Foster care is an integral part of our rescue program. It allows us to take needy dogs out of the shelter system, and is an important assessment tool to ensure the dog is matched with the right adoptive home.

Foster families commit to caring for a dog for a minimum of 30 days. During that time the dog is included in a family home environment, and foster parents observe and provide feedback on behaviour, personality, likes, dislikes and anything else a potential adopter may need to consider.


Benefits of fostering

  • Your commitment to foster can literally mean the difference between life and death. All dogs do poorly in the shelter system, but pit bulls suffer the most (learn why). And when shelter space becomes tight, or stress-related behaviour becomes unmanageable, the “less adoptable” dogs are euthanized. Make no mistake – this still happens in BC!
  • Fostering saves two lives. By taking one dog out of the shelter system, it frees up a space for another needy dog.
  • You get to experience the fun and love of a new dog without the lifetime commitment.
  • We respect your feedback! We want to hear all your opinions and observations of the dog, and these will have a direct impact on the home we choose for the dog.
  • HugABull is committed to providing full support for foster families. We provide check-ins, training advice, and the support of the entire community.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a foster parent?
Complete and submit our Foster Application. A HugABull representative will contact you for a phone interview, followed by a home check and an opportunity to answer any questions you may have. If all goes well, we will contact you when a dog matching your specifications enters our program.

Am I going to be matched with a “troubled” shelter dog?
HugABull performs a series of in-depth shelter assessments, developed and perfected by leading trainers. Most fosters are happy with the dogs that come into their homes – as adult rescue dogs they usually come house-trained, with stable temperaments and house manners.  And as pit bulls, they are naturally people-friendly and eager to please, which makes training a breeze!

At the same time, it’s important to have reasonable expectations. When a dog comes out of the shelter, you may see stress behaviours come and go for the first days or weeks. This may mean an improvement in behaviours, or it may mean that new behaviours will show themselves. We do our very best to ensure there aren’t any surprises for you, but we do ask for some patience and willingness to work on issues like leash manners, separation anxiety, basic manners, etc. We will provide support including home visits and training classes. And if it isn’t working out for you and the dog, we will move the dog to a new foster spot as soon as we can. It’s important to us that everyone has a good experience fostering.

What is expected of me?
Because foster dogs are new to us, you’ll be asked to follow guidelines to keep them safe and ensure their experiences are positive. This includes no off-leash activity, controlled introductions to other animals, and other common-sense measures. HugABull will pay for all basic expenses like food, leash/collar, crates and of course vet care.

Isn’t it hard to say good-bye?
Yes! Many foster homes have shed a tear or two when seeing their beloved foster pet walk out the door for the last time. But any sadness is short-lived when you know that the dog has an amazing forever home, and you played an important part in getting him there.

If you do fall in love with your foster dog and wish to make her a permanent addition, there’s little that stands in the way of the adoption contract! The dog is already in your home and you generally have “first dibs” on her. And you won’t be alone! There are dozens and dozens of “failed fosters” including many HugABull directors and volunteers.