Without foster homes, BRAT would cease to exist. Rescue is probably one of the only businesses in the world that would love to go out of business.
Where do our Basenjis come from? All over. BRAT gets Basenjis from loving homes that can no longer care for them for whatever reason. Economic hardships, working long hours, new babies, job transfers, military deployments, and Basenjis that had gotten along in the past wake-up one day and start fighting, are some of the reasons owners have to give up their Basenjis. BRAT gets them from puppy mills and backyard breeders who decide Basenjis are more trouble than they are worth and not the "cash crop" they believed them to be. BRAT gets Basenjis from Animal Controls, Humane Societies, and Shelters from all over the US. These are the "unknowns" that especially must go through a fostering period so BRAT can figure out the type of Basenji they are and the forever home they need. All of these Basenjis need to be afforded a life that they deserve, in a loving home that wants them, and the foster home is the one that provides this opportunity.
Foster homes come with different levels of experience - from the brand new to the very experienced. And sometimes foster Basenjis need to be moved out of experienced homes into less experienced foster homes because there is a Basenji that can only be evaluated by an experienced foster home. These are the dogs with health and/or temperament issues that need to be evaluated by a home with a lot of rescue and Basenji experience. But the foster Basenji(s) moved from the experienced home are very much known and loved and just need a home that is willing to house and love them till they are placed.
But I warn you, fostering takes courage. You have to have to courage to love and work with that foster Basenji so they can find a forever home and it can be hard to say good-bye. But we foster homes find comfort in knowing it was because of us that these Basenjis do have a great home and life now. I found when one of my foster Basenjis leave, they leave with their head held high and walk into their new homes with confidence; they learned how to trust and love because of my kids and me.
If you are able to open your hearts and your home, please consider becoming a foster home. The first step is filling out an adoption application, marked "Foster Home Only" on the bottom of the first part of the adoption application, next to "Who referred you to BRAT." This application is what the coordinator uses to match the evaluated Basenji to the foster home. As an example, if that new Basenji is evaluated not to like young kids or cats and you have either or, BRAT will not place that new foster in your home. The coordinator will also be there for you if you have any questions or concerns. BRAT does not place a Basenji in a foster home and then walks away. BRAT is there to support you.
Save a life and become a foster home. It can be a hard job but one of the most rewarding you'll ever experience.
For more information about becoming a foster home, please email BRAT-HELP@lists.basenjirescue.org. BRAT is only an email away.