Foster FAQ

  • Thanks to our wonderful fosters, LHH dogs are never kenneled or caged; they reside with foster families until we can find them permanent homes. Foster homes give our pups the opportunity to live in a home environment, get socialized and experience what it’s like to be loved, safe and cared for!  So, the more fosters we have, the more lives we can save! Without this help, LHH would not be.

  • What is a Foster?

    A Foster is an individual or individuals who agree to take a dog who has been rescued by Lhasa Happy Homes into their home. The foster is responsible for the day to day care of the dog – which includes feeding them, giving them water and love and attention, to cleaning their ears, giving them medication, helping housetrain them and the like.

    Fosters are people who may or may not have other dogs presently but have lived with dogs before and have some experience. Fosters are NOT people who are thinking of adopting and want to try dogs out in their home to see if they are the right one for them. However, fostering is a good opportunity to get used to the idea of having a dog and determining if dog guardianship is right for you.

    Lhasa Happy Homes’ ability to save the lives of abandoned dogs depends on our fosters who welcome these dogs into their homes while they are awaiting adoption. Since we do not have a kennel or facility, the number of dogs we can save depends on the number of foster homes we have for them.

  • Why does LHH use fosters?

    DSC_3028There are countless reasons why dogs often end up homeless…most of them unacceptable. The most generic reason would be a poor match between the dog and guardian, and leave it at that! One of the most important elements of fostering is to learn how to evaluate each dog and to help us determine what the best home might be for each dog. Knowing the temperament of the dog is a valuable tool in determining the right forever home.

    By placing each dog in a home environment, as opposed to kenneling them, we are able to help them get acclimated into a home environment, so that they can transition more easily into their forever home. This also helps us determine the dog’s personality and temperament, including:

    • Need to be (or not to be) with other dog(s)
    • Ability to be home alone without being bored – resulting in barking, chewing, poor behavior, etc.
    • Does he/she require one-on-one attention
    • Compatible with children – young or older?
    • Dog’s activity level – does he need a yard?
    • Extent of housetraining
    • Health issues
    • Behavioral problems
  • How long is a dog in a foster home?

    Generally until the dog gets adopted. This could be as little as a week, or, in the case of special needs or hard-to-adopt dogs, a month or more.

  • What happens if I’m fostering, and I have to leave town or it’s not working out?

    We will always work with our fosters to make it work with their schedules. We want the experience to be a wonderful one for you. However, it is important that before making the commitment, you are prepared to see the dog through to its adoption…and most fosters want to do that. But if something occurs to prevent that from happening, we are there to support you.

  • Don’t fosters get emotionally attached to the dogs they foster?

    Of course, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! But as anyone who has fostered can tell you, the greatest joy comes from watching the transformation from the time they arrive until the day they leave. What comes in usually as an undernourished, scraggly, insecure pup ultimately leaves as a confident, playful, affectionate dog ready for their second chance at a great life!! Opening your heart…and your home…to a needy furball, knowing that you have played a huge part in their transition from homeless to forever home is a wonderful and satisfying experience.

  • Does it cost money to foster?

    Lhasa Happy Homes pays all medical and grooming expenses. The dogs are groomed, deflea’d, dewormed, spayed/neutered, vaccinated and vet checked before they are given to a foster for care. We count on our fosters to let us know if they need food, bedding, crate, or other accoutrements (dishes, brushes, etc.) and will help provide where necessary. We do not want fostering to be a financial burden.

  • What are the requirements to be a foster?

    DarcyThe first and most important element is a desire to help save the lives of these precious animals.

    You must be 21+ and have the consent of your household to foster. We endeavor to groom, vet and evaluate each dog prior to going to foster homes so that you know what you are getting. However, it’s important to understand that the dogs don’t arrive “perfect.”

    The basic “requirements” include being committed to helping, having compassion, patience, tolerance, some extra time and a bit of dog knowledge/experience (although extensive is not expected).

    A yard is nice but not strictly necessary. You must also have the understanding that the dogs may not be housetrained, so keep some Nature’s Miracle on hand!

    LHH selects fosters who take the responsibility seriously. It is often challenging but always rewarding.

  • Do I get to choose the dogs I foster?

    We do our best to match a foster with the dog. For instance, if you have children, we don’t put dogs in your home who are not good with kids; if you work full time, we don’t give you a dog who can’t be alone all day. But understand that we’re dealing with dogs we don’t really know yet, not to mention the personalities of the dogs will change once they begin to feel more  comfortable.

    It is important to communicate to us your parameters, and we will always tell you about the dog we feel would be good for you to foster, and you can always say “no,” or if a dog turns out to be too much for you, we will exchange it for another. Fostering absolutely requires flexibility and patience.

  • I’m looking for a dog. Can I foster until I find the dog for me?

    Fostering and adopting are very different. When you foster a dog, you are making a short term commitment; when you adopt, it is a long term commitment.   One of our policies to avoid the “rent-to-own” syndrome is fosters cannot adopt the first three dogs they foster. This is really to dissuade people who are interested in adopting from fostering and “trying out” dogs. And we really don’t encourage individuals who are interested in adopting to foster.   We do have fosters who adopt a dog they’ve been fostering, but fostering is not a “try before you buy” service. We’re looking for people who truly want to rescue dogs by giving them temporary homes, and that does mean saying “goodbye” when a good, permanent home is found. Finding the perfect forever home for a dog in need is the greatest joy a foster can experience.

  • Who makes the best foster?

    Truthfully, not everyone is cut out to be a foster or a volunteer. Fostering is not always an easy job. Dogs are not always housetrained, some have minor problems, some are sick and need medicating, some need more attention than others, and some just want to lick your face, play with their toys and entertain you all day long!

    Fosters need patience, tolerance and compassion, and a desire to give from your heart. The best foster, the best volunteer, is an individual who truly wants to help the organization, the dogs and experience the joy of seeing these orphans find their forever homes.

    Volunteering won’t make you rich, but it will enrich your life!

  • How do I become a foster?

    Apply online, or apply in person at one of our adoption events.

  • Personal message from Randee Goldman, Founder of Lhasa Happy Homes

    VolunteerHandler-8Thank you for your interest in volunteering or fostering for Lhasa Happy Homes! Our fosters and volunteers are the bloodline of our organization.   Without them, we would not have the manpower to rescue these incredible four legged creatures who absolutely deserve a second chance at a wonderful life.

    I invite you to step up to the challenge and fulfill any ambition you might have to help these wonderful dogs. You can be instrumental in helping us save more lives, because the more fosters we have, the more dogs we can rescue!   When you look into their eyes, and you see the gratitude and you experience the 100% unconditional love, it will be an experience you won’t soon forget.

    There are many ways to volunteer to Lhasa Happy Homes. Fostering is our greatest need, but we also could use help with transporting dogs, assisting at adoption events, scouting shelters, fundraising, website assistance….if you have a talent, we can use you!

    Apply to foster now

Adoption Events

We do not have a public viewing facility; however, we hold bi-monthly adoption events in Santa Monica. Please check our calendar for changes and cancellations due to holidays or weather.

2nd and 4th Sunday of each month, 11am – 2:30pm

2116 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405 [Map]

Metered street parking.

Please bring pictures or video of your home/yard if we have not yet done a home visit (preferred).

And…don’t forget to bring your dog(s), if you have any. They make the final decision!