Become a Gateway Pet Guardians Foster
Help rescue dogs and cats in need in the St Louis area
Gateway Pet Guardians receives a large number of phone calls and emails begging us to take a shelter dog or a stray cat whose owners cannot be found. Often, we must reluctantly turn animals away simply because we don’t have a foster home available. Our foster homes are vital in helping stray animals find their forever homes. Without their hard work and dedication, Gateway Pet Guardians could not save, rehabilitate and adopt the hundreds of homeless strays we do every year.
“I take them into my home… knowing they will one day leave me. But that’s exactly why I save them… to catch, restore, and release. And each time I let go… I’m fulfilling my purpose in life, and I’m able to save another.” – Ashley Owen Hill, Lucky Dog Rescue
Fostering an animal can be one of the most rewarding things you do. The dogs and cats that Gateway Pet Guardians rescue come from the streets of East St. Louis and local Animal Control. After life on the streets (and for various other reasons) dogs and cats are typically scared and sometimes shy. Many of these animals have never been given any love, training, or medical treatment until they are brought into our shelter and foster program.
Gateway Pet Guardians duties:
- Supply a crate for housebreaking the foster pet.
- Pay for all necessary veterinary care, as well as heartworm & flea/tick preventative.
- Help screen potential adopters.
- Provide opportunities for exposure to potential adopters.
- Provide mentoring and moral support throughout fostering.
Foster home duties:
- Provide a loving and stable environment for the foster pet.
- Socialization – daily walks, trips to the pet store, etc.
- Basic day-to-day care – feeding, grooming, exercise.
- Basic obedience: including housebreaking using positive reinforcement methods. Training provided by Gateway Pet Guardians.
- Provide transportation to and from veterinarian appointments.
- Provide updates on the animals behavioral and health progress.
- Bring the animal to adoption and fundraising events when needed.
- Assist in choosing an adoptive home (since the foster home knows the animal best).
- Facebook Foster Forum – A great way to connect with other fosters, ask questions and provide feedback
- Foster Mentor – Your one-on-one contact for all things foster-related
The length of time an animal is in foster care can vary greatly. Sometimes (usually with puppies) they will be adopted out in a few weeks. Other times it may take a year! We really have no way of knowing, but we do our best to make sure each and every foster animal goes to the perfect home. What we do ask is that our foster homes make the commitment to keep their foster dog until their forever home can be found. The reason we ask for this commitment is that we do not want them to be bounced around from foster home to foster home. Dogs that have this happen become very unsure of themselves and usually display this with behavior that is less than desirable. If special circumstances arise, we are willing to work with you. If you aren’t sure you can have a dog for a longer period of time, we are also always in need of “vacation fosters,” or temporary fosters who can take care of a foster animal if/when the animal’s current foster needs to go out of town.
Gateway Pet Guardians usually has at least two adoption events per month. We require our animals to go to at least one event per month (the more exposure, the more chances of them finding their forever homes!). We do prefer the foster parent to be at the events. That way prospective adopters can talk directly to you to get a better idea of behaviors, habits, likes, dislikes, etc.
While a Gateway Pet Guardians animal is being fostered in your home, our Adoption Coordinator will contact you about scheduling a mutually convenient time for potential adopters to visit, whether at your home or another convenient location. This allows adopters the chance to play and interact with the dog or cat to see if they are “the one.” All in all, you supply the love and TLC and we supply all the medical treatment and support you need. Still have questions? Read our Foster Frequently Asked Questions.