During college, my family was involved in Keeshond Rescue.
For those who don’t know what a Kees is, check out:
Anyway, a large part of Rescue is fostering animals and evaluating them for adoptive families. We made the rounds through local animal shelters and pounds, relieving them of any Keesies or Kees mixes. I highly recommend, if you go the Rescue route, that you pick a single breed because you’ll be more helpful to people looking to adopt specific kinds of dogs. If you’ll just be fostering for a local rescue organization (some are not breed specific), then you’ll likely be taking assignments/requests from them (this is what my sister does).
Some things to consider:
*]Do you have adequate space (including a fenced backyard)? Fosters are notorious for escape attempts.
*]Do you have the financial means? Some rescue groups will provide food, medicine, vet bill reimbursement, vaccines, collars, leashes, etc., but some do not. Look for one that best fits your needs.
*]Most Rescues will have someone personally visit your home, to make sure you meet their requirements (fenced backyard, well-taken-care-of animals that you own, etc.). You may be asked to provide a veterinary reference, so that they know you take good care of your animals.
*]How do the animals you currently own react to “outsiders”? If you have overly territorial dogs, dogs that are dog-aggressive, or dogs that are food-aggressive, you may have to divide the house/yard using barriers like baby gates.
*]I do not recommend keeping emotionally distant from the foster animals. Some people do this, because it’s hard to let go, once the dog has found his “forever home.” But give that dog all of you, and really make him part of the family! The animal that comes into your care could possibly never know the love of a human being. Let your home be the first place he learns how to trust and love people.
*]Be prepared for a “permanent foster” pup. Sometimes, demand for an animal (especially the older ones or those with special needs/medication) is very low, and the animal my die in your care. It could take only days to adopt a dog out, but sometimes, it takes years. In other cases, they are never adopted by someone else. My family of origin, in the years we’ve done Rescue, has had 4 permanent foster dogs, all of them being senior citizens.
I’m sure I’ll think of more, but I think this is enough to get you started.
Okay, I’m waaaaay slow today… You’ve already received so many answers! When I started typing, no one had responded yet (I guess that’s what happens when you have to go change the baby…).