Fostering saves lives!

Every dog that goes into foster allows front line rescuers to pull another dog from a kill shelter. We make every effort to ensure that the foster dog matches your lifestyle and is compatible with your family and pets.

Depending on your comfort zone, you could foster dogs coming from a shelter or after they have completed the quarantine period and have been evaluated by an experienced foster. Spending time in a foster home will provide a smooth transition for a dog into their "forever home." While the dog is with you, your input will help rescue volunteers find the best possible family match for the dog.

online Foster Application

What to Expect

Foster care is critical to saving the lives of dogs. Dogs must be pulled from shelters where the time limit can be as little as three days before euthanization. Foster homes can be short term (a few days to weeks) or long term (several weeks or months). Ideally, the dog should stay in the same foster home until adopted.


  • Your own dogs should be up-to-date on their vaccinations before you agree to foster. 
  • Have a long conversation with the rescuer to learn about your foster dog’s behavior. If there are any issues—food aggression, cat chasing, etc.—this needs to be discussed. The rescuer or current foster is obligated to provide full disclosure about the dog’s behavior so you as the foster can decide if this dog is right for you. Discuss how long the dog might be with you (we typically prefer a minimum of two weeks).
  • Understand that rescue groups cannot always account for how a dog will act in a new situation. Fosters should be ready to deal with barking, growling, marking, or other undesirable behaviors. Ask if the dog is crate-trained. An extra crate is always helpful to have on hand.


  • Take time to introduce the foster to your own dogs. This can take up to a few days and should be done in a neutral space.
  • Introduce the new dog to your dogs away from your home. Arrange to meet the new dog in a park or on a nearby street. Walk the dogs together so they can start to feel that the new dog is part of the pack before you bring the new dog home with you. Try to arrange a separate area for the new dog in your house so you can introduce the dogs gradually and monitor their behavior. When possible, use a baby gate to keep the new dog in a separate space where he can see and smell the other dogs and you can observe his reaction to cats. Leave leashes on the dog(s) if you have any doubts when the dogs are face to face.
  • Be knowledgeable about the veterinary care the dog has received and keep all records. Many foster dogs receive a ‘health certificate’ in order to travel so the dog has received veterinary care and should be free of worms or other problems but check the feces upon arrival and for a couple of days to be sure. Taking extra care observing all aspects of the dog in the first few days is advisable. Try brushing the dog after a couple of days to see how he/she reacts to grooming.
  • If any medical or reimbursable costs are required during the foster period, you will need advance approval except in emergency situations. Please contact your GPRM representative for approval before a veterinary visit, or you may be liable for these costs unless it is an emergency situation. Heartworm or flea medication should be obtained as cheaply as possible; if you are in need please let a GPRM representative make arrangements for them.

In the Home

  • Feed the dogs in separate places. Each dog should have his/her own feeding station and water bowl, at least ten feet apart. Pick up all bowls as each dog finishes eating. Most fights occur over food.
  • Do not feed or give treats to the foster when in close proximity to your dog to avoid food aggression issues. Do not leave dog bones or other possessive items lying around.
  • Do not leave dogs unsupervised in your home until you are confident there will not be any problem. Monitor the playing and avoid rough play so dogs are not hurt.
  • There will be some squabbling, but as the ultimate alpha, you should be able to control this. 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 or use a spray bottle to squirt water on them.

Moving On

  • Never be in a hurry to place the dog...better to move the dog to another foster home if the dog cannot be accommodated any longer. You are not responsible for placing the dog.
  • Help us screen potential adopters carefully and observe their interactions with the dog. In some cases, the adopters will be visiting you to meet the dog. 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.
  • Be prepared to give and get a lot of love and keep in mind it is difficult to say good-bye but necessary for your foster to move on to their forever home.

What are my responsibilities as a foster?

  • Provide food and love. If you have experience with basic training, anything you can teach your foster is appreciated.
  • Talk to prospective adopters about your foster to tell them about the dog.
  • Provide updated information for your foster dog’s bio for the website as you learn more about him or her and provide new photos. 

How do I get assigned a foster Pyr? 

We match fosters based on their temperaments and your situation; for example: whether you have cats, birds or other pets, the disposition and age of your own dog(s), the age of your children (when applicable), the height of your fence and your experience with Pyrs.

Where will my foster dog come from? 

Your GPRM representative will tell you more about the dog you will be receiving. Dogs come primarily from Montana, Utah, Idaho, or Wyoming.

Does the dog come to me straight from the shelter? 

It depends. If you do receive a dog directly from a shelter, it is a good practice to quarantine the new dog from your other dogs. All dogs coming into rescue should be seen by a veterinarian, whether before coming to you or soon afterward.

How does the dog get to me? 

Pyrs are often transported by a network of volunteers; each situation is different.

What should I feed her/him? 

Please ask your GPRM representative what the foster is being fed. Getting a small bag and transitioning gradually will reduce stomach upset.

Do I need to have the foster spayed/neutered? 

Rescue Pyrs are often altered before traveling to their new foster home. If you are interested in fostering very young puppies, sometimes they can be sent prior to being altered if you are able to obtain discount vet services and are willing to arrange for the surgery and post-op care.

Do I need to crate?

Crating is not required, but access to one is recommended in case of chewing or housebreaking issues. Crates for x-large breeds are very pricey. If you need assistance obtaining one, we ask that you look for a used one to help with the expense. They can be found on craigslist, ebay and other recycling resources. You can also check with your local SPCA.

Can I use my vet? 

You first need authorization to see a veterinarian, except in emergency situations. If you are authorized to use a local vet, we do request that you look for low-cost options in your area. Some local shelters and SPCAs offer discount veterinary services. Please ask your vet if they will give a rescue discount; we can provide proof of non-profit status if necessary. Do not purchase medications from your vet without prior authorization. In some cases, medications can be sent to you in lieu of a vet visit. Please remember to get advance approval for non-emergency vetting.

What expenses are tax-deductible? 

Anything that you purchase for your foster may be deductible as a charitable expense. If you are willing to donate towards a medical or other expense that totals $250 or more (single expense not cumulative), the IRS requires a receipt from the organization. For information see IRS pub 526.

What is the adoption process?

Applications are forwarded to GPRM for the initial interview and vet check. If all goes well, you may be asked to contact the applicant to tell them more about your foster. They may or may not choose to meet the dog depending on whether they are local to you. If they would like to meet the dog, this can be done wherever is convenient to both of you. A home visit is then done to evaluate the adopters and the living area. Once approved, arrangements will be made to transfer the Pyr to the new family.

What if I need to travel and can’t take my foster dog? 

Please let your GPRM representative know well in advance of your planned travel in order to discuss available options.

Online Foster Application