Fostering Dogs: How to Get Involved

Are you considering fostering dogs for the SPCA of Hancock County? Here’s how to get started!

Our needs for dog fostering vary over the course of the year. We often find that larger dogs have a harder time in kennel situations, and we would love to establish a network of foster homes who are comfortable with larger dogs.

Mack is a large dog who just could not get comfortable in even our biggest kennel. In his foster home, he’s much more relaxed!

We also find that dogs who are stressed by the presence of other dogs have a harder time here – we can keep them from having to interact directly with other dogs, but they can hear and smell that there are other dogs here. We would love to establish a network of foster homes without other dogs (or with sufficient separation from other dogs in the home) to help these dogs de-stress.

Sheldon has a hard time with other dogs, but is doing great in his foster home where he’s the star of the show!

To get started fostering, first look up where our facility is located. (Our address is 141 Bar Harbor Rd., Trenton, ME 04605.) Keep in mind that in order to foster, you need to be able to travel to and from our facility at least two or three times. You may also encounter a situation where you need to bring your foster dog to a vet nearer to us than to you. Are you able to do this? If we’re too far away, fostering may not work for you. There may be other ways you can help us! Give us a call to find out.

For fostering dogs, it is critical that you keep in contact with us. Because the dog you are fostering is not at our facility, they risk not being seen by potential adopters. We’ll want pictures and information about the dog so that we can continue to publicize them, and we may ask you if you can bring the dog to adoption events. Potential adopters need to go through the typical adoption process, so please DO NOT hold a meet-and-greet before the potential adopter makes contact with us.

Please DO let us know if you’d like to take your foster dog on outings and offer adoption applications to people who see you out and about. We’ll be delighted to discuss how best to handle these situations, which will depend on the specific needs of the dog you’re fostering. You are strongly encouraged to advertise your foster dog and tell people you know about them; just make sure SPCA staff are part of the process when someone is interested in your foster dog. 

If this sounds like something that interests you, give us a call or come in to the shelter during open hours to fill out the Adoption Application. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you’re signing up to adopt! We use the same form to gather information about your home to help us match you up with dogs in need. When you’re here, our dog staff will talk with you about your home environment and our current needs. We may not have a dog for you to take home right away. We’ll keep your information and reach out when we have a good fit!

Fostering is a great way to get involved with the SPCA of Hancock County! We love our foster homes, and we work hard to make fostering a great experience that you’ll want to have again and again. Please remember that if you have any questions or concerns, we’re here for you!

Teddy, the SPCA’s longest-term foster dog, has a unique set of special needs. He was adopted by a very special family in 2018.