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How can I help? 

Underdog Rescue of Arizona can always use help to get dogs off the streets and into loving homes. The best way to do this is to adopt a furever pet of your own. Another great way to help is to foster!  As our rescue does not have a "shelter" based operation, we rely solely on fosters to give our dogs a safe and loving place before being adopted. Fostering is a wonderful experience for you, your family and the dog! You can feel good knowing that you helped to save a dog's life. We also always need cash or material donations to help with the food, medical, boarding, and rehoming expenses for our Underdogs. We are a 501(c)3 so all donations are tax deductible!

Why should I foster or adopt? 

Thank you for considering opening your heart and home to one of our Rescue's orphaned dogs! To Fosters: Your generosity will provide young and old, injured and sick, abused and un-socialized dogs a chance to grow or heal before finding their forever homes! Fosters play an enormous role in our ability to save more lives. To Adopters: Thank you for giving a second chance to a well deserving animal that will love and adore you for the rest of their lives! You've created additional space for us to save yet another homeless animal. Your act of kindness will be repaid in rewards that are beyond words! Many have said that they can tell just by looking into new pet's eyes that they are truly aware and grateful to be given a second chance

Requirements for all fosters and adopters:

  • Complete the Underdog Foster/FWITA Application
  • Agree to signing the Foster/FWITA Contract
  • Agree to all the above terms and information provided in the Fostering/FWITA FAQ's, Rules & Requirements
  • Approval of Foster/FWITA Application, home visit and meet & greet by Underdog
  • Note: Underdog may remove a foster dog from a foster/adoptive home for any reason they deem necessary

Rules for all fosters and adopters:

  • All dogs must be walked on a leash at all times, unless in the secure backyard of the foster/adopter's home or in an enclosed Dog Park.
  • All dogs must be INDOOR DOGS and live primarily inside the home with you; We do not allow any dogs to be kept as "backyard dogs", even if you have an outdoor dog house/run/kennel.
  • Any aggressive behavior must be reported to Underdog.
  • Any lost/missing dog must be reported to Underdog WITHIN 1 HOUR of becoming missing.
  • Any sick/injured dog must be reported to Underdog immediately.
  • All vet visits for Foster dogs must be pre-approved to be covered by Underdog
  • Fosters agree to respond to calls or emails from URAZ and/or potential adopters within 24 hours.
  • Any foster needing to go out of town/vacation, etc. must notify Underdog immediately. If the dog will be going to a pet-sitter, boarding, or family member/friend during this period, an Underdog Foster Contract must be signed by these individuals for Liability purposes and so that we know the location of the dog. Any such person caring for the dog must also agree to the Underdog FAQ's, Rules & Requirements.

How long are dogs in foster homes?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It completely depends on the dog, the situation, and the current rate of adoptions. The average stay in a foster home is about 2 months. Some have been adopted in as little as a couple of days; Dogs recovering from injury, certain breeds and senior dogs may stay much longer. Please consider this when making your commitment to foster.

Can I adopt my foster dog?

ABSOLUTELY!! We give our foster parents first choice to adopt their foster dog before any other applicant. Many fosters become “Foster Failures” (in a good way) and adopt their foster dogs. We often hear, “I know I will find it too hard to give them up, so how can I NOT become too attached to my foster dog?” Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this. You will most likely find it difficult to see them go. As an animal lover, it is normal and to be expected. This dog has become part of your lives and your family! You will most likely shed tears when your foster pup goes to their new home….we all do. However, to foster also means to be able to let go, knowing that when you do, your dog is going to another awesome home where he/she will be loved and cared for. It will also open another space in your home to save yet another dog in need that may not otherwise be saved and that is what will make it worthwhile.

How are foster dogs promoted?

We use a variety of means to promote our Rescue dogs. Their photos and bio's are posted on various pet adoption sites, including Petfinder and Adopt A Pet. They are also uploaded to our website. In addition, we frequently participate in adoption events where our dogs gain even more exposure. We encourage our fosters to attend these events with the dogs to help promote them. Our foster parents know their dog best, so who better to provide information?!
We also invite our Fosters to promote their foster dog(s) to their family, friends, colleagues and the general public through fliers, emails or even just by taking your dog to the dog park wearing one of our "Adopt Me" bandanas.

How does the foster/adoption process work?

Initially, we require our Fosters and Adopters to complete our Foster/FWITA Application. It contains basic information about you, your home and your family. Once the application has been submitted, we can select a dog to fit your home and lifestyle. We will then schedule a "Meet & Greet"/Home Visit with the dog. We do require home visits for anyone wishing to foster or adopt.

FOSTERS: If the meet & greet goes well, the dog will remain with you and the Foster Contract is then signed.

ADOPTERS: If the meet & greet goes well, the dog will stay with you for a 2 week (FWITA) trial period. The FWITA contract will be signed at this time and the Adoption Fee collected. At the end of a successful 2 week trial period, the adoption shall be considered finalized. If within those 2 weeks it is deemed the dog will not be a good fit in your home, the dog shall be returned to the rescue (please see our FWITA contract for additional terms and conditions).

If I live in a condo/townhome/apartment, can I still foster or adopt a dog?

Please verify that your complex allows pet ownership. 
Although typically it is not best to allow fostering/adoption in these environments, we do make exceptions from time to time. We will try to select a dog (small, senior, low energy, medical need) that would best fit this type of setup, but will of course require commitment from the foster/adopter to give substantial physical and mental stimulation that is not available in a typical home with a yard setting. This would include substantial walk time(s) and possibly dog park exercise. You will also need to abide by any weight or breed restrictions of your Association/Complex.

If I don't own my current home, can I still foster/adopt?

Yes! We do require written approval from your landlord, but we have many foster/adopted dogs that are with families that do not own their home.

What if I have children?

Fostering/Adopting is a WONDERFUL family experience, especially for children. It can build a foundation of philanthropy in your children and promotes education on responsible pet ownership. It is a fabulous learning experience for children that will grow up to be future animal lovers. 
It will be important to select a dog(s) that is "age appropriate" for your children. As a general rule, we do not allow certain dogs with children under 3 years of age. We also do not recommend children under the age of 12 be left alone or unsupervised with any dog. You must also be diligent about providing guidance, instruction and rules to your children about caring for a dog.

I do not have a yard or my yard is not fenced. Can I still foster/adopt a dog?

Yes! A yard is great to have for early morning & late night potty breaks and for a game of fetch, but it is not a requirement. More importantly, URAZ does not allow any of our foster/adopted dogs to be "outside" or "backyard" dogs. The reality is that dogs do not exercise themselves when left outside. Many of our dogs were "yard dogs" before coming to us, and is the very reason they may have developed behavior issues such as running, barking or digging after having been left alone in a backyard. Dogs need focused physical activity, mental stimulation and socialization. The best way to do this is by running or walking your dog on a leash. Even better, if your dog is deemed to be "dog friendly", a dog park is an excellent place to provide socialization and exercise. If you do not have a yard or your yard is not fenced, we will ask that the foster/adopter agree to the commitment of diligently and properly exercising the dog multiple times each day.

If I have my own animals, can I still foster/adopt a dog from URAZ?

Yes! Ironically, as animal lovers, the majority of URAZ Foster/FWITA Families also have their own resident animals. It is important to keep in mind that there is always a small risk of personality clashes. Although we rarely experience dog/cat aggressive dogs, there are some that just cannot be worked with and must be placed in "no dog/cat" homes. It is then in the best interest of both the resident animals and the foster/adopted dog to find an alternative home. In addition, as many of our dogs are obtained from shelter environments, URAZ cannot guarantee the health of the dog. There is always a small risk of placing a foster/adopted dog that may have a health issue (fleas, ticks, worms, kennel cough, etc). These problems are usually easily treatable; As long as your own dogs have been vaccinated and are in good health, the foster dog is not typically a threat to your household.

What am I required to provide for my dog?

We recommend fosters/adopters obtain both collars and tags with their names and phone numbers on them. The majority of our dogs are also micro-chipped.

FOSTERS: Foster parents provide a loving and safe home, food, basic training and exercise for the dog. We also ask that fosters provide the basic dog supplies (collars, leashes, bowls, beds, toys, treats, crates, etc) that their foster dog will need. However, in certain circumstances, URAZ may be able to provide these items, as we do get them donated from time to time. The bottom line is, we primarily ask fosters to treat the dog as if they were their own. We ask that fosters make the commitment to provide the same adequate exercise, play time, discipline and basic needs to their foster dog as they would their own family pet. URAZ will provide any and all medical treatment(s) that may be necessary for foster dogs. You will not be responsible for these costs. However, any medical treatments must be provided by one of our approved contracted vets, and must be approved by URAZ prior to treatment. Any treatment done by anyone other than our contracted vets or without our consent will be solely at the Foster's expense.

FOSTERS & ADOPTERS: All foster/adopted dogs are required to be "INDOOR DOGS". We do not make exceptions to this requirement. We do not allow fosters/adopters to take dogs that will be kept as "backyard dogs", even if it is well shaded and you have an outdoor dog house/run/kennel. It is far too common for these dogs to escape their yards and become lost or injured. In addition, Heatstroke is a common occurrence in dogs left outside, even with adequate shade and water, and some breeds are much more susceptible than others. A home equipped with a doggy door in which the dog has access to both indoors and outdoors is acceptable and preferable. All dogs are fully vaccinated and altered prior to the adoption being finalized. Upon adoption, the adopter shall become solely responsible for any veterinary and basic needs costs of their new pet.

Do I have to crate/kennel train my dog?

While we do not require that any dog be kennel trained, URAZ strongly encourages ALL fosters/adopters do so, especially in multiple animal homes, at least initially. Since we often do not know the background of the dogs coming into rescue, it is reckless to assume that new dogs in such an environment will be "fine" when left alone. 
Crate training is one of the most effective and efficient ways to housebreak and train a dog. While there are some that see kennel training as "mean" or "cruel", we have learned from our trainers over the years that it is the best method of creating a happy, well adjusted dog. In fact, once crate trained, the dog will see their kennel as a safe haven and usually the most desired place to lounge, sleep or chew on their toys. It becomes a safe and comfortable "den" to call their own and provides them a sense of security. 
Placing a dog in their kennel when you are gone will also give you peace of mind knowing that they are in a safe place, away from harm, and not doing any damage to your belongings or themselves. A crate should never be used as a place of punishment. This is how dogs come to associate it with a negative and undesirable place. 
Our volunteers have extensive experience with crate training and can direct you on how to go about using this method to train your dog. Please do not hesitate to ask us for help!

Do I need to have prior medical knowledge or expertise to foster?

No, but you may be asked to dispense medicine to your foster dog at some point, so you will have to be comfortable following veterinarian's instructions.

What if my foster dog becomes sick?

All medical/veterinary costs for Fosters are paid for by URAZ. If a foster dog becomes sick or injured, please contact URAZ immediately! We will authorize a vet visit and advise you how and where to proceed.

What happens if my foster/adopted dog should get loose/lost?

We encourage fosters/adopters to obtain collars & tags with their names and phone numbers on them. The majority of our dogs are also chipped. However, if a foster/adopted dog should become lost/loose, you are required to CONTACT UNDERDOG IMMEDIATELY!!! We cannot stress this enough. You must contact us within 1 hour of the dog becoming missing. We cannot help if we do not know he/she is gone!! We can quickly form a search party, if necessary, as well as alert the rescue community to keep a lookout for the dog. We also have substantial contacts at all the county shelters, so we can make them aware that one of our dogs is missing; Volunteers that work at the shelters can also keep their eyes out for the dog should he/she be picked up by animal control. Please do not ever feel uncomfortable or ashamed to call and inform the rescue that your dog is lost. Although infrequent, it does happen from time to time, even to Board members of the rescue. You will not be berated or made to feel inadequate because your dog has gone missing. We will, however, be more than happy to assist in finding a way to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Am I allowed to take my foster dog to the dog park for exercise?

Yes! If your foster dog is deemed "dog friendly" and you are confident that you are able to keep control of the dog under vocal command, we support visiting dog parks. Dog parks are an excellent place to provide exercise, play, and socialization. URAZ can recommend several dog parks that are close to your residence. We do not recommend dog park visits within the first two weeks of placement, until the dog has learned to respect your authority and commands. Please be sure to exercise caution, keeping the dog leashed initially until you are sure that the dog will respond and return to you upon command. 
There are certain circumstances where a dog may be placed in foster prior to vaccinations and altering (spay/neuter). This is the only case where we would not permit dog park visits, as unaltered dogs are often not permitted in the parks and unvaccinated dogs can easily pick up dog diseases. In addition, any dog that has recently had surgery or a medical issue, we would strongly advise against it until such time they are fully recovered.

How can I help my foster dog become more adoptable?

There are many ways to help your dog become more appealing and adoptable. First and foremost, put the time into making him/her a "home friendly" dog. This includes housebreaking, basic obedience, crate training, leash training, socializing, doggy door use, etc. Each of these attributes can make the dog more desirable and increase their adoptability. Shy dogs will benefit from your patience, routine and slow exposure to new people to build their confidence. Rambunctious adolescents or puppies learning good manners will help show off their trainability and long term potential. 
We also ask that if you are able, provide great photos and an extensive bio of the dog to URAZ after he/she has been with you for at least a week. We will then update his/her information on our adoption websites. As their foster parent, you will know the dog best! 
You will be able to convey his/hers greatest attributes, problem areas, and personality traits. This will help us give prospective adopters detailed information about the dog.

In addition, market your dog!! If no one knows about your foster dog or how wonderful he/she is, it will be difficult to find them a forever home. Tell friends and family about them, creating a network effect, and tell them to spread the word! Email is an extremely effective tool to getting the word out. Other simple steps such as taking them on walks in the park, outdoor shopping areas and other high-traffic areas will help find potential adopters. Be sure to equip them with a conspicuous "ADOPT ME" bandana!

Am I responsible for finding my foster dog its forever home?

No…But we do need your help! Once a qualified applicant is identified, we will ask that our foster parent schedule a meet and greet with the dog and the potential adopter. Your quick response and input on the potential adopter/home is critical to finding a great match! Often times, it is also the foster parent that finds a perfect match through their own network of friends, family and colleagues. We greatly welcome these referrals! If you think you have found the perfect Forever Home for your foster dog, remember, they still must go through the application process and be approved by the rescue before being adopted.

What if I have to go out of town, on vacation, or on a business trip?

** Please consider this factor when agreeing to foster. Unfortunately, URAZ does not have the funds to cover boarding/sitters each time a foster goes out of town. It is the responsibility of the foster to facilitate an acceptable place for their foster dog during this time. If given enough notice, we can often find another foster or volunteer to foster-sit for short durations. However, we reiterate here that you treat the dog as if he were your own, especially if you have other dogs. If you would typically bring in a dog-sitter, we would ask that the foster dog be included in your dog-sit. If your dog(s) would typically go to boarding, we ask that the foster send their foster dog along with the other(s) going to boarding. If your dog(s) typically stays with a family member or friend, we would ask that the foster dog go along as well. This will minimize the dog's anxiety of being moved to an unknown environment without the comfort of the companion(s) he/she knows and reduce the stress that will arise with your leaving. 
Please note: Simply leaving the dog in your home and having someone "visit" a couple of times a day to let them out/walk them is NOT acceptable. You must have an acceptable "live-in" petsitter or place the dog(s) in an acceptable boarding facility where they will be cared for 24/7 in the same manner they are accustomed to.

Can I return my foster/adopted dog?

FOSTERS: We prefer that foster parents continue to work thru the fostering process until a permanent home is found for their dog. It is extremely stressful for a dog to be returned and moved to yet another new/strange environment in which much of the work you have done could easily be un-done. This is especially true for behavioral issues you may be experiencing with your foster. A dog that has behavioral issues in your home will most likely have the same issues in any home he/she is moved to, and it would be best to work through these problems if possible. PLEASE ASK FOR OUR HELP!! Simply moving the dog to a new home will not help the dog overcome these issues to become a well adjusted pet. 

FOSTERS:  PLEASE READ, AS YOU ARE AGREEING TO THESE TERMS BY APPLYING TO FOSTER:

We ask that before you agree to foster ANY dog for Underdog, you are absolutely certain that you are 100% committed to doing so.  Many of the dogs we intake are from the County shelter, with little to no information on their background. Therefore, often times we have no idea what we are getting.  Fosters need to be aware of this and not expect a "perfect" dog.  If your dog has behavioral issues, we can provide a trainer to make them more adoptable. If it is discovered the dog is not dog/cat friendly, the foster will need to work with the situation to keep the dog separated from others. Many dogs come ill or with medical issues, and the foster needs to be aware they are agreeing to work with whatever those situations may entail as well. In short, by agreeing to foster, it is expected that the foster will work with the issues that a dog may come with until the dog is adopted.  Underdog cannot simply "move" or pick up a foster at the drop of a hat because things are not going well or it's "not a good fit".  It is a true commitment to the dog whatever it may come with, be it good or bad.  

For example, if the dogs turns out:  To not housebroken; To have behavioral issues; Is not good with other dogs; If you have to keep separated from other dogs; If it's not good with cats;  Is not good with kids;  If it has had zero obedience training and/or is 'too high energy';  If it has medical conditions, known, unknown or otherwise unforseen that may arise;  If it is destructive and chews things it shouldn't. (The only caveat to these is if dog is outwardly aggressive and a risk or danger to the public at large. The first thing we do in this case is have the dog evaluated, most importantly for a medical cause.  If it is determined medical is not the reason, then we would weigh an evaluation by a trainer and vote as a Board whether to have the dog euthanized.)

Again, there is absolutely no way to simply "find a foster" or move a dog for a foster who changes their mind after getting something other than what they anticipated.  Fosters are required to find suitable alternative placement for the dog if for ANY reason they decide they can no longer foster.  To reiterate, as a foster, you are aware and agree that you are fully committing to the dog regardless, until adopted.  That means you are committing while recognizing there is little we know about the dog prior to rescue. This means committing to what we know about the dog. BUT more importantly, what we don't. We understand that this is asking a lot, but is the only way we can run an efficient, stable and successful rescue. 
Again, please consider this in your decision to foster.

ADOPTERS:  If you have adopted a dog from URAZ and circumstances prevent you from keeping the dog, we ask that you provide as much notice as possible (minimum 2-4 weeks) so that we may locate an alternative home or foster.  We ask that you continue to “foster” the dog until a new foster or adopter can be found.  This can often take several weeks to months, depending on the breed, age, and behavior traits of the dog. Our Adoption Contract states that URAZ shall continue to co-own the animal for the duration of its life.  If you are unable to continue ownership of the dog, the dog must be returned to the rescue.  It cannot be re-homed by the adopter, taken to a shelter, or euthanized without the consent of URAZ. 

 

Ready to find your next best friend? See all of our adoptable animals by clicking here!

P.O. Box 13392 •  Chandler, Az 85248  •  (480) 553-9311 •  info [ at ] underdogaz.com