Fostering Guidelines for Members

General Considerations

Foster Care is a large commitment that is much appreciated by the Pyrs saved and all of NEPR’s members. In many cases, we have information regarding the dog needing foster care and we try to match the foster home to the appropriate dog. However, sometimes we have no information regarding the dog or the information we receive is not accurate.

Foster homes can be short term (a few days to a couple weeks) or long term (several weeks or months). Ideally, the dog should stay in the same foster home until adopted. All members of NEPR assist in finding a home for the dogs in foster but the final decision for placement is with the person providing foster care. NEPR does not assume that you will foster continuously and you will be asked prior to any foster placements. You of course, have the right to say ‘no’ at anytime.

Points to Consider

  • Nominal costs for food and transport to the vet, etc. are not usually reimbursed by NEPR but are donated by the foster home. If thi s is a problem, discuss this with the NEPR President.
  • Consider in advance how you will deal with barking, marking or any destructive behaviors.
  • Never be in a hurry to place the dog . . . better to move to another foster home if you are frustrated and feeling ‘desperate’! We want the placement to be a “forever” home.
  • People are not “doing us a favor” by taking the dog. They are getting a special forever friend and it is an honor to share life with a Pyr.
  • Feel OK about saying “No” if you feel the family/person is not a match for the dog. This is easier if people know ahead of time that visiting the dog for the first time doesn’t necessarily mean they are taking the dog home.
  • Insist people come to your foster home to meet the dog so you can carefully assess the match and feel very comfortable with the new family (see Transfer of Ownership Guidelines).
  • Whenever possible, do NOT meet on a highway or parking lot etc. where interaction is hasty and can not be assessed properly.
  • If they complain about the distance, they do not want the dog very badly!
  • The required monetary donation must be made at the time of transfer of ownership and they should know the amount prior to their visit.
    • The donation should include the standard fee plus any medical expenses. Advise owners of this policy.
    • We do NOT have payment plans or take credit card payments and will not release the dog without payment - - no excuses (including “I forgot my check book” or “I’m a little short on money right now”!).
    • The confirmation letter sent after the application was received explains the fees.
    • If you are uncomfortable dealing with the financial discussion, please ask another member to discuss this with the prospective owner PRIOR to the foster visit.
    • If they can’t pay $300 - $400 they can NOT afford a Pyr! This is a major red flag for NOT giving them a dog!
  • Plan a one (1) hour meeting when potential owners/families come to visit the dog. Pre-screened/approved people will call concerning the dog. Plan phone time for your interviews of these individuals and don’t waste time scheduling appointments to see the dog if the phone interview identifies that they are not appropriate for this dog. We will keep them in mind for other dogs. Let us know it is not a match so we can suggest other foster Pyrs.
  • Plan follow-up phone time once the dog is placed (See Guidelines for Transfer of Ownership).
  • Give them a paper or business card with your name, phone and e-mail (if available) as well as NEPR’s rescue coordinator’s name and phone number. This allows them to call someone else if they can’t reach you (i.e. you are away) if they have any issues.

Ensure the Safety of YOUR Dogs

  • If you foster, be sure that your dogs have current titers or vaccines.
  • Have a crate available in case you need it. Use of an X-pen is an excellent way to keep the foster Pyr away from your dogs to reduce incidents of unknown contagious disease.
  • A separate room in the house that allows for accidents or a kennel run with shelter is ideal.
  • Do not feed or water the foster dog with the same bowls you use for your dogs.
  • Avoid sharing bedding.
  • Do not feed or give treats to the foster when in close proximity to your dog to avoid food aggression issues.
  • Generally, it is a good idea to keep your dogs and the foster dog separated for the full duration of the foster. However, if for some reason the foster dog will be living with your dogs after the 7-14 day “quarantine” period, introduce the dogs in neutral territory first (away from your yard/home) and while dogs are leashed. You may want to have a squirt bottle, water hose or loud whistle available in case of a fight.
  • Next, introduce the dogs outside in your yard while both dogs are leashed, even if the yard is fenced. (This makes separation, if needed, easier and safer.) Repeat this outside introduction several times before allowing them together loose in the fenced yard.
  • Never allow dogs to be together unsupervised in your home.
  • If a fight occurs, separate the dogs by grabbing each dog’s tail, not their head and neck. Use a broom to ‘shoo’ them apart.
  • Squirt beer on them. (Domestic beer is recommended by Ev Naglie!! Save the good stuff for later when you can relax.)
  • Be prepared to give and get a lot of love and keep in mind it is difficult to say good-bye. Remember, with careful screening there are many great homes and wonderful people. Most importantly, remember if you keep every foster, you won’t have room to help another one in need!

Veterinary Requirements

If there is no current vet record, have the dog checked be a vet ASAP. Try to keep vet costs down and do only the necessary vaccines, tests or procedures. Vet expenses can be donated or submitted to the NEPR treasurer for reimbursement.

  • Extra testing, surgery and/or X-rays require approval of a board member.
  • Whenever possible, spay and neuters should be performed by veterinarians accepting Friends of Animals Certificates. If you are a regular foster home, you can ask for the certificates from a NEPR Board member. Go on-line to to find the veterinarians near you that accept the certificate.


The following information should be used for microchipping. Give the form to the new owner during the transfer or NEPR will forward it to them. New owners will be expected to pay a $12 transfer fee to CAR (Companion Animal Recover), If it is another service, instructions will be provided.

Register to: Jodi Chiquoine, Northeast Pyr Rescue, 95 Summer Street, Lee, MA 01238

Daytime phone: (413) 243-9850

Evening phone: (413) 243-9850


Alternate Contact: Sally Filkins, Northeast Pyr Rescue, 35 Clinton Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201 (413) 442-1928,

Pet Information: Take from records and your own observation.

Regular Veterinarian: Don Gulick or Claire Blanchar, Bilmar Veterinary Clinic, 766 Main Street, Great Barrington , MA 01230 (413) 528-1180.