Become a DIBS Rescue Foster


DIBS can’t do what we do without amazing foster homes to help dogs and puppies transition into a wonderful new life!

Please fill out the application posted below.  Once we review it, we will call for a phone screen!  We have detailed some info below:  if you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask at [email protected]

Not ready to foster, but want to volunteer?  Read this!

If you are looking for info on our “Foster to Adopt” program, please read more here!

Why Foster?

Quite simply – we need amazing people that are able to foster.  Without a foster home, we can not remove a dog from a shelter. (Which means another dog can’t be rescued)

Our foster families provide the love, care and shelter for our rescues by opening their hearts and homes to care for these dogs until approved permanent homes are be found. We’re limited to how many dogs we can rescue without available foster homes.

Being a foster family for DIBS Rescue requires a bit of a commitment. We know it’s not for everyone but it IS important to consider all the facts if this is something you truly want to do. Being a foster parent may not always be easy, but it is a very rewarding experience – even life changing! Just ask any of our current foster families.

How long will I have a foster dog for?

Rescue dogs in our foster care program can vary. For example, typically the younger dogs and puppies are adopted faster while older dogs can take longer. Foster care can be as short as a week or possibly a few months. While it’s rare, some dogs also have special circumstances that require a special foster and forever home. That dog may take longer to adopt out, but it will be the most rewarding and happy experience you may ever have while fostering.

How much will it cost to foster a dog?

DIBS Rescue covers all veterinary expenses for the dogs in our rescue. We ask all our foster families to please provide plenty of love, patience, care, a warm roof over their head, and basic training to help socialize the dog, if required, to increase their chances of being adopted.  We try to provide a foundation of what the foster parent needs to get started with a dog bed and/or crate when available. Each foster dog comes with a bag of supplies that includes food, treats, a toy, a Tractive, slip lead, car clip and a $25 gift card for Rens. We provide a DIBS blanket for the dog to keep as well. Fosters may be required to fill in the gaps with dog bowls, treats, leashes, etc, if we don’t have any current donations on hand (which is rare)

How do I know what to do?

DIBS Fosters have a little community established to share information and resources, and you will never feel alone. You’ll receive information and training on fostering, dog behaviour and training basics, and administrative procedures (which are minimal but important). We mentor our foster homes, and are always available for questions and emergencies. DIBS is privileged to have a great community of volunteers to support you with advice and concerns. We have a Facebook group just for our foster community to share consistent and proactive messaging to help you every step of the way.

We try our best to obtain as much information from the shelters as possible to share with our foster families. We work very closely with our shelters, so we usually know quite a lot about a dog, before placing it into a foster home.  Many may not be housebroken or have been mistreated, while other foster dogs are perfectly fine without any issues to work through. Your commitment, patience and compassion to these dogs will increase their chances of finding new forever homes.

We are also sensitive to the fact that being a foster can also be an emotional time for our foster families when the dog in their care has found a permanent home through our adoption program. You’ll feel a close attachment to your foster dog, that’s natural. Yes, there will be tears but remember this – it was YOU who gave your fostered dog a second chance for a new life!

We ask our foster families to help with information about the personality, likes/dislikes, habits and training level to help our volunteer write detailed profiles for each one in our care.  You also have a large role in finding the right home for your foster dog:  after all, you know him best!

What do we look for in a foster home?

Fostering experience is not necessary, but ideally a foster home has some dog experience.  We do want a dog to be set up for success and having someone comfortable with the “good, bad and weird” is helpful. We don’t discriminate with yards, apartments, kids, cats, dogs, age, etc.  We look at each application on it’s own, and see if we have a dog that could be a match. Typically DIBS dogs are younger and they do benefit from having a dog pal – but again – not a requirement as we try to ensure we match dogs with the right foster homes, taking all factors into consideration (primarily dogs/cats/kids).  We do ask our front line partners to provide a full bio of each dog coming into DIBS and we request additional testing for compatibility. We try to accommodate preferences with foster families but most fosters are happy to deviate from their typical type, if it means saving a life!

Younger dogs should get a break every 2-3 hours, so that would need to work within the foster families schedule. (DIBS rarely gets older dogs, that would be able to be on their own for 5+ hours at a stretch).  Currently our foster homes range from London to Ottawa, with the majority around the greater Toronto area.  Our foster parents do have a peer group and are able to share tips and lean on each other for support.

How do I start?

  • Complete the Online Foster Application Form (below)
  • One of our volunteers will contact you to schedule a home visit.
  • Once you have been approved, we will help match you with the most suitable dog. Each foster family selects their foster dog, but we will guide you as to what we believe is a good fit for your experience, lifestyle and, of course, the dog’s needs.
  • Our Volunteer Team is available at all times if you have any questions or concerns.


Send the online form:

To keep your info secure, we have now included a new captcha step.  Once submitting your application, please look for the confirmation page and the image of a dog with a thumbs up – this is the final step, and if you see this, your application has been submitted!