skip to content

How Fostering Works


When we are contacted about a giant breed dog that needs to come into rescue, we will line up a foster home typically before they come in. We determine which foster home is most appropriate based on what we know about the existing pets, family members, and any special circumstances. Our Foster Director Position is currently open so in the mean time, Lindsay Condon, CEO/President will be in touch when we have a foster dog coming in that we'd like to place with you! Lindsay is also available if you have any questions or concerns along the way. All giant breed foster dogs in our program will be microchipped upon arrival and a foster tag must be placed on their collar immediately due to the fact that many of these dogs are very scared coming into a brand new environment.

As a Colorado foster, super premium dog food will be provided on a monthly basis for each foster dog at no cost to the foster family. All you have to do is be there to pick it up on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 9-9:30AM in Denver. We do have a pickup location in Colorado Springs as well. 

As an out of state foster, you will be asked to fax or scan and email your receipts for dog food and you will be issued a check for reimbursement. Our fax number is: 303-474-5861 or you can email to: Don’t forget to include your name and the address where you want us to send the check on your receipt. We ask that you feed your foster dog one of the approved formulas from our list of recommended foods:

All giant breed dogs that come into our foster program will be spayed/neutered, gastropexied (when possible), vaccinated for Rabies, Distemper/Parvo, and Bordetella, heartworm tested, fecal tested, and any pre-existing medical conditions that they may come in with will be treated. We work with a variety of vets that give us discounted rates, so we can talk about who would be most convenient for you based on where you live and what procedures are required. We are also more than willing to negotiate a new relationship with a vet in your area if we don't already have a pre-existing relationship to make it as convenient as possible for you to get your foster dog to all necessary appointments. All vet appointments must be pre-approved and scheduled at one of our rescue vets by your local state Medical Coordinator. Please refer to list below:

  • Colorado State Medical Coordinator Aimy Scroggins
  • Iowa State Medical Coordinator Ruthie Stirewalt
  • Kansas State Medical Coordinator Jessica Lambrecht
  • Montana State Medical Coordinator Ruthie Stirewalt
  • Missouri State Medical Coordinator Jessica Lambrecht
  • Nebraska State Medical Coordinator Ruthie Stirewalt
  • New Mexico State Medical Coordinator Aimy Scroggins
  • Oklahoma State Medical Coordinator Jessica Lambrecht
  • Texas State Medical Coordinator Jessica Lambrecht
  • Utah State Medical Coordinator Ruthie Stirewalt
  • Wyoming State Medical Coordinator Aimy Scroggins

If a foster dog comes in requiring training, we ask that all foster families work with them as much as possible at home on basic commands with the positive reinforcement techniques you will learn during your training sessions. However, if we determine that your foster dog requires more extensive training or socialization in a group class or through a private session, we will make arrangements accordingly. It would be your responsibility as a foster to get them to their vet or trainer appointments, but once again, the rescue pays all expenses. Many of our foster dogs have been through so much before they get to rescue that they suffer from separation anxiety. We also get a lot of puppies who are destructive, so we do encourage crate training in those situations. If you do not have a crate to use for a foster, we sometimes have extras in rescue we can loan you.

While a giant breed foster dog is with you, you will be responsible for keeping Lindsay informed regarding the dog's true temperament, training needs, and any other special needs. You will be required to fill out an evaluation form after sufficient time has passed for the dog to fully adjust and you have had a chance to get to know the dog. We also may call upon you for feedback and advice when considering potential families. Your cooperation and regular communication will be essential to empowering Big Dogs Huge Paws to find the best possible match for each dog that comes into our program and ensuring their long-term success.

Big Dogs Huge Paws will keep foster dogs in our program for as long as it takes to find them the perfect forever home. Some dogs will only stay for a couple weeks, others may stay for months. There is no hard and fast rule, and we ask and hope that our foster families will be patient and understand this part of fostering. If you have any trips planned while a foster is with you, we ask that you make arrangements for the foster as if they were your own dog. Please pass along contact info for pet sitters or the name and number of where they will be staying to Lindsay in advance of your trip. We will do our best to assist you in the case of any emergencies, but otherwise it is your responsibility to plan accordingly. Don't forget that your fellow volunteers are often willing to help help and you can post a request on our volunteer only FB page to see if anyone in your area might be available to watch your foster dogs as needed: 

Once a match has been determined for your specific foster, we will coordinate with you to get the dog to their forever home. As a foster family, if the placement is local, you are more than welcome to come meet the new family so that you can share what you have learned about them to help with the adjustment period. If we place a giant breed foster dog with you and your family, you do have the option to permanently adopt your foster dog if the officers and directors agree they are a good match for your family AND you notify us prior to us promising the dog elsewhere(once we have started conversations with an adopter it is too late). You will have to fill out an adoption application and sign an adoption agreement and you will be asked to make a donation just like everyone else.

As far as recommended items to have on hand for fosters:

  • crate (48-54")
  • cleaning supplies (nature's miracle, steam cleaner, etc)
  • Bach's rescue remedy (all natural stress reliever, can be found at any natural food stores including Vitamin Cottage)
  • leash
  • 16-24" expandable nylon collar
  • raised feeding dishes
  • XL dog bed

Walking Harness: 




  • Pumpkin
  • white rice
  • chicken broth
  • plain yogurt
  • cottage cheese
  • *These are all things to keep on hand for a picky dog or an upset belly*