Guide

Quick Reference Guide
Who Might Contact You
The First Day
The First Two-Weeks
Introducing Resident Animals
Your First Vetting Appointment

Vacation/Temp Foster Needed
Unwanted Behaviors
Aggression & Bites
Promoting Your Foster


Quick Contact Reference Guide

EMERGENCIES
(Seizures, death, not breathing, trauma, lost dog)

–> Call or text: 320-237-8167 – this is the emergency phone

Criteria for Emergencies: What constitutes a medical emergency in a dog? A good rule of thumb is any situation in which you would call 911 for a person. Here are some specific symptoms that could indicate an emergency:

  • Not breathing or labored breathing

  • Symptoms of parvovirus: bloody diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, high fever (above 103.5 degrees)

  • 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, contact the emergency phone or our vetting manager (or backup managers) ASAP.  If the animal is vomiting or has diarrhea, but is still active, eating and drinking, you can probably wait until the next day to get help.

VET APPT. REQUESTS, QUESTIONS OR MEDICATION REFILLS

Email our vetting team at vetting@greyfacerescue.org

  • For medication refills, please give 7-10 days’ notice

  • For special food requests, please give 10-14 days’ notice

QUESTIONS & CONCERNS RELATED TO FOSTERING (Includes supply needs, behavioral concerns, referrals, suggestions, adoption application status or anything else!) Email the Foster Team at foster@greyfacerescue.org

PHOTOS, VIDEOS, UPDATES, IDEAS, PLAY DATES

https://www.facebook.com/groups/greyfacearmy

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Who Might Contact You

Grey Face is volunteer based, so please bear with us as we balance our efforts around full-time jobs, family, our own pets and other commitments. Because of the busy nature of rescue work, we rely on our team structure to get the job done! Here is a look at who may reach out to you regarding your foster dog.

  • Intake team – You will be contacted by a member of the intake team when details are know about when and where a dog will be coming into rescue. They will work out a time to make the transfer to your home. In general, we will conduct intakes at our St. Cloud facility. Email: gfrrintake@gmail.com

  • Foster support team – Checks in to see how it is going after a few days with a new foster and then for regular updates after that. Will also remind you to complete the Bio after 2 weeks to help promote your foster. Email: Foster@greyfacerescue.org

  • Vet care team – Sends you vet appointment information and further details on any medical needs your foster dog may have. Email: Vetting@greyfacerescue.org

  • Adoption team – Asks specific questions from applicants regarding your foster dog. Schedules meet and greets when they have an approved applicant for your foster pet. Email: Adoption@greyfacerescue.org

COME SEE US! Our office is at 7316 Ridgewood Road in St. Cloud. Since our team is made of all volunteers, we are generally there by appointment. 

Grey Face also operates an indoor dog park out of this space. The dog park adds another layer of activity to our office and so we ask that fosters set an appointment if needing to come to grab supplies or meet with someone -- this will ensure that a team member is available to help you with any needs. 

Foster dogs are allowed to use the indoor play space for FREE and you may grab a spot by signing up on our website! Feel free to bring along your resident dogs as well, though they will be charged a $5 per dog fee.

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The First Day

The first day is either going to be very stressful or very easy - it’s the hard truth! There will be accidents in the house, there will be whining, possibly unwanted behaviors and that second thought like maybe I shouldn’t have committed to this. This is NORMAL and trust me, you are not the only one who has been through this or felt this way. Bringing home a new dog that just lost everything is hard and heartbreaking!

What To Expect

  • Accidents or Marking

  • Not Eating

  • Altercations to other animals (if introduced too soon or incorrectly)

  • Growling/Snapping

These dogs have been through so much in the last 24 hours and it’s common for them to react to this adjustment in unpleasing ways. We have to be mindful and put ourselves in their position.

To make the transition as smoothly as possible, we’ve listed a few items that are proven to make the first 24 hours less stressful on both you and your new foster dog.

What To Do

  • If you have other pets in the home, keep them separated for the first 24 hours. Remember, your new dog is stressed; meeting another dog just ads another layer of stress and can result in a dogfight. This goes for even if your dog is the most friendly dog ever or if the dogs have met before. Bringing another dog into your home is different than a casual meeting and dogs reactive differently when it is in their territory.

  • Show your foster around. Walk your foster on a leash around the house, around the yard, up and down the street (without any nose-to-nose interactions with other dogs).

  • Kennel your foster in a common place such as the kitchen or living room and allow them to take in their new environment. Don’t forget to give treats throughout this time to earn trust (If your foster is not comfortable in a kennel, baby gate off a small area to put your foster dog)!

  • Keep a leash on your foster AT ALL TIMES for the first week. By doing this, you are able to redirect your foster easier by grabbing the leash.

  • Continue to use the same door to go potty each time and take them out frequently those first few days so they learn right away where they need to go potty.

  • Sit back and observe your new best friend. Let your foster come to you, if you have kids, don’t allow them to hang on the dog, hug or put their faces to the dogs face, etc. In other words, explain to your kids they need to give the new dog some space for a little while.

  • Before bed, take your foster for a long walk and time to relieve themselves. They will most likely be exhausted from such a big day and that extra bit of exercise will allow them and YOU to sleep without interruption.

Additional Resources

Tailered Dog Training
Rebound Hounds

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The First Two Weeks

From there, start your schedule of feeding, potty breaks and play/exercise. From Day One, your dog will need family time and brief periods of solitary confinement. Don’t give in and comfort him if he whines when left alone. Instead, give him attention for good behavior, such as chewing on a toy or resting quietly (Source: Preparing Your Home For A New Dog).

  • For the first few days, remain calm and quiet around your dog, limiting too much excitement (such as a party or the neighborhood children). Not only will this allow your dog to settle in easier, it will give you more one-on-one time to get to know him and his likes/dislikes.

  • If he came from another home, objects like leashes, hands, rolled up newspapers and magazines, feet, chairs and sticks are just some of the pieces of “training equipment” that may have been used on this dog. Words like “come here” and “lie down” may bring forth a reaction other than the one you expect.Or maybe he led a sheltered life and was never socialized to children or sidewalk activity. This dog may be the product of a never-ending series of scrambled communications and unreal expectations that will require patience on your part.

Following Weeks:

  • People often say they don’t see their foster dog’s true personality until several weeks. Your foster dog may be a bit uneasy at first as he gets to know you. Be patient and understanding while also keeping to the schedule you intend to maintain for feeding, walks, etc. This schedule will show your foster dog what is expected of him as well as what he can expect from you.

  • If you encounter behavior issues you are unfamiliar with, read the information below and consult with our Foster Team. We are here to set you up for success!


Introducing Resident Animals

This is SO important as it sets the tone between your resident animals and foster for their remaining stay. We want the initial introductions to be GREAT so the continued relationship is just as awesome!

Resident Dog

  • During that 24 hours of separation, while one is out going potty, allow the other to sniff around and learn the new additions smell.

  • After 24 hours, take both dogs on a long walk together. This gives them time to mentally get to know each other. When I say long, I mean as long as they can go - you want to tire them out.

  • Next introduce in the home with leashes on and a baby gate between them. This gives them the opportunity to meet each other with a barrier in between so everyone is safe. I recommend keeping them separated with a baby gate for 24 hours. If you see either dog growling or bearing teeth, we recommend keeping them separated for longer.

  • Once you feel they are ready to meet without a barrier, keep both dogs leashed to easily remove both from any situation. Allow the dogs to meet for short periods then separate to rest. This helps diffuse any over rambunctiousness from one party. Our dogs are seniors so any overly excited puppy may be too much for them. Continue to let them play for short periods until the newness wears off.

  • We HIGHLY recommend NEVER leaving your resident dog and foster dog unattended for any period of time.

Resident Cat

  • During that 24 hours of separation, while one is out going potty, allow the other to sniff around and learn the new additions smell.

  • Next introduce with the leash still on your foster dog and a baby gate between them. This gives them the opportunity to meet each other with a barrier in between so everyone is safe. I recommend keeping them separated with a baby gate for 24 hours. If you see your foster dog growling or bearing teeth, we recommend keeping them separated for longer.

  • Once you feel they are ready to meet without a barrier, continue to keep your foster dog leashed to easily remove both from any situation. If your foster dog becomes TOO interested, add the barrier and continue to keep the meetings short.


Vacations/Temp Fosters

Are you going out of town and need a temp foster? No problem! We have lots of resources for you! Here’s what to do!

  1. Email the Foster Team ASAP and give them a heads up!

  2. Post for a temp foster in the Army Facebook Group. Include a photo of your fosters, dates and additional information regarding your foster such as good with dogs, cats, kiddos, stairs, etc.

  3. Post the same information in the TeamReach app so you reach those who do not have Facebook or do not check it often.

  4. If you haven’t received a lead for a temp foster from either the Facebook Group or TeamReach, contact the Foster Team and they will contact fosters individually OR set up boarding at a partnered boarding facility.

Please be MINDFUL of temp foster needs and seek temp foster 2-3 prior to vacation! Short term notices may be more difficult to find coverage.

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Unwanted Behaviors

Your Foster team will check in with you regularly and will advise you if your foster dog has a behavior problem that may require more help, such as an abused or fearful dog that needs socializing or one that needs confidence building with other dogs or people. Many times, the foster parent is the first to learn about a foster dog’s specific behavior, so good communication with our team is important. We have many resources – including veterinarians, vet techs and training experts – who can help you to manage most behavioral issues. 

Some of the most common behavioral issues we can help with include:

  • Destructive chewing 

  • Nipping and rough play 

  • Submissive and/or excitement urination 

  • Urine marking behavior 

  • Fearfulness 

  • Separation anxiety 

  • Resource guarding 

  • Prey drive 

  • Barking 

  • Humping 

  • Digging 

  • Begging 

  • Attention seeking 

  • Counter surfing/ Garbage hunting 

  • Leash pulling 

  • Greeting manners 


If your foster dog exhibits any behavioral issues, ask yourself the following: 

  • Is my foster dog getting enough exercise? 

  • Are they being left alone for long periods of time? 

  • Do they have interesting toys to keep their mind engaged and stimulated? 

  • Are they getting enough attention and playtime from the humans in the house? 

  • Am I reinforcing bad behavior? Some examples include telling a dog that “It’s OK,” verbally scolding a dog when they are seeking attention, babying, etc.

  • Does my foster dog have a safe place that is dog-proofed with appropriate chew toys, or am I leaving my own belongings within reach?

  • Am I providing specific outlets based on the dog’s breed, drive, instinct and energy level?

Talk with our Foster team about any behavior issues before you become frustrated with the dog. We don’t expect foster parents to be miracle workers, and we’ll do our best to provide the tools and support to build a better bond between you and the dog with a goal toward making the situation work. If ultimately your foster dog requires more attention, exercise or training than you can provide, the best solution might be transferring the dog to a different foster home.

Regardless of the issue, we don’t condone punishment, as this is rarely effective in resolving behavior problems. Punishment will not address the cause of the behavior, and in fact it may worsen any behavior that’s motivated by fear or anxiety. Punishment may also cause anxiety in dogs that aren’t currently fearful. 

Never discipline your dog after the fact. People often believe their dog makes this connection because they run, hides or “looks guilty.” But dogs display submissive postures like cowering, running away, or hiding when they feel threatened by an angry tone of voice, body posture, or facial expression. Your dog doesn’t know what they’ve done wrong; they only know that you’re upset. Punishment after the fact will not only fail to eliminate the undesirable behavior, but may provoke other undesirable behaviors, too.

Any dogs showing aggression issues should be communicated to our Foster team, who will then discuss the situation with our training/vetting staff. 

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Aggression and Bites

Grey Face takes reports of aggression or biting very seriously and we have implemented an aggression reporting system to keep our fosters and senior dogs safe. 

Definitions of “Aggressive”

To say that a dog is “aggressive” can mean a host of things. We want to use the term “attack” sparingly, as aggression encompasses a range of behaviors that usually begin with warnings and can culminate in an attack. Many dogs are labeled as “aggressive” when they’re actually acting out of fear or were provoked (even if we didn’t know it) in some way. Many behaviors can be managed. A dog that shows aggression to people usually exhibits some part of the following sequence of increasingly intense behaviors:

  • Becoming very still and rigid

  • Guttural bark that sounds threatening

  • Lunging forward or charging at the person with no contact

  • Mouthing, as though to move or control the person, without applying significant pressure

  • “Muzzle punch” (the dog literally punches the person or the dog with her nose)

  • Growling

  • Showing teeth

  • Snarling (a combination of growling and showing teeth)

  • Snapping

  • Quick nipping that leaves no mark

  • Quick biting that tears the skin

  • Biting with enough pressure to cause a bruise

  • Biting that causes puncture wounds

  • Repeated biting in rapid succession

  • Biting and shaking

  • Raised hair on their neck or back

Dogs don’t always follow this sequence, and they often do several of the behaviors above simultaneously. Many times, pet parents don’t recognize the warning signs before a bite, so they perceive their dogs as suddenly flying off the handle. That’s rarely the case, however. It can be just milliseconds between a warning and a bite, but dogs rarely bite without giving some type of warning beforehand. 

We ask that you report any instances of the following behavior:

Aggression Toward Humans

  • Any bites to a person (if a dog only shows aggression to males or females in the home, it still needs to be reported)

  • Any nips, snapping, or attempted bites 

  • Growling when accompanied by snapping, nipping or biting

  • Lunging at people

  • Showing teeth to people (this behavior may precede an actual bite)

Food Aggression

Food aggression is when a dog is aggressively protecting food or treats. Food aggressive dogs can bite humans or other dogs. If your foster dog shows this, please feed them separately in different rooms or in their kennel

Dog Aggression

  • If you see your foster dog going after one of your dogs consistently. 

  • If a dog is ever hurt or injured by another.

  • If a dog shows aggression to other dogs while getting treats.

  • If the dog growls at another dog consistently or while out walking. 

If your foster dog displays any of these things, please report the incident ASAP to foster@greyfacerescue.org and vetting@greyfacerescue.org  We will help determine if underlying factors or something in the dog’s environment may have caused the dog to lash out.

If the foster dog bites another animal or a human please report the incident immediately. 

In your email, please include a detailed description of the incident, including:

  • Where and when the incident happened (inside the house, in the yard, etc.).

  • Who was present (including any other animals).

  • Were the animals involved on leash or off?

  • Was anyone bitten, scratched or was the incident characterized more as loud and noisy. Was any animal or human hurt in the incident?

  • What happened and what you think may have provoked the incident.

  • If another animal was involved, include the breed, sex, age and size.

  • If a human was involved, please include the sex, age and what the person was wearing.

  • What was the dog’s initial reaction before the incident – Did they growl? Bark? Were their ears up? Was the dog tense?

  • Was the dog showing signs of being annoyed, irritated or bothered before the incident?

  • How did you defuse the situation?

  • Was this the first time for this behavior, or had the dog done this before? 

The detailed descriptions will help us pinpoint the dog’s triggers, and then we can work to correct the behavior. 

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Promoting Your Foster Dog

Even though hundreds of people visit the rescue’s website and Facebook page every week, the more you network your foster dog, the quicker you’ll be able to find it a great forever home. Here are some simple ways to promote your dog: 

  • Take plenty of photos and videos and post them on the Army Facebook Page so we can collect them.

  • Post your foster dog on your social networking sites. There are even social networking sites specifically for dogs! 

  • Always walk your foster dog with an Adopt Me bandana.

  • Attend scheduled Grey Face events and especially those geared toward adoption. You are expected to attend one adoption event per month with your foster dog. Check out our Facebook page (under the events tab) to keep an eye on what’s coming up – we have events around the region. The Foster team will also help identify events where your foster will excel. Please bring only your foster dogs to adoption events. Personal dogs are not allowed.

  • When discussing your foster dog with potential adopters, tell them what you know. Be honest and avoid negative statements, and choose words carefully. A dog that is not potty trained might instead be “working on house manners.” If a dog has special needs, mention them but don’t dwell on them.

  • Send an email to family, friends and colleagues. Let them know about your foster and ask them to help you spread the word and to tell their friends, etc. 

  • Post a flyer of your foster dog at your workplace or put one on your office door or outside your cube. Spread the word at your child’s school, your place of worship, or any other organization that you belong. 

  • See if you can bring your foster dog to work! Many companies have newsletters, email lists, blogs or intranets where you might be able to post information about animals.

  • Blog about your foster dog, or find a local community blog and blog there. 

  • Take your dog for a walk around a popular lake, downtown or any other place that has a lot of foot traffic. Do this with a friend so that someone can be the “spokesperson” while you handle the dog. 

  • If you’re a runner, enter a local 5K race and bring your dog. Check the race rules first, but many will let you run with a dog. Don’t forget your dog’s Adopt Me bandana!