If you love dogs and cats you can literally become a life saver!

If you’d like to join our loyal team of foster carers, click here to download the form & return by email.

If you answer yes to any of these questions then foster caring or dog socialising may be for you..

Do you?

  • Love dogs and cats but unable to commit to a forever home?
  • Travel a lot and miss having a companion around when you’re home?
  • Live off a low income and feel concerned about the costs of permanently owning a pet?
  • Move house a lot or can’t guarantee the next rental will allow dogs or cats?
  • Have your own pets but want to help others too?
  • Feel unsure about committing to owning a pet – wondering if this is the right decision for you?
  • Want to help abandoned and/or neglected dogs and cats find their perfect home?

What exactly is a foster carer?

Foster caring involves taking in a dog, cat, kitten, puppy or litter in need and caring for them until a permanent home can be found. Foster carers offer a temporary home environment and open up room for another rescue (that may have otherwise been on death row at a pound for example) to take the space they once filled as they waited. Sitting within four walls is no fun and dogs and cats can often become depressed.

Dogs and Cats may require foster care if:

  • They are recovering from an illness
  • Are expecting a litter
  • Nursing mum and her babies until they are old enough to leave mum
  • Need hand raising
  • They are sick or injured and require nursing and time to recover.
  • Orphaned puppies and kitens require frequent (around the clock) bottle feeding.

But many foster dogs and puppies, cats and kittens simply need a place to stay until a permanent home can be found.

What is a dog socialiser?

A dog socialiser takes in dogs or puppies in temporarily as they adjust to a new life. A socialiser allows the dogs to experience the loving bond with a human given they may have come from a neglected background. Others may have not had much contact with humans in their past.

Socialisers facilitate the building of trust like for a shy or nervous dog or puppy. Becoming socialised allows the dog to adjust to a home environment, other pets, children, etc. and it enables them to adjust to becoming the ideal pet people are searching for.

Scared or unsocialised dogs can learn to trust and build up confidence so patience is required for this to take place. A puppy growing with regular loving handling accustoms them to receiving human kindness, affection and attention. Time needs to be spent giving cuddles and playing with the babies or older pets.

Would you like to be involved in fostering or socialising?

Being a foster carer or a socialiser is ideal for those that want to have a hand in helping dogs without needing to provide a home forever. Some dogs can be stuck in kennels for several months and even years until they find their home. This work enables more organisations like us to offer no kill shelters otherwise they just wouldn’t have the room to keep all of the abandoned animals. If you are unsure we can speak to you in more detail about what’s involved. You can call us on 0447 410 001.

What are the responsibilities and requirements?

  • You will need to offer a safe and secure fenced environment for the dog and cat.
  • You will need to be able to offer the time needed to properly provide care and be willing to offer love and affection.
  • You will need to be willing to administer medication if it is required and keep the dog or cat up-to-date with flea, worm and tick treatments (if you live in an area where ticks are found).
  • Grooming is required regularly for long haired dogs to avoid any matted hair.
  • If you have other pets, you will need to isolate the foster pet initially until they can be slowly integrated and accepted by your other pet/pets. This also allows them the time to adjust to a new environment and become accustomed to other pet smells, noises, etc. Introductions should be well supervised.
  • A sick dog or cat will need to be isolated from your other pets with the use of and proper hygiene precautions taken to avoid transmitting disease.

How long does the dog or cat stay in my care?

The length of your foster care or socialising care depends on many factors. You may be available for the short-term to foster or you may be more flexible. Wally’s Doggie Rescue will work with you on pairing you with the right dog or cat depending on your availability and experience.

Generally fosters can range from just one weekend, to weeks or even months depending on the circumstances of each pet.

Does it cost me anything?

Wally’s Dog Rescue will cover vet bills (provided you take the pet to our vet at Bateau Bay). We will also cover medication, bottles/formula and in some cases food. You will be required to provide a safe shelter.

Becoming attached to your foster pet…

Providing a temporary home means it’s only natural that you might become truly attached to your visitor. Remember that you are doing such a good deed offering a loving short-term home until the dog or cat can be offered a permanent forever home. By letting go of your foster pet when they get their home means that another abandoned darling has a new life. Once the dog or cat has found its new family this will allow you to help yet another pet in need.

Foster carers speak of the amazing satisfaction they experience by being a major part of the rehoming process, helping wonderful dogs – many who would otherwise have been euthanized. Foster carers are the heart and soul of rescue. For more information, email us at