If you have the space, time, money and love, you can foster a Bichon Frise. Although he may only stay with you for a short time before finding a permanent home and he may need special care, your fostering helps in setting a new life course for a Bichon.
Go the Bichon Frise Club of America Rescue's website and complete the online volunteer application. The BFCA Rescue will assess your form to determine if you may be a good fit as a Bichon foster parent. A representative will contact you if you're a good fit when they have an available dog in your area. The BFCA Rescue's website also lists rescue organizations and Bichon-specific rescue groups. You can also call the BFCA at 866-473-0722 for information about fostering Bichons.
Find Bichon Frise breed-specific rescue groups as well and contact them to inquire about fostering. You can find a list of these groups on the Adopt a Pet website or call the group at 800-728-3273. Though these groups may not be local to you, they often coordinate transportation of dogs through a network of volunteers and fosters nationwide to get the dog to a home.
Prepare your home for your Bichon rescue. You'll need a collar and leash as your Bichon will need a daily walk. A fenced-in yard is helpful for off-leash play but not necessary if you have a nearby park for romps. You'll also need a brush, because although your Bichon doesn't shed much he will need to be brushed daily to avoid matting. Bichons are generally happy and playful with kids but are small, so move plants and other objects that could be dangerous out of their reach. Obtain two small dog bowls, one for food and one for water, as well as dog food, treats and toys.
Complete a foster application at your local animal shelter. Specify on your application that you want to foster Bichons and Bichon mixes. The application will likely ask about your lifestyle, why you want to foster, and for references. Unlike rescue groups that rely on a network of foster homes, onsite shelters need foster homes for dogs that don't thrive in a shelter environment, such as puppies, older dogs, unhealthy dogs and puppy mill rescues. Most rescue groups and shelters will complete a home visit and check your references to ensure a good match is made before allowing you to foster.
- Educate yourself about Bichons so you'll be prepared for how to care for the breed. Although they are adorable, they are not easy to housebreak and pose health and grooming challenges.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.