frequently asked questions


How do I become a foster?

To apply to be a foster family, please submit the Online Foster & Volunteer Application.

Is there a fee to apply to be a foster?

There is no fee to apply to be a foster.

What do you mean by foster?

Temporary homes are needed for rescued dogs until permanent homes can be found. Temporary homes are called foster homes. We do not have a kennel or central location; all of our dogs live in foster homes until adoption.

Who pays the medical expenses of the foster dogs?

All approved medical expenses of the foster dogs are paid by MWBTR. A foster home is generally asked by their vet to pay the expenses up front, and then we will reimburse the foster home. If your vet is willing to bill us directly, we can also handle it that way.

Where are the dogs from that I might be asked to foster?

Dogs are surrendered to MWBTR from owners who no longer are able or have a desire to care for their Boston, and ask us to find a loving home. We also regularly pull dogs from shelters within our coverage area.

Is it necessary for me to have a fenced yard to foster?

We do not require a fenced yard. The foster dog must be on a tie out or lead and supervised at all times when outside of your home.

How long will I have a foster dog before it is adopted?

We strive to find the perfect forever home for each of our dogs. Our Bostons are not adopted out on a first come, first serve basis. It is very difficult to predict how long a dog will be in our care, the average is 1-2 months, but varies greatly based on age, medical, or training issues.

Do I get to choose the dog I foster?

This is not very likely. MWBTR will place a dog based on need, temperament, and your abilities. Sometimes we need to pull a dog out of a shelter on very short notice and will need a foster home for him immediately. We might not know any details about that particular shelter dog, but we will work with you to address any issues that he might have once he is safe in his foster home.

What will be expected of me as a foster home?

As a foster home, foster families must have the financial ability to provide a good quality food, toys, a crate and bedding for your foster while it stays with you. You will be responsible for having the dog fully vetted, helping MWBTR assess its needs for an adoptive home, brushing up on housebreaking, crate training, and most importantly providing the TLC many of our dogs have never known. It is most important to realize these dogs are not yet perfect pets and it is the hard work the foster home puts in that helps them on their way to becoming so. We encourage foster families to treat the foster dog as much like their own pet as possible. Most fosters are mainly in need of proper nutrition and love. The dog provides you with love, joy, and the satisfaction of having saved a life.

What kinds of behavior problems might I expect?

Probably the most common problem is separation anxiety (i.e. crying or barking when left alone). It is not unusual for this to occur at night if the rescue is crated in another part of the house. This usually resolves over time. Marking (with urine) is a behavior frequently exhibited by males in a new environment and sometimes females too. Chewing can also be a problem. Peeing and pooping in the house may occur either because the dog is not housebroken, because of the new environment or because you don’t understand she’s asking to go out. Food aggression (fighting with other dogs over food) can be avoided by separating the dogs at feeding time. Some dogs are very possessive of chew toys, rawhide chews, etc. MWBTR volunteers can provide ideas on how to handle many of these behavior problems.

Am I putting my personal pets in danger by agreeing to foster?

We ask that you quarantine all foster dogs until you have had a vet evaluate the dog to avoid spreading anything to your animals. After the vet clears a dog, a slow introduction must be made to all pets in the household. Interaction must be supervised at all times, and we require the foster dog be crated when no one is home for their safety and the safety of your animals.

What if the foster dog just doesn’t work out?

We will help you address the situation, whether it requires additional training or another placement. MWBTR will take care not to place a dog with you that are not ready to handle. From time to time, the rescue and foster family just aren’t a good match. Because these dogs are rescues, we often don’t know about their likes and dislikes. Arrangements will be made to move the dog elsewhere, we just ask that you are patient with us as we work to make arrangements.

Is being a foster home the fast track to adoption?

We hope you want to foster to help a deserving Boston find a loving and permanent home. After you see how happy your foster dog is in its forever home, it will make it much easier to let go. We have so many homeless Bostons that you will soon have another foster, who will no doubt steal your heart, too. Our foster volunteers have all been through the process of letting go, so we can help prepare you before, during and after. If you are interested in adopting, please complete an adoption application – do not complete a foster application.