Foster to Adopt (FTA)

At DIBS, we want to have all the dogs come into rescue, but are limited by number of foster homes. In an effort to solve this dilemma, in some situations, after screening is completed and potential dog match is made, we may suggest “Foster to Adopt” (FTA).  A FTA will start as a regular adoption application where you apply for a dog that you like, within our Incoming dogs only.  If we have are unable to find a foster (resulting in dog not coming into rescue) we may ask applicant if they would consider FTA.  The screening process is the same as as the standard application and screening process, as the final intent is to adopt. 
Once a dog has arrived, they already have a foster parent and will not be eligible for the FTA program.

Is Foster to Adopt more like “Fostering” or more like “Adopting”?

Answer is…..Adopting!!!  If you are part of our FTA program, your end goal is Adoption – which is awesome!  We ask that people fill out the adoption application and we will go from there!  If you are approved to foster, the onboarding process is different and we help you get your foster pups into their future homes.  We get that sometimes foster fails happen, but if a foster fail is planned, that is “foster to adopt”.  Please discuss with your family, what your end goal is, and fill out the appropriate application for you (and for us!)

The bonus for you

  1. You get to see your dog in its first moments in Canada, as you would ideally pick up the dog at the airport!
  2. We hold applications until you decide (approx 7-10 days)
  3. You are first in line to call “dibs” for that dog! (remember some dogs get up to 10 applications!)
  4. At the end of the FTA period, it’s time to make a decision.  If “yes, let’s complete adoption”, we finalize payment (less your deposit) and complete paperwork within 7-10 days.  And if it’s “nope, not a match”, we get it: we know sometimes it is not the right fit for various reasons so you would then agree to foster the dog until a right match comes along and we work together to find you your perfect companion!

The Fine Print

  • Disclaimer on dog – not every dog is FTA potential!  We need to know lots about the dog for FTA to be considered.
  • Disclaimer on applicant – different dogs have different needs.  We are more likely to approve applicants, with maximum success factors in place (no kids, no cats, dog pal, home most of the time, secure back yard, etc)  
  • Of course, on rare occassions, there are exceptions to the rule.
  • If you see a dog with the current status of “Foster to Adopt” it means that dog is already in the program – as someone has applied to foster with hopes to adopt.  We are not accepting more applications for the dog, until the foster makes their decision.  



Been approved to Foster to Adopt?  Congrats!  
Here is some additional information for the big day!

Airport Pickup!

  • Our foster coordinator will let you know the date/time of the scheduled flight.  You can contact her at
  • We ask that you show up at the airport approx 60-85 minutes after the plane lands (it does take a bit of extra time to get the dogs and clear commercial customs).  Avoid showing up too early as parking gets expensive, quickly!  Use flightaware to track real time details.
  • Most flights are Terminal 3.  Please park at 4e, aisle 6 (in case we need help loading crates, or hand-off of food). Air Canada is the only airline at Terminal 1. 
  • Specific details are all listed here:
  • DIBS airport lead will bring you a bag with the dogs blanket, as well as other available donations (treats, slip lead, coat) – only if available!  We will also bring dog food (typically available)
  • RULE: dogs can not be removed from the crates at the airport.  We ask that you do not remove the dog until you are home and in your secure back yard.  The dog may need to relieve themselves, and they will be hungry/thirsty.  Be ready to cater to them!
  • Get the Tractive device on your foster pup. Check out the “tips” section here:
  • Read:   – It is so important to get started on the right foot.

Wait – there’s more!

  • First things first – scan and send us your dogs vetting (
  • Take photos – we love to see how the pups are doing
  • Take a few days, before deciding “yes, this is my forever dog!”. In the meantime, we will get the adoption contract to you, for when you are ready to commit.
  • Once contract and adoption fee are submitted – it’s final!
  • We can make arrangements to get the crate back from you. These crates are literally life savers, so we must send them back, in order to save more lives!