Can’t foster indefinitely? Be a weekend/overnight foster!
Many people may not be able to keep pets due to schedule, living situation, or both, but perhaps you’ve wanted to “borrow” a dog for the day, to take for a hike, a walk in the park, or just to hang out with! Borrow one of our APS dogs for a night, a weekend, or just a few hours!
A 2017 study from Arizona State University found that “Sleepover Programs” and similar foster programs, wherein animals can leave the shelter even just for a day or two, lowered stress levels. Lisa Gunter, a doctoral candidate studying behavioral neuroscience at the Canine Science Collaboratory in the Department of Psychology, began the project:
Anecdotally, people who took a dog home for a sleepover reported that after the dog settled down, it would immediately go for a long sleep.
“Is sleep potentially a component to their welfare?” Gunter said. “Getting good, uninterrupted sleep could benefit them as well. That could be one mechanism by which we’re seeing this reduction in cortisol. The dogs are getting a good night’s sleep. That’s something they can’t get at the shelter because they have a lot of noisy neighbors.”
Dogs are selected by shelter staff, giving priority to those that are most in need, and taking into consideration the location and activities you have planned for your day foster.
The dogs given priority include:
- Animals that are very shy and need a period of socialization
- Active dogs who would greatly benefit from a day to expend energy.
- Dogs who have been in the shelter a long time and would greatly benefit from additional promotion.
For a dog to leave the shelter for an Adoption Event or Day/Weekend Foster, the dog must be available for adoption, spayed or neutered, and be healthy (not on any medication). Going out for the day gives dogs the opportunity to have an update on their webpage, a blog, more pictures and a video. The dogs first to be considered for Day/Weekend Foster will be dogs who have been here a while, but have not had the opportunity to receive this additional promotion.
If you are interested in Day or Weekend Fostering, please email Annika, Foster Program Manager, by the end of the day on Tuesday with at least three dogs you would be interested in taking out. That will give APS Staff time to evaluate your choices and have one of your choices ready when you come to pick up.
You may let Annika know later in the week that you’d like to Day/Weekend Foster, but the choices of dogs available to go will be limited to dogs who are already ready to go out. APS Management Staff must approve any dog leaving the shelter each time the dog leaves the shelter. We will only know which dogs are still available for adoption after 2pm on Saturdays. If Annika knows you intend to Day/Weekend Foster, she will confirm with you which dog is available to go with you after 2pm on Saturdays. If you are picking up Saturday afternoon, please check in with Annika first.
Dogs are able to leave the adoption floor between 2pm on Saturdays and 10am on Mondays when we are closed to the public. We want adoptable dogs available to be seen in our adoption center when we’re open. Day/Weekend Foster Volunteers are able to take their approved dog out for a few hours, overnight, or for two nights during these hours between Saturday and Monday. On Saturdays and Sundays staff leaves the shelter at 4pm. If you have your Day/Weekend Foster after 4pm on these days, you must keep them overnight.
While you don’t need to be an APS volunteer to be a regular foster, you must be a trained APS dog walking volunteer to participate in weekend fostering. You must be familiar with our policies, access to the shelter during hours we are closed to the public, and know the procedure for removing a dog from her kennel and returning her. For information about volunteering, visit apsofdurham.org/volunteer. You will sign up first for a general orientation, then you will come back for dog volunteer training.