a family we always say that if you decide that you want to keep the dog, please let us know as soon as possible. Some students would like to "foster and potentially adopt". If this is the case, please let me know when the dog goes into fostering with you by indicating it on the foster parent info sheet! THE ADOPTION FEE - IN CASE YOU WANT TO ADOPT YOUR FOSTER DOG - IS 30.000 HUF WHICH IS A CONTRIBUTION TO ALL THE COST THESE NEGLECTED DOGS COME WITH, MOSTLY VETERINARIAN COST.

The dogs need to be driven from Füzesabony to Budapest which is a 120 km distance so I every time I have to work very hard to get someone to help me with driving a dog from my place to the capital. It is very important that you are at home at the time agreed because people doing me a favor to drive my dogs to the foster homes and it is very hard to find a volunteer for this job.

After the dog has been in fostering for a while and we have gotten to know its personality then we start considering him/her for adoption. It can be also the case that there is already a serious interest for the adoption of a specific dog but we want to make sure that the dog’s behavior is well known also in a home environment, living in a flat, in the city, with all the stimulus it comes with for the dog.

Some of our dogs are advertised but more and more people contact us now regardless of advertising. If we have a potential owner for your dog we will let you know.

Health

In addition to our dogs being vaccinated according to Norwegian law we also do a routine screening for Borrelia(Lyme), Babesia(also tickborne) and Diro/Microfilaria (heartworm) because these are endemic in Hungary and non-existent in Norway.

It is important that in case of a positive result of any of these tests the treatment plan is followed (antibiotics) and also that the dogs anti tick/flea collar/spot-on is updated regularly and this is your responsibility. The financial part is covered by FAPF but any contribution from your part is highly appreciated.

In case of your fostered dog falls ill or he/she faces some health issues or you are just concerned about something please contact me first! Then after getting to know the problem I can direct you to the right vet I am work with. It is very important that you don’t use other vets than the ones I am in contact with if FAPF is paying the bill! Your responsibility is not financial, FAPF has an open account at the vets I am in contact with and I am paying the bills when I receive them by post. Your only responsibility is to inform me if the dog is facing some health issues and then to take the dog to the vet for treatment. FAPF can not afford to pay taxi bills so please try to resolve the transport of the dog to the clinic by public transport. Naturally in exceptional cases and when it is discussed in advanced we can find the way to drive the dog to the clinic or pay for a taxi as the last resort if necessary.

Note: all the dogs are vaccinated and microchiped when they travel to their foster homes. The majority is also sterilized, mainly puppies could be exceptions.

I will send you character assessment forms and other relevant stuff regularly, please do try to return them asap. Also very importantly, if there are behavioral issues or other relevant issues you are dealing with, you must tell me because it all plays a part in finding the right home for your foster dog and the more detailed information I get about your dog, the more efficiently I can find him/her a perfect home! Image

I want to emphasize the importance of keeping me updated on your dogs behavior. If you are struggling with anything or working on particular aspects, please keep me informed about the process, even if you are working your way through it. It is important for me to know what it is you are dealing with and how you are dealing with it!

Training

Some of you may have previous experience with dogs. Others not. For some this information is old news, for others you may be used to doing things differently. That said, this is the way we will be dealing with these dogs.

We are believers of communication with an animal on its own terms. They don't "speak" our language and we don't "speak" theirs. Thus, it`s important to learn to read the dog in the same way that the dog goes to great lengths to read you, be it body language, tone of voice, eye contact etc.

We believe in positive reinforcement and the absence of punishment. It is absolutely out of the question to shout at the dog or to use any kind of physical force! These animals have in most cases been neglected and, in worst cases, also abused. They should be treated in a kind, consistent manner. Neither spoiled nor scolded. If a dog does something which is not to your liking then you inform it of this in a way that the animal understands and offer it an alternative behavior. We cannot expect all of these dogs to know what the word "no" means, so we must teach it. This we do in a guiding way based on body language, voice and consistency. If the dog is not doing what you have asked it to do then you have not taught it in a way that it understands; It`s that simple.

For those of you not familiar with positive dog training we would really appreciate it if you spent a few hours familiarizing yourself with it online. (ex. www.positivedogtraining.org) and we also have a selection of books in our library about behavior and training for you to borrow upon request.
 
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In the home

Some of the foster homes will include several people in the household. It is important that one person is in charge of the animal (unless you are fostering together). This will be the foster-carer(s). Do not let others involve themselves in the training of the dog without first discussing the principals. Other people's methods might be different to those you will be using and it will be confusing for the dog to relate to different methods, esp. At such a sensitive point in its life. People always have "their way" of doing things, but you wouldn't let other people train your own dog (We certainly don't!) And in the same way this is the case here. Do not let flat-mates / house guests etc. scold or raise their voice at the dogs. This is a matter of great importance! To avoid miscommunication or future problems it might be a good idea to go through this information with other members of the household as soon as the dog arrives in the home. If you feel that other people in the home do not respect this or are having a hard time dealing with the fostering process then please be open with us about it and we will find an alternative foster-home for the dog.

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Feeding

Some dogs require certain feeding regimes. In these cases it is important to stick to the agenda, regardless of how nauseatingly cute they are when they ask you for one of your Pringles!

Some dogs have intestines of steel, others are sensitive. It is common knowledge (I hope) that one never feeds a dog chocolate or any food containing cocoa. (The stronger the cocoa content, the more poisonous the chocolate is for the dog, so dark chocolate is the absolute worst).

Dogs are not well equipped to digest milk products either, so best steer clear of the cheese/milk/butter etc.

Normal dry food can be fed in combination with boiled rice and boiled chicken (no bones) and meat. Olive oil in small doses can be added when the dog does not easily gain weight. (a spoonful a day is sufficient). Natural yoghurt is also very good for digestion (Kefir in Hungary).

If the dog has a sensitive stomach, a period of rice, boiled chicken and cottage cheese is beneficial. The dog might in particular be sensitive when first arriving at your home due to the stress of change, parasites etc.

Needless to say the dog should always have a new, clean bowl of water every day. Obviously we would greatly appreciate it if you could help out by buying food for your foster dog. We have many dogs in fostering at the moment and needless to say, feeding them is very expensive. For that reason we do not have the means to buy good quality food for each dog. Therefore many foster parents choose to help the project by buying the food themselves for their foster dog. However we do understand that many cannot afford to this and in this case we will purchase the food.

For some of you I might be preaching to the choir, but it is actually easy to ignore the little things if it is the first time one has the full responsibility of a dog.

We will, of course, be in regular contact with you and the dog.

It is important that the dogs are de-wormed and treated for ticks/fleas regularly. Please stay on top of this as a matter of great importance!

Please read the information below carefully Image

Going into a new environment is always stressful for a dog. There are many issues to bare in mind, everything from getting accustomed to new environments to socialization and medical aspects that are very important.

The first week is crucial and should be filled with peace and calm!

Your dog should be given ample time to get used to its new temporary home and person/people. For the first week you should spend time with the dog in a calm and secure environment without outside stressors such as loud visitors, lots of other dogs etc. Please follow the list below for the first few weeks:

Go for walks in calm areas in the neighborhood:
Your dog has most likely never seen a city before, never seen cars, buses and masses of people. It has almost certainly never urinated or defecated on the asphalt. For the first week you should choose a route that you walk consistently because dogs are creatures of habit and like things to be routine. Preferably you have a spot of grass in the area where the dog can go to the toilet, if not then be calm and patient while your dog learns to use the asphalt. When they do use the toilet outdoors, be full of praise and encouragement.

In the home:
Allow the dog to get used to its environment and you in it. Do not invite many new people or dogs into the home during the first week. The point is not to overstimulate him/her but rather teach it to feel safe with you and the home. Always use treats for positive reinforcement. If your dog is scared, teach it to trust you gently by giving it treats for courage. When the time comes for visitors, always make sure you have a selection of doggie treats by the door and tell anyone who enters to grab a handful. Image Never underestimate the power that tasty food has in a dogs life!!!

Other dogs

Depending on your dogs vaccination proces and health status it is important to not meet many new dogs that might be carriers of disease. Stay away from parks or areas crowded with other dogs for the first week.

NB PUPPIES: Puppies are not immune against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, canine para-influenza, canine adenovirus or leptosirosis (DHPPi + Lepto vaccine) until after their 3rd inoculation. Make sure you are informed what stage the puppy is at in their vaccination procedure and pay great attention to keeping the puppy away from other dogs that might be possible carriers. The puppy should not meet any other vaccinated dogs until it has at least had its second vaccine and the puppy should not go to parks with strange dogs until it has had its 3rd vaccine and at least a week has past since this inoculation. This is of utmost importance because Budapest is crawling with bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Training

These dogs have mostly never experienced domestic life the way we know it. Please be very patient with your dog. They are for the most part not housetrained but it does not take them long to understand the concept with gentle guidance. Never scold a dog for any accidents indoors. (Never scold the dog for anything really, it hardly ever has any desired effect except for instilling fear).

It is important to understand that this change we are making in the dogs life is huge! We have taken them from horrid environments, placed them at temporally places and then moved them again to fostering. They are most likely very confused and worried and need lots of love, security and a gentle approach full of routine to build stability. Do not expect too much of your foster dog in the first few weeks. It is always great fun for people to teach dogs to do tricks etc, but this really does not have much to do with rehabilitation. After you and the dog build a relationship you can start to work on obedience (with positive re-enforcement) but for the first few weeks this will only cause extra stressors to the dogs already unstable life.

Fostering is a great responsibility. You are taking part in rehabilitating a canine companion and introducing it to what we consider to be "normality". But lets not forget that what is normal to these dogs are mostly conditions that we cannot even begin to imagine! So we must treat them with the respect and give them the space that they deserve. There are three major things that these dogs truly need from us right now, that is Time, Patience and Love.

Other than this we would again like to thank you for helping us give these dogs a new chance in life! For most of them it`s their last chance.
 
Zsanett Molnàr Image
 
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Fostering a FAPF cat


First of all, thank you so much for deciding to foster a FAPF cat! Not only does this enable us to help other animals but it gives the cats a chance to get used to home life and thus, it makes the transition to their new home even smoother!

What is fostering?

Fostering is the process where an animal is looked after temporarily before they are adopted to their permanent home. It is important to remember therefore that as a foster parent you are taking care of another person’s animal. This is particularly important when considering training; FAPF only condones positive reinforcement as a reward for good behaviour and strongly disagrees with any form of punishment being used as a training technique.

If you decide to adopt your cat there will be an adoption fee associated with this. Please can you let us know as soon as this is decided so we can updated our information sheets.

Health

In case the cat falls ill or you are concerned about something please contact me first. I can direct you to the correct veterinarian once I am aware of the nature of the issue. FAPF has an open account at the vets that I am in contact with so it is easier with me to liaise between the clinics.

Training

Unlike dogs, cats do not need as rigorous training however sometimes they may have unfavourable behaviours i.e. spraying in unwanted areas. If you are unhappy with a particular behaviour your cat has please contact any FAPF representative or other foster parents. Often other foster parents have experienced the same problems and have gained some useful techniques about how to deal with them.

Time and Love

Please remember that these animals have probably been neglected and abused and the first week in the foster home is crucial. Be patient and kind and most cats will settle in their own accord once they feel safe and secure.

It is not always easy taking care of an animal that is not used to a home environment, however, it is an amazing and unforgettable feeling when you see how your actions have helped and brought happiness to that animal’s life.
 

 
Surgery can be scary for pets and owners. The recovery process is usually simple, but the first few days and weeks after surgery require special care for your dog. For your dog to recover quickly after surgery, here are 10 simple things you can do to help.

The first couple of days you’re going to see your pet be groggy, tired, sleeping more than usual, and have poor motor control and balance. There is likely to be a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, panting, and sometimes a loss of bladder control. It's in these first 2 days extra precautions are necessary. After that, keeping your best friend from running and jumping,or biting at the wound too much will probably be your biggest concerns.

1. Keep your dog warm, but not hot. The effects of the anesthesia wearing off will keep your dog’s temperature sensors from working in the first day or two. He won’t know if it’s hot or cold, so you have to help him out and adjust the heat or cool for him.

2. Keep her on the floor. Even if it seems like the anesthesia is all gone, your pooch still might have an occasional stumble and fall off something like a bed, or down stairs in the first couple of days. Obstacles will be harder to navigate, so a simple, comfortable place to rest that’s not too far from the door to go out will be ideal.

3. Keep him isolated from other animals and kids. This is a time when your usually sweet pet might snap or bite at other pets, or even children. The pain following surgery and disorientation from anesthesia might make your pet act unusually for the first day or two. All symptoms will be temporary, so don’t worry if your best friend is snappy. You might need to isolate your dog from other dogs for 10-14 days if the other dogs might lick your dog's wounds, or play with him too intensely.

4. Take them outside every few hours the day of and the day after the surgery. The IV fluids they received during the operation will make your pet have to urinate more frequently. She might be disoriented and have accidents indoors if not given the regular opportunity to go outside. Occasionally a dog might even pee in their sleep- as they are likely to sleep so much deeper than usual- so it might be best not to let them sleep on anything that couldn’t be cleaned up later.

5. Give water - she wont think she’s thirsty, but she will actually need liquids more than usual. Don’t leave,though - overly groggy dogs can droop their head in their water and drown. You can also offer food- which some dogs might like and some might not. If you do offer food, offer something bland like boiled chicken or hamburger meat, not treats, and give only a small amount. This way if they choose to eat it’s out of real hunger and not for the flavor. You can expect a little nausea and sometimes vomiting the first day after surgery, another reason a small meal is best.

6. Proper wound care after surgery helps dogs heal faster and reduces infections and other complications. Your vet should give you instructions for cleansing the wound (or leaving it alone). Vet advice might range from changing bandages or cleaning a drain site 2-3 times a day to just checking it every few days. Some vets will have you wash the wound with salt water, or use betadine. Others will give you antibiotic creams to use. Some vets will use a glue to close the wound rather than stitches or sutures. If that is the case it is important NOT to wash the wound, but keep it dry.

What you can do is check to see the wound is staying closed and isn’t infected. For healing spaying wounds or other scars from internal surgeries, check to see the original length of the scar, and be alert if it seems to get any larger or sutures have come undone. Don't hesitate to call your vet if that is the case.

A little blood and plasma (clear or slightly yellowish fluid) leaking from the wound site is normal. Excessive pus, white or yellow fluid could signal a dangerous infection. Any more than a few drops of blood is likely cause for concern.

7. Prevent licking - it might cause an infection or pull out sutures. If your dog has a wound they can reach, they’ll probably try to lick, and so will their doggie friends. Again, that means isolating your dog from other pooches, and keeping the “cone,” or e-collar on, if your vet gave you one. Your dog only needs a couple of minutes to lick and bite out stitches- so better not to risk it. The e-collar might be needed for up to two weeks after the surgery while your dog is recovering.

 
   
 
© 2007 Foundation of Animal Protection in Füzesabony