Looking to adopt a new best friend that is listed as a “foster-to-adopt” animal? Lucky you!

Our Foster-to-Adopt (FTA) program is designed to ease the transition between foster and adoptive home by allowing families to foster an animal before completely committing to adopting them. This process helps the animal acclimate faster to its new environment, as it decreases the number of times it is moved around from home to home, reducing stressful transitions.

Fostering-to-adopt is a great option for families who would like to “test drive” a new animal to see how it fits into the many aspects of their family dynamic before making a full commitment. To learn more about what you need to know about fostering-to-adopt, read on!

What to Know About Fostering-to-Adopt

  • Ruff Start Rescue is a foster-based rescue, meaning that all animals in our care stay in foster homes before adoption. We do not have a physical shelter.
  • Animals in the FTA program may not be medically up to date on everything they need to be cleared for adoption yet, such as being spayed/neutered. This happens while in the foster’s care, before adoption takes place.
  • Most FTA animals have an arrival date in their name and bio as they have not officially joined the rescue yet – for example, “Fluffy *Arriving 7/27/2021*”. This indicates the animal is being transported to us on that day, and needs to be picked up by their foster at our office in Princeton, MN upon arrival.
  • Fosters are required to coordinate the necessary veterinary appointments their animal needs, including routine visits and surgical procedures, while the animal is getting up to date on its vetting. As a foster, you will be responsible for dropping the animal off as well as picking it up from the facility it receives its care at, most likely the rescue office in Princeton, MN.
  • Fosters must have renters insurance if they rent their home.

Sound Like a Good Fit?

If you’re interested in becoming a part of our foster-to-adopt program, we can’t blame you! It’s a great way to find your new perfect companion.

To view the current foster-to-adopt animals being transported to us, please visit our adoptable FTA animals page and type “Arriving” into the search bar. If you find an animal that interests you and you’d like to foster-to-adopt them, fill out an adoption application ASAP! Make sure you indicate which animal you are interested in when you submit your application so we can start processing it right away.

Not finding a specific animal that fits your adoptive criteria, but still want to foster-to-adopt to find the right fit? Sign up to foster! You can learn more about this type of fostering-to-adopt by visiting this page or filling out a foster application to become an approved foster..

FTA Program FAQ

Still have questions about fostering-to-adopt? No problem! Check out our FAQ below.

What does FTA mean?

In the Ruff Start world, FTA means “Foster-to-Adopt”.

How does the FTA program work?

Ruff Start’s FTA program gives approved individuals the ability to take eligible animals into their home to foster them with the intent of adopting them.

Why would I want to participate in the FTA program?

Ruff Start’s Foster-to-Adopt (FTA) program is a good option for prospective adopters who are hoping to “test” an animal in their personal home environment before fully committing to adoption. It is also a good fit for those who are interested in high demand animals of specific breeds, age, and other identifying characteristics.

Also, depending on the animal’s background and health condition(s) at the time it enters rescue, it may be available to adopt exclusively through our FTA program – meaning following the “regular” adoption process through a separate foster home is not an option.

How do I view animals who are eligible for FTA?

At this time, the best way to view the animals currently available for Foster-to-Adopt is to either become an approved foster home and have “first dibs” on animals who are in need of fosters, or to search for certain eligible animals on our website.

Currently, we only offer the ability to search for certain dogs or puppies that are eligible for our FTA program on our website. Please visit our Dogs & Puppies page and type “Arriving” into the search bar to view dogs/puppies who are eligible for FTA.*

*Please note these animals follow a slightly altered FTA process, which is documented on this page. To view the standard process followed for those who wish to become a foster with the intention of adopting an animal not yet in rescue, visit this page.

Do I have to adopt my FTA animal?

No! You are not required to adopt your FTA animal.

How long do I have to decide if I want to adopt?

We will place all FTA animals on hold for 10 days while you decide if it is a good fit or not. Extensions may be granted based upon circumstance.

What happens if I don't adopt my FTA animal?

If you decide not to adopt your FTA animal, we do request you remain its foster until it is adopted by someone else. Please note there is no definitive timeframe for adoptions.

I want to adopt. What happens now?

Adoptions may take place anytime after day 5 as long as the animal in question is up-to-date on its necessary vetting.

Once you decide to adopt, your adoption application will be processed in a timely manner to make the adoption official. Congrats on finding your new family member!

I have further questions. Who should I talk to?

Please email us at info@ruffstartrescue.org if you are interested in our foster-to-adopt program.

Ruff Start Rescue