• News
  • 10 January 2024

Emergency Fostering Appeal

We urgently need more foster carers to join our Break Away scheme. The scheme helps owners who are fleeing domestic abuse or facing short-term hospitalisation and need temporary care for their animals.

Raystede’s ability to help is entirely dependent on the availability of foster carers and as a small organisation, we can only help a limited number of animals at any one time. Our fostering appeal is an opportunity for animal lovers to become an integral part of a compassionate team dedicated to not only making a positive impact in their lives of vulnerable animals but also helping families who find themselves in difficult situations.

Fostering is perfect for those who miss the company of an animal but can’t commit to adoption. The length of fostering varies depending on individual circumstances but is usually for around 3 months or until the owner is in a position for their animal to be returned to them.

Miriam Dowding, Rehoming Manager here at Raystede said: “Our Break Away scheme provides a vital service for those who are fleeing domestic abuse. Often people won’t want to leave until they know their animal is also safe, yet many refuges aren’t able to accept animals. This is where our wonderful Break Away fosterer carers can step in. We carefully match each animal to the most appropriate foster carer, but our ability to help really does depend on having foster carers available.

“Break Away is also the only service in the South East that helps other animal types too, not just dogs and cats. While many other similar schemes focus on assisting in cases of domestic abuse, it is harder to find a scheme like ours, that can also help when issues arise due to hospitalisation too.”

Fostering best suits people who are home most of the day, such as those who work from home or are retired. Raystede provides fosterer carers with all the necessary training, equipment, support and veterinary care.

This is what some of our recent Break Away clients had to say:

“I honestly can't thank you and the foster carer enough, without you we would have lost the boys forever, thank you once again for absolutely everything you've done to help us.”

“Just a little note to say how grateful we are for your work. In one of the most difficult times, we have ever experienced in our lives, you were there to support and keep part of our family together. Because of your care and love we did not need to give our pets away. We will be forever thankful.”

ITV News Meridian recently visited Raystede to highlight our search for new foster carers. Watch the video to see how long-term resident Ruby the Lurcher has been getting on in foster care, and get a taste of whether fostering might be right for you!

Foster carer requirements

We find fostering works best in homes without other animals or children, and with foster carers who are experienced with animal ownership. Applicants must live within 45 minutes of Raystede and be able to drive to Raystede for meets and collections.

  • Dog foster carers - ideally you will have some experience of challenging behaviours, be home for most of the day, and not have any young children or other animals in the home.
  • Rabbit foster carers - rabbits would need either a quiet, rabbit-safe indoor space, such as a spare room, or to be housed outdoors in a secure enclosure (supplied by Raystede).
  • Cat foster carers - ideally you will have some experience of caring for cats, not have any young children or other animals in the home.
  • Rodent foster carers - ideally you will have some experience of caring for rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, gerbils). Raystede will provide you with a suitable enclosure for them.

Could you open your heart and your home to a foster dog, cat or small animal?

Find out more and apply to foster an animal here:

Apply to foster an animal

If you or someone you know needs help from Raystede’s Break Away scheme, you can find out more here:

Break Away