ADAI’s foster program is an integral part of our organization and training. They help us by training house manners, basic obedience and public socialization. The average time commitment is nine months to a year; however, the time is dictated by the age of the dog. We place all assistance dogs when they are approximately two years of age. The minimum foster time commitment is three to four months. After the dog completes our foster program, the dog then moves to final advanced training at our Education and Training Center for four months.
Are you thinking about becoming a foster? Please consider the following questions before making this decision:
– Do you have the time (15 to 30 minutes) to train your dog every day?
– Are you willing to take the dog out on regular public outings?
– Do you have a safe area to exercise your trainee?
– Is everyone in your household supportive of this project?
– Are you ready to open your heart and your home to an ADAI dog?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, please read on for further  information on becoming a foster.

Qualifications of a Foster

– Must love dogs!
– You must live within 60 miles of our Education and Training Facility in Sylvania, Ohio.
– You must have the time to train your dog daily.
– No more than two dogs in the household. Dogs must be over 1 year of age     and be well socialized with other dogs.
– You must be willing to take your trainee on public outings a minimum of three  times weekly.
– You need to be able to commit to participating in at least two of ADAI’s organized community events each year while you are fostering.
– You must attend a regular foster class for your dog’s level. If you are unable to attend a class, you must schedule a private training session with one of our trainers.
– All pets must be up to date on vaccinations and on parasite control.
– You need to be able to follow the ADAI foster training methods.

No previous dog training experience is required. We provide educational materials as well as “hands on” training to educate you on all aspects of fostering a service dog.

Financial Responsibilities

You will be responsible for small miscellaneous expenses such as toys, bones, treats and grooming supplies. Fosters are responsible for providing transportation to the veterinarian for boosters, immunizations, routine and emergency care. Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence assumes responsibility for any vet bills during the foster period at one of our program veterinarians at West Toledo Animal Hospital or Perrysburg Animal Care. You will receive the necessary starter supplies when you pick up your trainee.

Foster Classes

Part of your responsibilities as a foster is attending a regular foster class at our Education and Training Center located in Sylvania, Ohio. These classes provide the information our fosters need to complete the training goals for their dogs. We have four different classes: Puppy, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. A class is chosen for each dog depending on age and training skill level. Each dog progresses from level to level depending on when goals are completed. During each class an evaluation is done to give fosters goals of what needs improvement and what is going well.

Becoming a Foster

To apply to become an ADAI foster click here for the Foster/Sitter Application. Once the completed application is submitted, an ADAI staff member will contact you to set up an in-home interview. During the interview, we will review the responsibilities of a foster and answer any questions you may have. Once you are approved as a foster, you are placed on our waiting list until we have the right dog for your home. The wait could be a couple of days to a couple of months. When we have a dog that we think would be the right match for your home, we will set up a time for you to meet the dog and begin the fostering process.