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The Fostering Process

Portrait with Dog

Welcome to the first step of opening your heart and home to a dog in need of fostering.

Apart from being a very rewarding experience, foster carers form an integral part of our team and play a large part in helping us re-home the many dogs that come into our care each year.

Without the generosity of people like you, many of our dogs that are not candidates for the kennel environment would have no choice but to endure the shelter environment day in and day out.

I’m Ready to Foster, What Do I Need?

All you need is a home where your foster dog can spend lots of time indoors, a secured yard/outdoor area, time to spend with your foster dog and unconditional love  Our fosters provide food, toys and bedding however if required, Merlin’s Haven will provide.

Merlin’s Haven will be responsible for the cost of any vet costs incurred during the foster period which we envisage will be a minimum of 6 weeks but could be several months so please ensure that you can commit to this period of time as it is very unsettling for the dog if we have to move them to another foster. 

Of course unforeseen circumstances to happen and if this is the case, we will of course find an alternative foster home but this will require as much notice as possible.

Your Responsibilities as a Foster Carer

Your responsibilities are:

  • Keeping your foster dog safe by securing your garden and home

  • Never take your foster dog off-lead in public places until you are sure that they will come back to you.

  • Always make sure your foster dog is wearing their collar with an ID tag

  • Always alert us to any medical and behavior concerns you may have

  • Making sure your foster dog gets adequate daily exercise

  • Transportation to the vet for medical check-ups and potential adoption viewings

  • Keep us up-to-date with photos and behavior feedback so we can promote your foster dog for adoption

  • Promote the dog to your network of friends

  • Treat the dog as if it was your own

  • The fosterer should be prepared to provide basic training, including house-training, if required

  • The fosterer should provide regular updates and photos of their foster dog progress and liaise with potential adopters where necessary.

Below are some commonly asked questions about fostering which you may find useful.


Can I choose the dog I want to foster?

Whilst we make every effort to match you with a suitable foster dog, there are cases where we may not have a dog to match your needs or lifestyle. Unfortunately, we can’t allow foster carers to choose which dog they’d like to foster otherwise dogs that are coping perfectly fine in kennels will end up waiting longer for a forever home. Our dog selection process is based on which dogs NEED foster. These tend to be dogs that have been at the shelter for a period of time, older dogs who we feel would benefit from being seen by potential adopters before a decision to adopt or dogs that have not experienced a home environment before.

What if I decide I want to adopt the dog?

If you feel you are falling in love with your foster dog and you’d like to offer him/her a forever home, please get in contact with us as soon as possible. You will still be required to go through our normal adoption process, which includes completing the Adoption Questionnaire and paying the relevant adoption fee.

Do you do home visits?

We will do a homecheck prior to you being accepted as a foster and reserve the right to do follow up calls the dogs foster period.

What happens if I have to go away during the fostering period?

If you have unexpected travel plans while you are fostering a dog, please get in contact with us so we can find a suitable temporary home for the dog while you are away.

Do I have to pay anything to foster?

There is not fee for fostering a dog while we find it a suitable forever home.  However, if you are fostering with a view to adopt, we do ask for a £250 payment towards the adoption fee.  Once you have made the decision to adopt the dog, the remaining balance of the adoption fee will be payable.

If however you decide not to adopt the dog, the £250 will be refunded.

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Let's Make A Change

Here are some ways you can donate:

In Person

We Welcome Any Dog / Cat Food, Beds, Linen, Or Anything Which Can Assist Us.


PayPal (SafePay) Donation

Over the Phone

If You Have Any Ideas On How To Raise Funds, Please Call Us

(00357) 992 42501

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