Foster families or individuals ensure our newest and most vulnerable recruits receive unconditional love in a caring and positive home environment while receiving the necessary training.
A Foster Educator is one of the most rewarding volunteer positions imaginable. You are directly contributing to saving two lives, that of the rescue dog and the Veteran or First Responder this dog will potentially be given to.
Rescuing and creating a PTSD Assistance Dog
The dogs we rescue are between eight months and three years of age.
First three weeks is all about routine, home life, manners and settling in, sitting nicely for pats and grooming, establishing toileting, feeding, sleeping and walking routines.
First three months is training the basics. Lots of confidence building, helping to ensure your dog is happy, confident and well mannered out in public and attending weekly training sessions with the rest of the PTSD Dogs pack.
Three to six months involves greater socialisation, visiting places like the Ginger Factory. We will be there by your side offering all the support you need. We also cover the associated costs of having a dog such as food, vet bills, some toys and training equipment.
Six to nine months is where you see the consistent training and reward coming together.
Being a Foster Educator is a physically demanding role and will require you to actively look after the dog. Some may pull on the lead to start with or be a jumpy excitable dog. As a Foster Educator, not only will you learn so much about dog training and behaviour, you will get lots of doggie love knowing that your efforts have helped save this dog’s life and make a monumental difference in the life of a Veteran or First Responder.
When your Foster Dog is ready for pairing, handing your dog back can be an emotional yet incredibly rewarding experience. You will see your Foster Dog working with their Handler, either a Veteran or First Responder, and see firsthand their journey together as well as experience the gratitude a Handler has for you for raising and educating their best mate.
Who can be a Volunteer Foster Educator?
A good Foster Educator is a kind, caring, consistent and patient person who loves wet nose kisses and giving and receiving cuddles. Being a Foster Educator is life changing for you and your rescue dog.
The ideal Foster Educator will:
- lives within a 100 kilometre radius of Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast so that you can attend regular weekly training
- be home for most of the day or have approval from your workplace to have a dog in the office. Your dog must not be left alone for more than four hours at a time without supervision or human contact/company
- be available to walk and train your dog daily
- allow your dog to sleep and be indoors with you
- have a good quality dog proof fence unless you live in a flat or unit
- have Queensland Drivers license and access to your own registered vehicle and public transport
- be willing to share daily routines and outings with your Foster Dog
- attend weekly training sessions across the Sunshine Coast
- not be excluded from having their own pet, providing your pet is dog friendly and meets our other criteria
- have internet, email and phone.
What support is available?
Our Foster Educators receive ongoing support and instructions from qualified dog trainers. Educating a dog is like educating a child. Everyone learns and develops differently. As a Foster Educator, your role is to help create a confident happy, well socialised, calm, intuitive dog. You are given all the training and support you need, it’s like following a road map of success and you will join a nurturing pack of dog lovers.
PTSD Dogs Australia will also provide:
- dog bedding
- grooming equipment
- flea, tick and heart protection
- veterinary care
- Blackhawk grain free dried dog food and dog bowls
- collar, leash, in-training jacket and training equipment
- regular weekly training sessions. This allows our Trainers to help you develop your doggie communication skills.
Learn about the positive ripples you are creating
Rescuing Dogs Who Rescue Humans You are rescuing a dog. Over 200,000 dogs are surrendered or considered stray every year. 20% are euthanized every year; good dogs like the one you will help to educate. This dog then goes on to rescue a Veteran or First Responder living with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The people we work with rarely leave their homes, are socially isolated and may have attempted suicide at least once. You will get to know this person and see the dog you helped educate grow together with their Handler, getting back outdoors, into the community, going to their child’s soccer game or first swimming lesson. Seeing this is life changing for our Volunteer Foster Educators. You are Rescuing Dogs Who Rescue Humans.
Here are some of the special notes of gratitude:
“You never walk alone when you have a trained PTSD Assistance Dog by your side. PTSD Assistance Dogs are gentle, intuitive and full of unconditional love”.
“Thanks to PTSD Dogs Australia and my girl Rosie, my life has purpose again. Now we can help others break through the overwhelming feeling of being worthless and alone”.
“My job was my dream job, helping others in their time of need. PTSD got the better of me. Now with my boy at my side, I have a new role in teaching my old profession”.
“My dog provides a sense of calm amidst turmoil, safety amid confusion and comfort in sadness”.
“Sitting in Bunnings having a coffee with Henry keeping tabs on me. He makes this sooooo much easier”.
Who Can become a Foster Dog Educator and help rescue a dog who rescues a human?
Self assessment at the following questions will help to determine if becoming a Foster Dog Educator is right for you. You should be able to answer Yes to most of the following questions.
Do you live within 100km radius of Maroochydore?
Do you have time for daily training?
Can you provide a safe home environment?
Age matters, do you know our requirements?
Do you have good fitness?
Can you be flexible in availability?
Do you have access to internet, Facebook, emails and phone?
Do you share our values of Respect, Trust, Compassion, Collaboration and Resilience?
Respect - We show empathy and recognise the worth and dignity of every dog and person, treat all furry and not so furry with respect, speaking and treating each other kindly.
Trust - We behave ethically and with integrity in all that we do, trust goes both ways.
Compassion - We observe, listen, understand and assist with heart, appreciating we are all different with different life experiences.
Collaboration - We believe pack work is the best way to work, knowing that together anything is possible.
Resilience - We bounce back from challenges by supporting each other, we are all in this together.