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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world;
indeed it's the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Meade

What Is A Foster Home?

A foster home is a temporary home for a Cairn Terrier or Cairn Terrier mix. The majority of Cairn Terriers that come into rescue require a temporary foster home prior to being adopted by a new owner. Without foster homes, the majority of Cairn Terriers that end up in shelters or are abandoned or given up by their owners would be euthanized. Foster homes are the backbone of any rescue program. Your becoming a foster home is most welcome.

How Long Could I Have A Foster Cairn In My Home?

The answer to this question is typically unknown. The length of time a dog is in any foster home depends upon the area in which the dog is being fostered, the condition or age of the dog, and the circumstances that brought the dog into rescue in the first place. Foster home care can be as short as a "Bed and Biscuit" during a transport, but generally it is at least a minimum of two weeks for evaluation, then one or more months before a dog is matched for an adoiption. In the case of a dog that is rescued and who needs medical care or social rehabilitation, it can be much longer. Some dogs do stay in foster care for over a year if they have significant health or behavioral issues. CPCRN does not set an artificial limit to the length a dog will be in care. As a foster home, YOU have the ability to tell us the type of foster dog you can care for and the length of time you can foster.

How Can I Be A Foster Home? I Have No Experience

If you have common sense, general pet knowledge, room for a foster dog and the desire to be a foster home, you can become a foster home once the below application is filled out and you have been approved by CPCRN. We work with you every step of the way so that you never feel that you are without proper direction and guidance in any aspect of your fostering. Please join a learning site for those who work or wish to work Cairn rescue. For information about fostering puppy mill rescues, take a look at Rehabilitation of a Puppy Mill Dog.

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My Foster Dog is Beautiful
by Martha O'Connor

My foster dog stinks to high heaven. I don't know for sure what breed he is. His eyes are blank and hard. He won't let me pet him and growls when I reach for him. He has ragged scars and crusty sores on his skin. His nails are long and his teeth, which he showed me, are stained. I sigh. I drove two hours for this. I carefully maneuver him so that I can stuff him in the crate. Then I heft the crate and put it in the car. I am going home with my new foster dog.

At home I leave him in the crate till all the other dogs are in the yard. I get him out of the crate and ask him if he wants 'outside.' As I lead him to the door he hikes his leg on the wall and shows me his stained teeth again. When we come in he goes to the crate because that's the only safe place he sees. I offer him food but he won't eat it if I look at him, so I turn my back. When I come back the food is gone. I ask again about 'outside.' When we come back I pat him before I let him in the crate, he jerks away and runs into the crate to show me his teeth.

The next day I decide I can't stand the stink any longer. I lead him into the bath with cheese in my hand. His fear of me is not quite overcome by his wish for the cheese. And well he should fear me, for I will give him a bath. After an attempt or two to bail out he is defeated and stands there. I have bathed four-legged bath squirters for more dog years than he has been alive. His only defense was a show of his stained teeth that did not hold up to a face full of water. As I wash him it is almost as if I wash not only the stink and dirt away but also some of his hardness. His eyes look full of sadness now. And he looks completely pitiful as only a soap-covered dog can. I tell him that he will feel better when he is cleaned. After the soap the towels are not too bad so he lets me rub him dry. I take him outside. He runs for joy: the joy of not being in the tub and the joy of being clean. I, the bath giver, am allowed to share the joy. He comes to me and lets me pet him.

One week later I have a vet bill. His skin is healing. He likes for me to pet him. I think I know what color he will be when his hair grows in. I have found out he is terrified of other dogs. So I carefully introduce him to my mildest four-legged brat. It doesn't go well.

Two weeks later a new vet bill for an infection that was missed on the first visit. He plays with the other dogs.

Three weeks later he asks to be petted. He chewed up part of the rug.

Eight weeks later, his coat shines, and he has gained weight. He shows his clean teeth when his tongue lolls out after he plays chase in the yard with the gang. His eyes are soft and filled with life. He loves hugs and likes to show off his tricks, if you have the cheese.

Someone called today and asked about him, they saw the picture I took the first week. They asked about his personality, his history, and his breed. They asked if he was pretty. I asked them lots of questions. I checked up on them. I prayed. I said yes. When they saw him the first time they said he was the most beautiful dog they had ever seen.

Six months later I got a call from his new family. He is wonderful, smart, well behaved and very loving. How could someone not want him?

I told them I didn't know. He is beautiful. They all are.

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Tender Hearts
A Tribute to Volunteers by Dee Clair - Calgary, Alberta

I greet each day inside my cage
And wait for God to write my page
I wonder if you'll come today?
And let me feel the light of day

My whole life has been dark with pain
And those who caused it -- what did they gain?
They stole my trust, my livelihood
And all because they simply could

I yearn to run through scented fields
Without a cage and lock to yield
To chase a squirrel that can't be caught
To earn a love that can't be bought

But the darkest days have a light
In the quiet mornings that follow night
You come to visit every day
Without a motive, without a pay

You carried me when I was weak
Brought trust I was too pained to seek
You healed my wounds that took their toll
You rescued my slowly dying soul

And now I listen for your voice
Knowing that you're here by choice
You didn't know me at the start
And yet I'm planted in your heart

I'm learning to accept your praise
And not avert my fearful gaze
Forgive me if I cower still
My life has been against my will

I feel that you are growing tired
Within this fight that you've been mired
If you can keep your doubts at bay
It would mean the world if you could stay

I can't predict how this will end
But I know this of you, my friend
You selflessly all played your part
You saved me with your tender heart

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Foster Home Agreement

I/we agree to act as a Foster home for COL. POTTER CAIRN RESCUE NETWORK (hereinafter known as CPCRN). I am twenty-one years of age or older. The following conditions apply to fostering a Cairn for CPCRN:

1. WHERE DO I KEEP A FOSTER CAIRN? The Foster will be kept in the house or in a suitable kennel facility on the grounds of the foster home. CPCRN is ultimately responsible (and liable) for the foster and all final decisions will rest with CPCRN authorized representatives and the CPCRN Board of Directors. The foster must be turned over immediately to a CPCRN officer or rescue co-chairman or approved CPCRN representative upon request.

2. VETERINARY CHECK UP: A foster must be taken to a veterinarian for a preliminary health check up which includes the required yearly inoculations and heartworm check (heartworm check ONLY if the foster was picked up or is being fostered in an area where heartworm is prevalent) within 48 hours of obtaining the foster or 72 hours on the weekends. The initial health check MAY have been done prior to fostering. A CPCRN representative will work with the foster home on what is required.

Authorized Medical Care and Treatment

CPCRN will reimburse you for the following expenses:

  • Shelter fees (information will be given to you to obtain the most favorable shelter rescue rate)
  • Heartworm test and prevention (purchased in a limited quantity); HOWEVER, not treatment of heartworm without approval
  • Rabies booster if needed
  • Yearly combination shot if needed
  • Spaying/neutering (ask for spay/neuter clinic discounted rates or take to a spay/neuter clinic)
  • Internal parasite check and treatment if necessary
  • Euthanasia (ONLY with prior approval from CPCRN)
  • When flea or tick infestation is so acute that this cannot be done by the foster parent by the use of sprays or products, professional flea or tick removal or dips will be approved upon prior request and estimate of services
  • Pet grooming/clip if foster home is unable or unskilled to groom a foster
  • Other minor treatment (i.e., treatment of a cut pad or minor injury or ear cleaning as examples) to save the expense of paying an additional office visit fee to have that minor health issue treated later
  • Boarding (also know as vetting out) in the event the dog needs quarantine prior to your bringing the foster into your home

3. VETERINARY CARE: Foster homes will have the authority to use their own veterinarian for the above-stated treatments. The foster home is responsible for notifying their vet that the Cairn being brought in for treatment is a rescue dog, and you are required to request favorable rescue rates. Documentation will be provided to you by CPCRN on the tax-exempt non-profit status of CPCRN. This corporate information is also available on our web site at Complete written estimates are required by the vet on any procedure not covered above.

  • Foster homes will be provided with a reimbursement form (also available on the CRM web site) and instructions on where to send the billing statements from your vet. All statements should be sent to CPCRN within five days of treatment for reimbursement. Repayment to you will be within seven days upon receipt of your statement. Bills or statements not received by CPCRN 30 days after treatment will be presumed 'gifted' to CPCRN rescue unless CPCRN is notified in advance of a delay in billing.
  • If necessary, CPCRN veterinary expenses can be paid directly to the veterinarian by a CPCRN debit card or by PayPal if the veterinarian accepts PayPal and you are unable to prepay.

4. EXERCISE: The foster will be exercised appropriately. This includes no off-lead time in an area that is not totally secure or fenced. The only time the foster is to be off lead is in a secure fenced yard with the foster parent present. It is recommended that even in a fenced yard the foster should be kept on a leash until the foster home has had time to properly evaluate the foster's temperament, socialization and prior training.

5. FOOD: A nationally recognized dry dog food will be provided by the foster family. This food will be purchased in increments not to exceed 20 pounds per purchase unless fostering is/will be long-term. Food purchases will be reimbursed by CPCRN upon submission of receipts. Top-end priced dog food, food that can only be purchased regionally, food that can only be purchased over the Internet or by special order, raw food diets or foods consisting of human cooked foods CANNOT be fed to rescue dogs. A nationally recognized and available moist food can be added to the diet and will also be paid for, as will vitamins and other needed and approved supplements.

6. CONTACT BY POTENTIAL ADOPTIVE HOMES: The Cairn is to be adopted to its permanent home only under the supervision of CPCRN to a family pre-approved by CPCRN. Occasionally you may be asked to talk to a potential adoptive home on the phone or in person or engage in an e-mail dialog. Adoptive families are to be accorded respect and privacy as is the foster home. All correspondence with potential adoptive homes will be copied to CPCRN and all telephone calls of note will be reported. A foster home can NEVER promise a potential adoptive home their foster Cairn. Absolute honesty is of great importance in your reports on your foster dog and with potential new owners.

7. DISCONTINUED FOSTERING: Any questions or problems are to be directed to either an authorized rescue representative or CPCRN Board Member. If there is a need to remove the foster from the foster home, the foster is to be given directly to a rescue representative, CPCRN board member or a person authorized by CPCRN. Rescue recognizes that occasionally there will be the need to re-home a foster to a second foster home due to vacation or for other personal reasons.

8. COMMUNICATION, DONATIONS AND RELATED: The foster home will be responsible for obtaining any necessary paper work that is required in order to place a foster dog. The foster home becomes responsible for forwarding any and all fees/donations collected to CPCRN as instructed. Fees involved may include, without limitation, surrender fees, adoption fees, transportation fees, supplies and equipment, health certificate fees or related. Paperwork may include, without limitation, owner release form, shelter release forms, adoption form, vet report and/or vet bills or any other approved bills.

9. SPAY/NEUTER OR SPAY/NEUTER DEPOSIT: All rescue dogs will be spayed/neutered (if they have not been spayed or neutered when you receive them) prior to being placed in an adoptive home. If for some reason they cannot be altered at the time of placement (age, health, previous spay not determined by season) this must be approved by CPCRN. The adoption contract should state a given time frame in which spay/neutering must be accomplished and a deposit of approximately $200.00 should be collected as a separate payment check. The $200.00 will be refunded upon proof from a vet that the animal has been spayed/neutered. CPCRN will determine the deposit amount that is required. This could differ from the amount specified above.

10. FINANCIAL LIABILITY: The foster home accepts responsibility for any events that occur in connection with the fostering of a CPCRN foster. None of CPCRN, its officers or directors shall be responsible for injuries to the foster family and pets or any other individual or for the loss or damage of property. CPCRN strongly recommends that the foster be kept in an area separate from the foster family's own animals until the temperament/training can be evaluated and the health of the foster is determined. CPCRN strongly recommends that the animal be kept leashed when potential adoptive families come to visit the foster.

11. PHOTOGRAPHS AND TIMELY UPDATES: The foster home will communicate with CPCRN. Updates will be given at least weekly, more often if necessary, on the progress of the foster dog. The foster home will make an attempt to take several photographs of the foster so that these photographs can be placed on CPCRN's web site.

12. CRATE, COLLAR AND LEASH: A crate of proper size (approximately 27L by 20W by 19H) will be provided by the foster home so that they may crate train their foster. The foster Cairn will be crated at night for sleep. If the foster home is unable to provide a crate, CPCRN will provide one for you. All foster dogs MUST leave foster care crate trained and leash trained, without exception. The foster dog may be fed their meals in their crate also.

13. ADOPTING YOUR FOSTER DOG: Occasionally foster homes may wish to adopt the foster dog that is in their care. This possible adoption must be considered by the Board of CPCRN. Please realize that the perfect foster home is not necessarily the perfect "forever home" and your application will be reviewed in the same manner as all of our applications to adopt.

Applying to adopt your foster does NOT mean that you will be approved. It is imperative that you notify CPCRN by WRITING directly to CPCRN at and stating that you would like to be considered as the adopting home in the subject line and expressing this desire in the body of the text. We MUST be contacted in writing, NOT by phone call or within a post written to a single board member or stated on the CRM list. CPCRN can ONLY consider foster home adoptions IF your written request has been made PRIOR to the adoption process being underway for another approved or soon to be approved home.

The foster home will be required to fill out the adoption application and be approved to adopt their dog in the same manner as any regular applicant. The foster home will also be responsible for the typical adoption donation that would apply to that particular foster dog.

By your submitting this form through our CPCRN website, you are agreeing to comply with this foster home agreement. You are also stating that you will comply with all Federal, State, County or City laws relating to the care and treatment of canines. If you are unable to forward this to CPCRN through the website, please contact us at

Personal Information
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* Required Fields

* Please enter the name of the person who is filling out this application (YOUR name):
Are you the applicant? Yes   No
If NO, please indicate why you are filling out this application for another party:
Not applicable
Applicant does not have a computer
Applicant submitted a handwritten application for transfer
Telephone application was taken
NOTE: If you are transferring an application as a courtesy to the applicant, then the transfer must match the original word for word AND the original handwritten copy must be sent to CPCRN.

* Primary Name:
Secondary Name:
* Address:

* City
* State
* Zip Code

Home Phone
Work Phone

* E-mail


Foster Home Facilities
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Please answer the following questions
You may be required to complete a more detailed questionnaire

In what type of home do you live?

Please describe your fencing (if any) and what accommodations you have to house a foster:

Do you own your own home? Yes   No
If you rent, do you have permission from your landlord to have dogs? Yes   No

Please tell us about the family members currently living in your household. Include their age and gender:

Please list all of your personal animals in your household by name, breed, age, gender, and spay/neuter condition:

Can you verify the current vaccination and medical history on all of your personal animals if requested?

Yes   No

Have you ever applied to adopt a dog from CPCRN? Yes   No
   If YES, when?

Have you ever adopted a dog from CPCRN? Yes   No
   If YES, when?

Please provide the information about the vet that you will be using when you foster a dog.

Name of Practice:
Name of Doctor:

Zip Code



Please explain where you initially plan to keep a foster dog in your home when one first arrives:

Where will you keep this foster after several weeks?

Briefly explain your typical daily schedule or work routine:

If you work, who will care for the foster during the day if this is necessary?

Myself My Spouse My Child Other

If you agree to be a foster home and you are approved to have a foster dog on your premises, are you within your city or county's animal control limit for the number of dogs that are allowed on your property?

Yes   No
Do you have a kennel building or a dog run? Yes   No
If yes, please describe:

Would you be willing to have your home visited by a CPCRN representative? Yes   No

At least FOUR references are required in addition to your veterinarian. Only ONE of these references should be a family member. All addresses and phone numbers must be complete in order for us to verify your references. PLEASE alert your references that one of our volunteers will be contacting them soon.



















Are you willing to answer additional questions (if needed)? Yes   No

Please make sure the application is complete before pressing the "Submit" button below. Incomplete applications may be rejected or delayed.

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PLEASE NOTE: Use of this form or duplication of this form for any reason other than to become a foster home for CPCRN is strictly prohibited without the written consent of the author:

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Last Update: 18-May-2012
Copyright © 2001-2007 Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network
Artwork Copyright © 2001 CPCRN
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