Grace, how do you deal with rehoming your fosters? You foster through a rescuse, right? Does that help with it? Knowing that the rescue does a good job at checking out homes? everytime we get a good lead, I'm excited, but I also get tense and worried that they won't be a good home (and I won't send them off to a home that I think is a bad fit). But I know these little guys need to get out of here and into their permanent homes.
1. The dogs' pictures and blurbs about them are listed on the rescue website and cross-listed on Petfinder (like this).
2. People either
a) see a specific dog in whom they are interested or
b) decide they may want to adopt from a specific rescue
and they fill out and email in an adoption application (like this).
3. The placement coordinator at the rescue reads the application. She's looking for, among other things:
a) evidence that current/former pets are or have been taken care of
b) evidence that the potential adopter has a realistic assessment of the costs (both financial and otherwise) of life with a dog
c) evidence that the potential foster is physically/financially capable of caring for the dog
4. If the application looks promising, the coordinator calls the potential and talks to him/her on the phone. S/he goes over the rescue's adoption policies and fees and talks to the potential about the responsibilities of dog rescue.
5. If that phone conversation goes well, the coordinator puts the potential in touch with the foster (us). The foster and the potential make plans for a home visit, during which the foster brings the dog to the potentials home. This is for two reasons:
1. So the potential can meet and interact w/ the dog
2. So the foster can meet the potential and check out his/her house
6. During the home visit, we check for safety hazards and look at the condition of other pets in the home, watch how the potential interacts with the dog, and basically get a feel for the situation.
7. If, post-home visit, the foster feels that the situation is a go and the potential is ready to adopt, another meeting is set up to do the adoption paperwork, collect the fee, and hand over the dog. Sometimes, more intermediate meetings are needed for either side to make sure it's a good fit.
8. After the dog is in the new home, the new owners have two weeks to return the dog to the rescue and get their adoption fee returned. After two weeks, they can return the dog at any time for any reason, but the fee will not be returned.
Sorry for the novella, but that's the process.
When we did the kittens (ourselves, not through a rescue), we did basically the same thing, only we filled all the roles, rather than just the foster one.