Welcome to the Spaniel Assist Family of Fosters and Adopters!

If you have been directed to this page it is because you have been approved to foster or adopt a dog.  Please read the relevant sections below, and complete and submit the appropriate forms.

If you are fostering a dog, then you will need to read the 'Foster Agreement' terms and conditions, and the 'Vet Admin Guidance' notes, before completing and submitting the 'Foster Agreement' form.  You will find the 'Foster Dog Care Handbook' on this page too, please read it as it's full of really important information.

If you are adopting a dog, or having a dog on a 'Pre-Adoption Home Trial', then you will need to read 'Adoption Agreement' and then complete/submit the appropriate form. 


1.  Foster Agreement & Form

2.  Vet Admin Guidance

3.  Transport Guidance & Form

4.  Adoption/Pre-Adoption Trial Agreement & Forms

5.  Foster Dog Care Handbook

6.  Foster Evaluation Form





2.  The fosterer agrees that once they have signed and agreed to foster, the dog will stay in their care until a suitable forever home has been found and will only be removed from their care under extreme circumstances or in the dog’s best interest.  The fosterer can apply to adopt, and be approved to adopt, anytime during the first four weeks from the start date of fostering the dog.  Otherwise, the fosterer will complete an evaluation form four weeks from start date of fostering the dog to enable SARR to find an appropriate adoptive home.   This four week foster period can be extended if in the interests of the dog, any extension must be approved by Dawn Clough.  Once adopted, if for any reason the adoptive home is unable to keep the dog or terminates the adoption contract, the original fosterer agrees to accept the foster dog back into their care.

3.  The fosterer agrees to provide the foster dog with all the care and attention necessary to ensure its health and wellbeing, and will provide sufficient food, water, exercise, and access to veterinary care. The dog will be housed indoors (unless otherwise agreed with Spaniel Assist) and will not be left alone for longer than it can cope with, up to a maximum of four hours

4.  The fosterer agrees to register the dog at a veterinary practice within the first week of taking the dog into foster.  The dog  must be registered to Dawn Clough, Spaniel Assist, 19 Cleveland Avenue, Knottingley, West Yorkshire, WF11 8EN.    In a medical emergency, the fosterer must seek veterinary treatment for the dog, and contact Spaniel Assist as soon as possible. For any non-emergency, veterinary treatment the fosterer must contact the Spaniel Assist Vet Co-ordinator beforehand to agree treatment.   

Please read the section below '2. Vet Admin Guidance' where you will find all information relating to vet registration, appointments, vet invoices etc. 

5.  If the dog is not microchipped then that must be done as soon as possible, and the microchip must be registered to Dawn Clough, Spaniel Assist, 19 Cleveland Avenue, Knottingley, WF11 8EN.  

6.  In the event that the foster dog is lost or stolen, the fosterer must inform the rescue and the proper authorities as soon as possible.

7.  The fosterer shall not re-home any dog themselves; all dogs must be re-homed through Spaniel Assist only. If a foster dog needs to be moved from a foster home, it shall only be moved by Spaniel Assist. No foster dog should be passed on to anyone else without Spaniel Assist’s knowledge.

8.  If the fosterer offers to foster for another rescue whilst already having a foster dog from Spaniel Assist in their care, the fosterer must discuss the matter with a member of the Spaniel Assist team beforehand, and provide details of the dog and which rescue it is from.

9.  The fosterer will promptly notify Spaniel Assist of any changes in address, and/or telephone number. The fosterer agrees to immediately surrender custody of the dog to a Spaniel Assist representative upon demand.

10.  The fosterer agrees that he/she has no legal ownership and will not obtain any legal rights to the foster dog in their care, therefore the fosterer has no right to change the name of the Spaniel, unless with written permission from Dawn Clough. If the fosterer wishes to adopt the dog in their care, there will be an adoption donation payable to Spaniel Assist.if there is a delay in the payment of that donation and the signing of the Adoption Agreement, for example if there is a delay in the dog being spayed or neutered, the dog remains the property of the Spaniel Assist until such times as the Adoption Contract is signed and Adoption Donation paid.

11.  Whilst the foster dog is in the care of a fosterer, they must be aware at all times that rescue dogs can be unpredictable and must never be left unattended with children or other dogs. The dogs can react differently in strange environments and we cannot be responsible for this.  Foster dogs are not assessed by SARR prior to foster, their assessment is done during the foster period prior to adoption, we therefore cannot guarantee the temperament of any foster dog.  We give all relevant information from the previous owners that they give to us, and support with training and behaviour issues is always available.

12.  Fosters should not post updates on their own timeline or on other groups (including the SARR 'general' group), as previous owners may be members.  Updates and photographs are welcomed on the SARR Foster Group. 

13.  The fosterer accepts that liability for the dog is at their own risk. The dog must be kept secure at all times, and on a lead when outside the boundaries of their property. The dog must wear a collar and an identity disk at all times, showing the name, address and telephone number of the fosterer together with ‘Spaniel Assist, Dog in Foster’ and the emergency telephone number, 07403 578467.





Vet Registration & Appointment Guidance

The foster dog is the legal property of Spaniel Assist.  

When registering with a vet please register the owner as:

Dawn Clough, Spaniel Assist, 19 Cleveland Avenue, Knottingley, West Yorkshire, WF11 8EN.

Please note that if you register the foster dog in your own name, or add it to your own account, you will be required to pay the vet bills.

When you need to see a vet:

Let Audrey Craig know about the appointment at least 24 hours beforehand unless in an emergency.  You can contact Audrey on 07778 597 379 or e-mail sarr.vetrecords@outlook.com .

All vet bills must show the name of the dog, itemised treatment, and VAT.

Payment will be made direct to the vet by Audrey Craig over the phone, and the vet should be asked to e-mail all invoices and receipts to her on sarr.vetrecords@outlook.com .  Fosters should avoid paying the vet themselves wherever possible, unless they are happy to do so and do not wish to be reimbursed by Spaniel Assist.

  • All dogs must be vaccinated and microchipped whilst in foster care if not already done, and all dogs over eighteen months and under ten years old will be neutered. This will be paid for by Spaniel Assist.

  • We do not pay for routine vaccination against Kennel Cough.

  • Routine flea/worm treatment is paid for by the foster, unless infestation is already present.

  • Any additional treatment that is needed will be paid for by Spaniel Assist.

If the dog is not micro-chipped then it must be chipped and registered to:

Dawn Clough, Spaniel Assist, 19 Cleveland Avenue, Knottingley West Yorkshire, WF11 8EN.

Please ask the vet to use one of the following manufacturers, who are all linked to Petlog.

Tracer                          PetID                       Pet Detect

Peddymark              Datamars              Eezytrac

Micro-ID                   Identics                  Corefrid

Identitrack              Backhome              HDI Chip International

In an EMERGENCY please contact Dawn Clough on 07403 578 467 or Audrey Craig on 07778 597 379

If you have any questions about vet registration, appointments etc, please contact Audrey Craig on sarr.vetrecords@outlook.com or 07778 597379

You will have received a 'Vet Registration Form' attached to your 'welcome' email from Sam Brown.  Please print the form, complete it and hand it in to your vet when registering the dog.


Could all transporters carry some form of identification please e.g. Driving licence, and always carry the emergency contact number:  07403 578467

FIRST AND FOREMOST – If you are collecting the spaniel from the owner and feel you are at risk from the spaniel eg; being aggressive towards you – please do not take the Spaniel before contacting Dawn Clough on the above number.

When transporting, the dog MUST be suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you or themselves if you were to stop suddenly.  A seat belt harness with a clip, pet carrier, dog crate or dog guard must be used when transporting.   The dog's safety is paramount and it is also breaking the law if the dogs are not properly restrained.


Always assume that all dogs are suffering from stress of travel, meeting new people and other animals.  Give dogs a short walk and access to water at each transport spot.  Handle them gently, turn on heating or air conditioning as needed.  Do not take any children or pets on transport runs.  Remember that stressed animals may bite!

If a dog becomes ill en-route contact the emergency telephone number.

The timing of relay schedules can sometimes fall behind.  Please plan your time carefully.  Chatting with other volunteers during handovers is only to be expected, but try to focus on the task at hand.  If the transport relay is running late, then look at whether you can safely shorten your leg of the relay or handover time.

Please ensure that your vehicle is in good repair.  Contact the emergency telephone number provided and the next transporter in the chain if you experience a problem.  Getting lost on the way to and from the handover point can obviously cause delay, so use GPS programmed in advance, recruit a friend to navigate, or use a map.  Carry your mobile phone.

The escape of a stressed animal, who could potentially be run over in traffic, is obviously a situation that we hope can be avoided.  Check collars to ensure a close fit.  Before unloading, ensure leads have not been chewed through, which leads to escape.  Keep animals leashed, tethered or crated at all times.  Put your hand through the leash loop and grasp the leash firmly.  Don't leave un-crated, untethered, or even tethered animals in vehicles with open windows or hatches. Remember a tethered animal next to an open window may jump out and hang themselves, causing serious injury or death.

If you are transporting more than one dog keep them separated at all times unless you have been informed that they are ok to travel together.  Listen to comments from previous transporters/collection volunteers to learn of any issues between dogs. 

Escaped animals are difficult to recapture, and most transported animals will not respond to their names or come on command.  If an animal has escaped, IMMEDIATE action is required by all transport drivers to capture the animal.  This is a very difficult situation, so study methods that professionals use to capture animals.  Use treats to lure the animal, sit on the ground and coax playfully, run in the other direction playfully.  Remember, chasing the dog is often the worst choice of action.

Please try to arrive at the handover point thirty minutes in advance to allow for water and a toilet break for the dog, and aim to leave on time. Spaniel Assist will not accept responsibility for any speeding or parking fines incurred.

Always have phone numbers entered into your phone in case of a car accident resulting in injury or death of some or all passengers.   Keep animals crated or tethered at all times.  Get someone to ride with you to help monitor the animals and make calls.  NOTE: your vehicle insurance may not cover injuries to animals riding in your vehicle under these circumstances, so check with your insurance company.

Avoid feeding treats to transport animals, and keep spray cleaner and paper towels handy for travel sickness accidents.  Pull over to the side of the road to perform clean ups.

Avoid injury to a struggling dog during handling (falls, etc) by using safe handling techniques and always holding the dog or leash firmly.  Always be observant, deliberate and mindful.  Let the previous driver transfer the dog into your vehicle as they are likely to be more trusting of the known driver.

Be knowledgeable of animal behaviour and handling techniques.  Be careful at all times, you don't know the dog and they don't know you.  Most are very sweet but accidents can happen when dogs are stressed, and they are often transported direct from the surrendering owner so have undergone little or no assessment.  It is therefore imperative to keep animals separate and calm during transportation.  If you do not have the experience or do not feel confident transporting un-assessed animals please let Spaniel Assist know prior to volunteering on a particular transport run.

Spaniel Assist can't assume repair costs for any damage caused by the dog, and the dogs are not the responsible parties in this situation either.  If you use crates and take all appropriate care, damage to your vehicle is unlikely.

NOTE: Impromptu 'adoptions' by transporters will be considered theft of the dog. 

If you are given any paperwork including microchip details and vet records from the surrendering owner they must be be sent to Dawn Clough, Spaniel Assist, 19 Cleveland Avenue , Knottingley, West Yorkshire, WF11 8EN and not given to anyone else, including the fosterer, unless specifically asked to by Dawn Clough.


I recognise that working with animals places me at physical risk, and I agree to assume that risk.   I understand that although Spaniel Assist has taken all reasonable measures to protect me, accidents and injuries may still occur.   I realise that dogs are animals, and may bite, scratch or carry disease, and may cause damage to my vehicle or personal property.  Therefore, I hereby completely release and entirely discharge Spaniel Assist and any of its past, present or future officers, agents, volunteers, or employees from any and all claims and causes of action that I or another might have or bring, relating to or arising from any injury, damage or expenses that I should sustain while assisting with transportation and fostering or in any other connection with my volunteer work for Spaniel Assist.

I have a valid UK driving licence, car insurance and reliable vehicle. 

By completing and submitting the form below, I confirm that have read and understood the risks and precautions above, and take full responsibility for any injuries or damages resulting from volunteering for Spaniel Assist.   





1.   The dog will not, under any circumstances, be used for breeding, research, dog fighting or the purposes of financial gain.

2.   The dog will be properly housed with ample living space, clean, warm and dry sleeping quarters, will receive appropriate daily exercise and will not be allowed to roam loose and unattended.It will wear a collar with an identity disc stating the adopter’s name, address and telephone number. This is a legal requirement.

3.   The dog will be properly fed and receive such grooming and veterinary or other attention as to maintain it in good health and physical condition.It will not be chained/tied up, confined in a small space or left alone for prolonged periods of time without attention.It will not be handled harshly, receive physical punishment or be maltreated in any way whatsoever.

4.   The dog will not be sold, given away or released into the care of other person/s except for short term purposes ie: during holiday or illness.

5.   In the event of behavioural problems or issues Spaniel Assist will arrange for assessment, help and advice from a Behaviourist.The adopter undertakes to follow any training plan/regime (if applicable) provided by Spaniel Assist.  ALL TRAINING WILL BE BY FORCE-FREE HUMANE METHODS.

6.   The dog will not be euthanased (put to sleep) unless absolutely necessary to prevent suffering from injury or terminal illness, and if euthanasia is necessary this will be certified as necessary and carried out by a practising Veterinary Surgeon.

7.   WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE SUPPORTIVE ASSESSMENT VISITS AFTER ADOPTION.  The adopter will provide Spaniel Assist with any information about the dog which they may request, and will allow identified members of Spaniel Assist to visit the dog to ascertain its progress, condition etc after adoption. A visit will take place if we have any concerns.

8.   If the dog has not already been spayed/castrated, the adopter agrees to have this done within six months of adoption unless there is a medical reason not to do so, or unless the dog is still under eighteen months old or over ten years old, and to inform Spaniel Assist when this has been done.  Adopted puppies should not be spayed/castrated until over eighteen months old unless on the recommendation of a vet.

9.   Under normal circumstances Spaniel Assist will not supply registration or other documentation for the above dog, except a document of vaccination if available.  Microchip details will be dealt with by Spaniel Assist.

10.  Once the adoption has been verbally agreed (whether or not a signed agreement has been received) Spaniel Assist are NOT responsible for any further vet bills.

11.  Five weeks free insurance is offered on completion of the adoption. This MUST be confirmed by email to Dawn Clough when completing the adoption agreement or the insurance will not be activated. The insurers specialise in rescue dog policies, and Spaniel Assist receives commission for all polices taken out after the free period.

12.   Whilst Spaniel Assist have taken reasonable precautions to ensure physical and mental soundness of the above dog, this is not guaranteed and Spaniel Assist cannot be held responsible for any unpredictable behaviour, although training support is available if requested.  All dogs obained from Spaniel Assist have lived in Spaniel Assist foster homes before adoption and have been assessed for a minimum of four weeks, unless exceptional circumstances apply.  Rescue dogs often have issues and Spaniel Assist cannot guarantee that the dog will adapt immediately to the new surroundings, time and patience is required to enable them to settle, and support is always available from Spaniel Assist if required.

13.   If the Adopter does not abide by these conditions the dog must be returned without delay or question into the care of Spaniel Assist.

14.   Once the dog has been adopted all costs for the dog become the responsibility of the Adopter, and will no longer be the responsibility of Spaniel Assist.


16.   An adoption donation of £450 for puppies up to the age of 12 months, £400 for dogs 12m months to three (3) years, £350 for dogs aged three (3) to nine (9) years and £100 for dogs aged nine (9) years and over forms part of this Agreement.  There will be a reduction if more than one dog is adopted at the same time.

17.   On average each dog costs Spaniel Assist between £250 and £300 for routine neutering, vaccinations and microchipping.The adoption donation contributes to Spaniel Assist’s costs. The correct adoption donation should be paid in full within 48 hours of receipt of this Agreement and the Agreement returned, unless the dog is being collected sooner.  If a dog is expected to be handed over to the adopter at the ‘meet and greet’ the adoption donation must be made before the dog can be released.

18.   Donation payments should be made via Paypal using email SpanielAssist@hotmail.com (please use the friends and family payment option) or by Bank Transfer to Spaniel Assist, Sort Code 54-30-64 account number 42696941 before the dog can be released into the care of the adopter.



By completing and submitting the form below, I confirm that I have read and understood the terms and conditions of adopting a dog from Spaniel Assist.








Thank you so much for your interest in fostering a Spaniel for SAR&R. By opening up your home to foster dogs, you’re not only helping to save lives, you’re providing the individual attention and love these dogs desperately need.

Our dog foster program is designed to help vulnerable dogs to get a second chance at finding a home.  Many of the dogs who need foster homes require extra care and attention, but in a loving foster home every dog can get the individual attention he or she needs to find a forever family.

Foster homes are asked to provide care for the dogs, as well as transportation to and from veterinary appointments as needed, and transportation to their forever home.  Care for foster dogs includes feeding according to size and needs, exercise according to energy levels and interests, and lots of playtime and positive socialisation.

Although fostering is a lot of work, it is a very rewarding experience.  By participating in this program you are saving lives, and helping many dogs find the families they’ve been longing for.  Through fostering, we can work together to save them all.


1.  Where do the foster dogs come from?

The dogs that are in need of foster care come to us from different situations:

They may be returned adoptions, as at SARR, we make a lifetime commitment to every dog we rescue.  This means that if, for any reason, an adopter can no longer keep a pet he or she adopted from us, we require that the dog comes back to SARR.

They may be surrendered by owners.  When an owner can no longer care for their dog due to circumstances or the dog’s behaviour, we are happy to step in and find a suitable forever home for them.

They may be rescued from unsuitable or neglectful situations.  Vulnerable dogs are often secured by SARR in order to give them a brighter future in a loving forever home.

We want to save as many lives as possible, and the foster program allows us to maximise our resources

2.  What Do Foster Families Need To Provide?

- A healthy and safe environment for their foster dogs

- Transportation to their adoption placement and all vet appointments as needed

- Socialisation and affection to help teach dogs positive family and pet relationships

- Lots of exercise, training and positive stimulation to help them develop into great dogs

3.  How Much Time Do I Need To Spend With A Foster Dog?

As much time as you can!  Dogs come to SARR with very different needs, some will be happy to be left while you pop to the shops, some will be stuck to your leg like velcro and won't be able to cope alone.  Some will need their own space, some will happily join in with whatever is going on around them.  Some will waggily welcome friends, family and the postman, some will be anxious around strangers and will need to be protected and reassured.   And purely in terms of exercise, some will be happy to potter around the neighbourhood on lead walks, some will need to chase, and catch, and jump, and run until you run out of energy (because they won't).  All dogs though, regardless of age or background, will need a couple of hours a day exercising and playing with you to ensure that they receive adequate socialisation and stimulation.

4.  Can I Foster a Dog if I Don’t Have a Fenced Garden?

A secure garden is best, and we request that you supervise all outdoor activities with the foster dog.   Foster dogs shouldn't be allowed off lead, so if you're outside your own secure garden then they should be on a lead, or a long line to give them enough freedom to run and play.  There is an advice sheet called 'Choosing and Using a Long Line' in the 'Files' section of the Foster Group.

5.  How Long Will The Dog Need To Be In Foster Care?

Ideally, foster dogs stay in their assigned foster homes until they get adopted. These dogs rely on foster homes as their home between homes.

6.  Can I Let My Foster Dog Play With My Other Pets?

There are a few guidelines that we ask foster families to adhere to regarding their own pets. While foster dogs playing with other pets is often fine, these dogs can be unpredictable and they must never leave the dog unattended with a family pet until they are absolutely 100% convinced that the dogs are safe with each and behaviour is predicable.  We advise that you consult with your veterinarian before fostering to ensure that all of your personal pets are healthy and up-to-date on all vaccines.  Dogs are very susceptible to illness and can carry or catch different diseases. If, for any reason, your own pet becomes ill while you are fostering a Spaniel Assist dog, we cannot provide medical care for your own pet.

7.  What If I Want To Adopt My Foster Dog?

If you fall in love with your foster dog and decide you want to adopt them yourself, you will need to complete an adoption application and follow the full adoption process.  If you do decide to adopt your foster dog this will only be considered four weeks after foster placement, and at that point you will need to contact Dawn Clough.  Many fosters do find that their foster dog has become a much loved member of their family and they then adopt them, at SARR we jokingly call this 'joining the Failed Foster club'.

8.  Who Will Take Care Of My Foster Dog if I Need To Go On Holiday?

If you have travel plans while you are fostering a dog for SARR, you will need to contact Dawn Clough.  Please provide at least two weeks’ notice to ensure that we can find a Holiday Foster Home for your foster dog.

9.  What If My Foster Dog Bites Me?

If your foster dog bites you and breaks the skin (with teeth, not nails), causing you to bleed, you need to report the bite to Dawn Clough within 24 hours of when the bite occurred.  If you are unsure, then please report the bite anyway, and take appropriate medical advice if necessary.

10.  What If My Foster Dog is Not Working Out?

You are not required to continue to foster a dog if you feel it’s not working out, although we may not have an immediate alternate foster home for the dog.  We don’t have our own overnight boarding facility so we rely on other foster homes offering a place.  We will work on moving your foster dog out as soon as possible, but ask for your understanding and patience.  Please call Dawn Clough if you find yourself in this situation.


When you take your foster dog home, he may be frightened or unsure about what’s happening, so it’s important not to overwhelm him.  Prepare a special area for the foster dog to help ease his adjustment into a new home environment.  Sometimes it is better to confine the foster dog to a small room or area at first, to let him adjust before giving him free rein in your home. This area should be large enough for his bed and allow the dog access to his food and water dishes and toys.

We request that all foster dogs be housed indoors only.  A garage, backyard or outdoor run is not  suitable accommodation for a foster dog.

During the first couple of weeks, minimize the people and pet introductions to your foster dog, so that they are only meeting immediate family and your own pets.  If you have other pets at home, it is especially important to give your foster dog a space of their own where they can stay while getting used to all the new sounds and smells.  Don’t leave your foster dog unattended in your home with your own pets until you are comfortable that all of the animals can interact safely.

Supplies You Will Need

We greatly appreciate that you can provide the basic items that your foster dog needs.  Here’s what you’ll need to help your foster dog make a smooth transition to living in your home:

-  At least one bowl for dry food and one for water:  Stainless steel or ceramic work best.  You can also get 'puzzle' feeders or 'Kongs', or there are other ways to add enrichment and interest to the dog's meals.

-  A supply of dry or wet dog food: Unless a special diet is needed, we ask that foster dogs be fed a good, high quality diet.

-  A collar with an ID tag and a lead, and if the dog hasn't been trained to walk nicely on a lead then a harness is a good option.   Even though foster dogs are microchipped, they still need an ID tag. This tag should have your name, address and telephone number, but also the words 'Spaniel Assist - Dog in Foster' and Dawn Clough's name and Telephone Number.  Some fosters choose to have two tags, one with their details and one with the SARR details.

We can advise on the best style of harness to help with training, there are advice sheets called 'Loose Lead Walking' and 'Harnesses and Headcollars' in the 'Files' section of the Foster Group. 

-  A suitable, soft place to sleep: old towels or blankets often work well.

-  A baby gate: This comes in handy to keep certain areas of your home off-limits, and is also very useful to separate the foster dog from resident pets, and enable them to get to know each other safely.  

-  Some dogs are crate trained, and happy to be confined in a crate for short periods or to sleep in at night.  If they are, then a crate is useful if you have one, or they may come with one.  A dog who has not been properly crate trained to feel happy in a crate should never be crated.  A distressed dog can injure themselves badly trying to get out of a crate, so unless you're sure that he's happy being crated, avoid it.

-  Dog treats: Giving treats is a good way to help train and build a positive relationship with your foster dog.

-  Dog toys: Make sure the toys are durable and appropriate for the size of your foster dog.

-  Grooming supplies: A well-groomed dog has a better chance of getting adopted, and many dogs enjoy being groomed, making it a lovely bonding experience for dog and foster.

Dog-Proofing Your Home

Foster dogs come from many different environments, and even if they have previously lived in a home, we don’t always know how they will react in a new home.  So, before bringing home a new foster dog, you’ll want to survey the area where you are going to keep them.  Remove anything that would be unsafe or undesirable for the dog to chew on, and latch securely any cupboards and doors that the foster dog could get into.  People food and chemicals can be very harmful if consumed by dogs, so please store them in a place that the foster dog cannot access.

- Never underestimate your foster dog’s abilities. Here are some additional tips for dog-proofing your home:

- Make sure that all bins are covered or latched or keep them inside a cupboard. (Don’t forget the bathroom bins.)

- Keep the toilet lids closed.

- Keep both people and pet food out of reach and off all counter tops.

- Move houseplants or secure them. Some dogs like to play with them and may knock them over.

- Make sure aquariums or cages that house small animals, like hamsters or fish, are securely out of reach of your foster dog.

- Remove medications, lotions or cosmetics from any accessible surfaces.

- Move and secure all electrical and phone wires out of reach. Dogs may chew on or get tangled in them.

- Pick up any clothing items that have buttons or strings, which can be harmful to your foster dog if consumed.

- Relocate knickknacks or valuables that your foster dog could knock down.

Dog Introductions

If you already have a dog or dogs, you’ll want to introduce them to your foster dog one at a time and supervise their interactions at first.  It’s a good idea to introduce them outside in a large yard or on a walk, keeping all the dogs on leash and allowing them enough space to get adjusted to one another.  If you can, it works best to schedule a time for your personal dogs to meet the foster dog before you take the foster dog home. 

In addition, make sure that high-value items (food, chew toys, plush toys, kongs,  or anything else that your dogs hold in high regard) are put away whenever the dogs are interacting.  You don’t want to allow the possibility of a fight, so those high-value items are best placed in the dogs’ personal areas. 

Finally, never feed your dogs in the same room as the foster dog; always separate them at feeding time.

There is a file called 'Introducing a new dog' in the 'Files' section of the Foster Group.

Cat Introductions

We can’t ensure that a foster dog has been “cat-tested,” so if you have cats, you’ll need to make the introduction to the foster dog carefully and safely. Start by keeping them separated at first. You can either keep your cats in a separate room (equipped with food, water, litter boxes and beds) or confine your foster dog to a room.   Then you can start training them to see each other in a positive light, so they can learn to co-exist peacefully.

Your aim is to keep the interactions positive, safe and controlled, and you can work with the dog and cat to make sure that they see the other as a predictor of good things!  

There is a file called 'Dogs and Cats' in the 'Files' section of the Foster Group that explains how to do this.

Children and Dogs

Since we don’t always know a foster dog’s history or tolerance level for different types of people and activities, please teach your children how to act responsibly and respectfully around your foster dog. We will do our best to place you with an appropriate animal for your home situation, but you should still supervise all interactions between children and your foster dog.  Key things to remind your children:

- Always leave the foster dog alone when he/she is eating, chewing or sleeping. Some dogs may nip or bite if bothered while eating or startled while sleeping.

- Do not take anything away from the foster dog unless they are swapping it for something of higher value - this will prevent the dog learning to 'resource guard' because he is afraid to lose things.

- Do not tease the foster dog.

- Don’t chase the foster dog around the house or run quickly around the foster dog; it may scare him.

- Pick up all your toys. Most dogs don't know the difference between a dog toy and a child's toy - if they can reach it, it's theirs! 

Do not allow young children to walk the foster dog because they may not be strong enough or experienced enough to handle encounters with other dogs or cats who cross their path.



Feed your foster dog once or twice daily; the amount will be based on the age and weight of your foster dog.  Make sure the dog always has access too fresh, clean water.

You can give your foster dog treats of any kind (unless he/she has known allergies, of course); giving treats helps you and your foster dog to bond with each other.  Most dogs like to chew on things, so try dried meat chews, bully sticks, stuffed Kongs etc.  Keep in mind, though, that not all dogs like to share, so only give these treats when your foster dog is confined to his/her own area.

Daily Routine

When you first take your foster dog home, take care not to overwhelm her with too many new experiences all at once.  Sometimes, too much stimulation can cause a dog to behave unexpectedly toward a person or animal, which is why it’s a good idea to keep introductions to a minimum during the first couple of weeks after you bring your foster dog home.  It’s also important to establish a daily routine of regularly scheduled feedings, toilet breaks and walk times.  Dogs take comfort in having a routine they can count on.

Also, on a daily basis, be aware of your foster dog’s appetite and energy level. If she’s not eating well or seems listless, something may be wrong medically. You might want to record your observations to make it easier to notice any health issues.


Some of the foster dogs will be perfectly house-trained but some have lived their whole lives outside, often with minimal walks or chances to relieve themselves outside.  At the very least, be prepared for an adjustment period until your foster dog gets used to your schedule.

Because a dog has a better chance of being adopted if she is house-trained, please help your foster dog to perfect this skill.   Take your foster dog outside for toilet breaks multiple times per day (3-6 times daily, depending on age). Initially, you may need to take her out more frequently to remind her where the door to the outside is and to reassure her that you will take her out for toilet breaks.  Most dogs will give cues — such as standing near the door or sniffing the ground and walking in small circles — to indicate that they need to go out. 

If your foster dog has an accident inside the house, don't draw the dog's attention to it, and don’t discipline or punish her. It will only teach her to fear and mistrust you, and could just teach her that it's safer to wait until you're out of sight to do it, or find a quiet corner of the house when you're not looking.   Clean up all accidents with an enzymatic cleaner.  Nature's Miracle and Simple Solution are two products containing natural enzymes that tackle tough stains and odours and remove them permanently, also dilute biological laundry liquid and dilute mouthwash both work well to kill the bacteria.

Mental Stimulation and Exercise

Depending on your foster dog’s age and energy level, he or she should get at least two 30-minute play sessions or walks with you per day.  Try a variety of toys (balls, squeaky toys, rope toys, etc.) to see which ones your foster dog prefers.  Remember to discourage the dog from playing with your hands, since mouthing won’t be a desirable behaviour to adopters.  

You can also offer your foster dog a food-dispensing toy for mental stimulation, something as simple as putting bits of dry food or treats inside a plastic bottle (with the cap and ring removed) or inside kitchen roll inners with the ends folded over, or rolled up in an old towel, or wrapped up in bits of newspaper and stuffed into a cardboard box . . .  there are hundreds of ways you can stimulate the dog's senses, keep his brain occupied, and tire him out mentally as well as physically.  The Facebook group 'Canine Enrichment' has lots of ideas.

Safety Requirements

Foster dogs must live indoors, not outside.  Please do not leave your foster dog outside unsupervised even if you have a fenced garden, we ask that you supervise your foster dog when he is outside at all times to ensure that he doesn’t escape or have any negative interactions with other people or animals. Your foster dog is only allowed to be off-leash in an enclosed garden that is completely secure, when out he can be on a 'long line' to give him the freedom to run and play whilst still being under control.

We don't allow fosters to be off leash outside your garden because we simply do not know how he may react to other dogs, or how other dogs will react to him, and we need to ensure that all animals are safe at all times. In addition, we don’t know if the other dogs they encounter are vaccinated appropriately or carry diseases, so it is best if your foster dog does not meet any unknown dogs.  When you’re transporting foster dogs, please make sure they are securely fastened inside the vehicle.

Medical and Emergency Protocols

In the section above '2. Vet Admin Guidance' you will find a link to a Vet Registration Form which you should complete and pass to your vet when you register the foster dog (within two days of taking the dog into your care wherever possible).   You are responsible for scheduling appointments for your dog’s vaccinations and neutering/spaying if required.  If you are fostering a dog that is on medication, please make sure that they continue with all prescribed doses, and do not end medication early for any reason.  If your foster dog has not responded to prescribed medications after five days (or in the time instructed by a vet), please contact the Vet Admin.

Veterinary Care

If the dog requires neutering/spaying, vaccinations or microchipping this will be done whilst in foster (we don't normally pay for Kennel Cough vaccination).   Dogs not fully mature will not be neutered whilst in foster care, as research has shown that early neutering can lead to problems with growing joints etc.

Payment for worming and flea treatment is the reasonability of the foster (unless the dog comes into foster with infestation already present, in which case we will pay for initial treatment).  

All vet invoices will be paid by the Vet Admin, as detailed in the section '2. Vet Admin Guidance' above.  

Signs of Illness and What To Do Next

Dogs generally do a good job of masking when they don’t feel well, so determining if your foster dog is under the weather will require diligent observation of the dog’s daily activity and appetite levels. It’s a good idea to keep track of these so that you're aware of changes. You’ll also want to record any of the following symptoms, which could be signs of illness.

Eye Discharge.

It is normal for dogs to have some discharge from their eyes when they wake up and some may have more than others, depending on the breed. But if your foster dog has yellow or green discharge, or swelling around the eyes (making it hard for him to open his eyes), or the third eyelid is showing, you need to contact the Vet Admin to schedule a vet appointment.

Coughing and nasal discharge. Coughing can be common if your foster dog is pulling on leash. If the coughing becomes more frequent, however, watch for discharge coming from the nose. If the discharge is clear, the infection is probably viral and medication may not be needed, but check with SARR to ask for advice.

If the discharge becomes coloured, make a vet appointment because the dog may have a bacterial infection. Be sure to monitor the dog’s breathing.  If the dog seems to struggle to breathe or starts wheezing, call the Vet Admin immediately and contact Dawn Clough on the Emergency Telephone Number: 07403 578467.

Loss of Appetite

Your foster dog may be stressed after arriving in your home, and stress can cause lack of appetite. But if the dog hasn’t eaten after 24 hours, please notify the Vet Admin.  Also, if the dog has been eating well, but then stops eating for 12 to 24 hours contact Dawn Clough on the Emergency Telephone Number 07403 578467. An abrupt change in diet can cause diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration.


The activity level of your foster dog will vary depending on age and personality. Keeping an eye on your foster dog's activity levels on a daily basis will help you notice whether he is less active than he normally is.  If the dog cannot be roused or seems weak and unable to stand, it’s an emergency, so immediately call Dawn Clough on Emergency Telephone Number 07403 578467.


Dehydration is usually associated with diarrhoea, vomiting and/or loss of appetite. To test for dehydration, gently pinch the dog’s skin around the scruff area. If the skin stays up, the dog is dehydrated. Please call the Vet Admin the next business day to schedule a vet appointment.


Sometimes dogs will eat too quickly and will immediately throw up their food. Occasional vomiting isn’t a cause for alarm, but if your foster dog has thrown up twice or more in one day, please notify us as it could be indicative of something that needs treatment.

Pain or Strain While Urinating

When a dog first goes into a foster home, he or she may not urinate due to stress. If the dog hasn’t urinated in more than 24 hours, however, please contact the Vet Admin and make an appointment at the vet. Also, if you notice the dog straining to urinate with little or no results, or crying out when urinating, please contact the Vet coordinator immediately because it may be indicative of an infection or an obstruction.


It is important to monitor your foster dog’s pooping habits daily. Soft poo is normal for the first two or three days after taking a dog home, most likely caused by stress and a change in food. If your foster dog has liquid diarrhoea for more than 24 hours however, please contact the Vet Admin and make a vet appointment for it to be checked out. Bear in mind that diarrhoea will dehydrate the dog, so be proactive about making sure the dog drinks plenty of fluid whilst waiting to see the vet.If your foster dog has bloody or mucous diarrhoea, contact Dawn Clough immediately on 07403 578467.

Frequent Ear Scratching

Your foster dog may have a bacterial or yeast infection (or, in rare cases, ear mites) if she scratches her ears often and/or shakes her head frequently. These conditions can be treated by a vet, so please contact the Vet Admin and book an appointment with your vet.

If your foster dog has irritated, swollen or red or pink ears that smell like yeast, he may have an ear infection called otitis. Spaniels may need to have their ears cleaned more often to ensure that the infection does not re-occur.

Hair Loss

Please contact the Vet Admin if you notice any hair loss on your foster dog. It is normal for dogs to have thin fur around the lips, eyelids and in front of the ears, but clumpy patches of hair loss or thinning hair can indicate ringworm, dermatitis or the early stages of mange. It is important to check your foster dog’s coat every day.

Criteria for Emergencies

What constitutes a medical emergency in a dog? A good rule of thumb is any situation in which you would call 999 for a person. Here are some specific symptoms that could indicate an emergency:

- Not breathing or laboured breathing

- Symptoms of parvovirus: bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, weakness, and high fever

- Signs of extreme dehydration: dry mucous membranes, weakness, vomiting, tenting of the skin (when the skin is pulled up, it stays there)

- Abnormal lethargy or unable to stand

- Unconsciousness or unable to wake up

- Cold to the touch

- Broken bones

- Any trauma: hit by a car, dropped, stepped on

- A large wound or profuse bleeding that doesn’t stop when pressure is applied

- Loss of appetite for more than 24 hours

If your foster dog displays any of these symptoms, please contact Dawn Clough on the Emergency Telephone Number: 07403 578467


One of your goals as a foster parent is to help prepare your foster dog for living successfully in a new forever home. So, we ask that you help your foster dog to develop good habits and skills through the use of positive reinforcement training, which builds a bond of trust between you and your foster dog. The basic idea is to reward desirable behaviours and manage the dog’s environment in such a way that undesirable behaviours are less likely to occur.Dogs will always repeat behaviour that they find rewarding, so we always recommend positive reinforcement, force-free training as research has proved that it is the most effective way of teaching a dog how you want him to repeat, without damaging the bond of trust between you.

You must not punish a dog for a behaviour that you find undesirable because punishment is ineffective at eliminating the behaviour. If the dog is doing something undesirable, distract him or her before the behaviour occurs (Google ‘teaching a positive interrupter’ for how to do this). It is also important for everyone in the foster home to stick to the rules established for your foster dogs, which will help them to learn faster.

When interacting with your foster dog, it’s usually better to avoid wrestling or engaging in play that encourages the dog to be mouthy and “play bite” on your body, you may be happy with this kind of play, but potential adopters may not be.For the same reason, it’s better to teach the dog to settle on the floor rather than inviting them up onto your couch or bed, as not all adopters will be happy to allow the dog on their furniture.

Some foster dogs will have behavioural issues, which we are aware of at the time of their rescue. Some of these behaviour challenges are separation anxiety, destruction of property, fear issues or aggression toward other animals. We will only place dogs with behavioural issues with a person who feels comfortable working with the dog on his/her particular issues, and will provide that adopter with all the necessary information so that proper care and training can be given to the foster dog.

If you need help or advice on any aspect of training or behaviour please get in touch with us, we will always offer support and guidance in any way that we can, and the sooner we know about it the sooner we can help.  We have a qualified behaviourist who is always happy to advise, but in the first instance please contact Dawn Clough so that she can pass your details on to someone who can help you.You can contact Dawn by email (dawn.clough2016@hotmail.com), by telephone on 07403 578467, or by Facebook PM.

There are several files covering different aspects of training and behaviour in the 'Files' section of the Foster Group, please  have a look in case there is something already there that will help you.

Bringing Home your Foster Dog

Taking care of a foster dog requires a commitment from you to make sure the dog is happy and healthy, and we never take that for granted. Thank you so much for opening your heart and your home to these dogs that desperately need your help. Without you, we could not save as many as we do.


This form does not need to be completed until after the initial four week foster period, unless specifically asked for before that.

During the foster period we rely on fosters evaluating the dog in their care, so that we can determine the best forever home for every dog.

When you have had the foster dog for four weeks (or when asked by Spaniel Assist) please click on the link below to complete and submit the assessment form.  

When you submit the form, please email some recent photographs of the dog to dawn.clough2016@hotmail.com to be used alongside the information when seeking a forever home.