Handy Helpful Guide to DRLA Fostering

Welcome to being a DRLA Foster:

This is such an exciting time for you and the wonderful dog you are helping to save.  First of all,…. THANK YOU SO MUCH.  It is through the work of all of the DRLA volunteers that together we can save lives. 

Besides getting the leash, harness, food, and crate all set up there are a few other things we need you to make sure you understand.

Your Role:

Welcome your foster pup into your home and life.  Treat the dog like he or she is your very own.  In addition to basic care you will be helping to provide a stable environment, so the pup can learn appropriate behaviors that will help him or her with the new family.  This will take patience and love.  Take the dog for walks and help him or her to socialize whenever possible and safe.  Talk to your DRLA contact about any veterinary appointments pending.  Also, be sure you can attend an adoption event or two in the very near future (or when medically cleared to do so.)

Now it is time for the paperwork:

  1. Create a File Folder for each dog you are working with
  2. Inside that folder should be your Doggy Passport Form for each dog with as much information as possible. (If the dog has been previously fostered this will come with the dog)
  3. All Vet records and any shelter paperwork you receive and or gather over time.
  4. It’s your responsibility to update all paperwork, bring paperwork to the vet when you go, send/bring the paperwork with your dog to adoptions, and give paperwork to the new owner once adopted.
  5. You can also use the outside of the file folder to document and important notes for the new family.


  1. Send a copy of the Doggy Passport and all paperwork that came with the dog(s) (shelter and or vet) to Cathy and Tamara per the instructions on the cover page of the Doggy Passport and Foster Form packet.
  2. Take 3 copies of your new friend. We want AWWWWWsome photos with your dog looking at the camera.  No sleeping photos please. In the email to Cathy with the photos include your dog’s name age, and weight.
  3. Now create your pups Bio for the website: this should include all the facts the prospective family should know and all that makes your pup great. Try and keep it on the positive side (Instead of “marks everything in the house” perhaps write “potty training still in progress.” You can see the website for examples.  It is ok if you wait a few days before you put this part together.  Remember the DRLA team reserves the right to revise your bio and can assist you if needed.

The Adoption Process:

As applications come in to the website they will be reviewed and then sent to you to review.  Read the applications carefully with your dog’s needs in mind.  If you need some help feel free to ask for it.  When you have found an application or two that you are interested in you can call your DRLA connection and make sure the applicants have been home checked.  After that you can call the potential adopter(s)and ask any follow up questions and share a bit about the dog.  Invite the perspective owners to an upcoming event (check the website for all event dates).  DO NOT MAKE ANY PROMISES TO ANYONE, except that you will be present.  Remind the perspective owner to bring any other dogs to meet the possible fur sibling. 


Attending the event:

These events are so great.  A wonderful opportunity to meet the other DRLA people and ask any questions you may have.  Remember, all dogs should go to at least one event before being adopted outside of an event.


  • your foster on his or her harness and on a leash
  • your file folder with all updated paperwork and the updated Doggy Passport
  • any current medications
  • a ziplock baggie with a few days of your foster’s current food (optional, but helpful)
  • any special items you may want your foster to take with him or her to his or her new home (totally optional)


Meeting the Potential Adopter(s):

Spend some time chatting with the person(s) about the foster dog, highlighting what makes your pup special.  If you feel comfortable allow the family (and any fur siblings) to take your foster for a short walk and meet with the dog.  You must take time to confer with a DRLA representative prior to any decision making.  While you as the foster will have a lot of say in placement, the final decision will be that of DRLA. 



Complete the top half of the adoption contract.  The adopting family will complete the rest of the contract.  If your foster dog gets adopted at an event, this paperwork is usually handled for you by the DRLA host. You only need to handle this if you do the adoption yourself.  Please review the adoption contract with the adopter. 

Things to bring to their attention from the contract,

Tags: They have to keep the DRLA tag on the dog’s collar forever. If your dog somehow doesn’t have a DRLA tag, please e-mail Dolores at dperezsaar@me.com and she will send you one. Adopters must also buy a tag with their own address on it.

Ownership Responsibilities with DRLA: Adopters are not allowed to give the dog to anyone else if the dog needs to leave their home. They must contact DRLA! Dog ownership transfers to close relatives can be accommodated, but DRLA must be informed before a transfer is made. DRLA dogs cannot be sold or given to anyone.

Fitting in: They have a two-week trial period to make sure the dog fits. We advise adopters to give the dog four days to settle in and decompress before judging. All this moving is scary for dogs. At the end of two weeks, if the fit isn’t right, ask that the dog be returned to DRLA. They should contact you, the foster, and Tamara to give us warning. Usually it works well to bring the dog back to the next adoption event. In emergency situations when any foster or adopted dog has to leave the house immediately, call Dr. Jones at (310) 477-4400.



Your DRLA contact will share with you what the adoption fee for the dog will be.  When it comes time direct the adopter to the DRLA website and have him or her click donate.  From there they can enter the amount you have been told into the donation box.  When the payment has been processed take a screen shot (photo of the payment processed (with amount) screen. WE ONLY ACCEPT PAYMENT THROUGH THE WEBSITE (which accepts PayPal, credit, and debit payments)


Your Final Responsibilities:

  • Take a Happy Tails Photo: E-mail a photo of the happy new family to Cathy.drla@gmail.com so Cathy can post a picture of the dog with the new family.
  • KEEP IN CONTACT WITH THE NEW OWNER. Ask for pictures and updates, offer your help and advice as needed. Give the adopter about a week or so before you start checking in. Good questions to ask: “How is JoJo fitting into the family so far?”, “Can I be of help?”, and “Do you have any questions about JoJo or caring for JoJo?”
  • Think about fostering again. You may need to take some time to recover, that is perfectly normal.  However, DRLA always has many dogs waiting that need help and we need fosters like you to make a difference in their lives.



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