Thinking about Fostering?

Thank you so much for thinking about fostering for Axarquia Animal Rescue (AAR).

Fostering really does save lives.

We only have a very small emergency place of safety for dogs and the use of a small private kennels. We therefore rely heavily on Foster carers to take our animals into their homes and give us the time we need to find their forever homes.

Why Foster For AAR?

Fostering an animal is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (other than adopting of course!). By fostering you:

  • enable AAR to take that animal on our books and do our very best to find it a forever home
  • free up a kennel space so that we can take on another animal in desperate need
  • help us learn more about the animal so that we can find them the best possible forever home
  • socialise the animal in your home environment and give them the very best chances of being adopted

What Makes A Good Foster Carer?

There is no perfect profile for a foster carer. You may already have pets or this may be the first time you have shared your life with an animal. You may live in a campo house with lots of land or you may live in an apartment in a town or village. The most important thing a good foster carer has is the willingness to open up their heart and their home to a foster animal.

All you need is a heart of gold. We will help with all the practical issues, cover any direct costs for the animal and provide you with any guidance that you need.

What Type Of Animal Is Best For Me To Foster?

AAR will work with you to identify the best match. We will get to know you and your lifestyle and preferences and then match you up with the right foster animal for you.

For example if you live in a small apartment then a big and bouncy dog may not be the best match, whereas an older and calmer dog could be perfect.

Your preferences about the type of animal you want to foster are very important to us and we will do our very best to meet them. Some people only want to foster ‘bottle feeding’ babies, others want to foster active and healthy animals, others want to help an animal with special needs to flourish and overcome their obstacles. Some of our foster carers only do emergency care (for just a few days), others do short term (few weeks) or long term care. Some only do one month every few months. Fostering is totally flexible and we will work with you to fit it around your existing commitments and lifestyle.

How Does It Work In Practice?

First we talk with you to identify your experience (it doesn’t matter if you don’t have any!), preferences and the best fit for your lifestyle. We always do a home check for all new foster carers. All our animals are precious and it is vital to us that we get to know you a little better. We also look at practical issues during the home check – for example if you have low fencing then a Podenco may not be the right dog for you. If you have two males then a female may be a better fit. We will also put you in contact with other foster carers who are more than happy to share their experiences with you.

Once the home check is successfully completed we will take all the information and discuss the best fit foster animals for you. We will of course take on board your time constraints and preferences. We then issue you a foster contract for that particular animal.

Depending on the case, it may be possible for you to meet your proposed foster animal beforehand. For example, if you already have a dog, it is often a good idea to meet with the foster dog in a neutral area and just go for a walk to see how the dogs interact.

Once your foster animal is at home with you then their AAR Caseworker will be your main point of contact. Our Caseworkers are responsible for all aspects of the animal, from making sure you have any equipment you need, such as leads, harnesses or puppy/kitten crates; to arranging the animals vaccination schedules, advertising them for adoption and arranging their travel to their new forever homes. Your Caseworker will also be able to give you advice and guidance on anything you need such as how to feed a tiny puppy through to the best ways to motivate and stimulate an older animal.

We also have comprehensive guides such as Successful Fostering, Bottle Feeding, Socialising Puppies, How to Take Great Pictures of your Foster Animal and many more.

For additional support we have a Foster Carers Group on Facebook. This is a closed community just for our foster parents and is a great place to exchange ideas, views and just chat about your foster animal. We also hold a monthly foster meeting at Trapiche Market (near Torre Del Mar) where all our fosterers and their foster dogs are welcome for a chat and coffee – it’s a great way of socialising the dogs as well.

As a foster carer, aside from caring for the animal as you would your own pet, we do ask you to do a few things for us. Make sure your foster dog is out and about with you as much as possible – we will provide you with an AAR ID tag for them and an ‘Adopt Me’ coat/bandana. Visiting local dog parks and markets is a great way to get people interested in them. Get as many good pictures and videos as you can – these are invaluable for helping us advertise your foster animal. Keep your Caseworker up to date on your animal’s progress, their character and personality and little stories of their day to day lives. Expose your animal to as many different experiences as you can – for example get a dog used to the car, walking on a lead and learning basic commands. Get cats used to a cat flap, interacting with other animals and getting used to other people. If you get any enquiries direct about your foster animal then pass them onto your Caseworker. We have a strict adoption process and your Caseworker will follow up all enquiries.

AAR will pay for all your foster animals vet treatment, vaccinations and neutering. We will provide you with any equipment you may need such as puppy crates, bedding, lead/harness and can even provide food if you need us to.

Once your foster animal is reserved for adoption, we undertake home checks no matter what country they live in. Your Caseworker will work with the new family to arrange any travel or transport, keeping you in the loop at all times.

How Can I Bear To Let Them Go?

This is the question we most often get asked. To be a good foster carer you need to give that animal your time, love and care, and a natural and positive consequence of that is that saying goodbye is hard.

The sad fact is that if our kennel spaces are full, and we cannot find a fosterer, then we are unable to help an animal in need.

Remember it is easier to say goodbye to an animal who is starting the rest of their lives with their wonderful forever family. In many cases if you had not fostered that animal then we would not have been able to help them. You really are saving a life.

Our network of foster carers, as well as AAR and your Caseworker will give you all the support possible. Remember, fostering is a wonderful way to help more than just one animal. Many of our fosterers go on to foster time and time again. Their hearts break a little each time their foster animal goes to their new home, but the next foster animal quickly fills that gap with love.

We also have a Foster Co-Ordinator who is on hand for any questions and queries that you may have.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for how many animals you have to foster or how long you must wait before taking in a new foster. You're doing a great thing by opening up your home, so don't feel guilty when your dog gets adopted and you suddenly find yourself with a little more free time. You tell us when you are ready to foster again.

Many of our foster carers develop friendships with the new parents of their foster animals (even when their animal is adopted outside of Spain), and receive ongoing updates and pictures – even Christmas and Valentines cards from the animals themselves! It is hard to remain sad when you can see the love and joy of their new families and how loved, happy and settled the animals are.

From time to time foster carers find that they just can’t part with their foster animal (and that is OK!) so long as you tell us as soon as you are considering adopting.

Next Steps?

We hope you have found this information on fostering useful and we will be keeping our fingers and toes crossed that you decide to come and join our fostering team.

Thank you, and remember: Fostering Saves Lives.

Here are just a few comments from some of our existing wonderful foster carers:

"Taking a sad and scared soul and watching it blossom is worth all the tears when they run to their new home" – Steph, Velez Malaga

"We really find fostering rewarding. It gives us the opportunity to make a real difference in the life of a dog and while we get to know a new foster dog, we also learn something about ourselves." – Denise, Alfarnatejo

"Every moment is special. It is heart-breaking at times waving them off to their forever homes but knowing that you helped them make it that far is reward enough . . . knowing you have a good back up team if any problems arise, that there is always someone on the other end of a computer to chat to." – Jacqueline, Torrox Costa

"It makes me feel like I am making a small, but important contribution . . . I am proud to be one small soldier of love working to make life better for these animals." – Valerie, Frigliana

"I am only into my second foster but I can’t begin to describe the joy it has brought me . . . I never thought that I would be able to foster because I thought I would get too attached. Once I saw how quickly he settled into his new life it made me realise how important we are in helping heal the mental and sometimes physical scars." – Christine, Vinuela

Vets in the Axarquia

See a list of some of the vets local to the Axarquia

Reporting Abuse

If you need to report a case of cruelty please contact SEPRONA

If you find a stray ...

dog or cat abandoned in the Axarquia region, here's what to do