Foster Information

Small Breed Rescue is comprised of a group of foster families in the East Tennessee area. We do not have a central shelter facility and all of our dogs live in foster homes until they are adopted. Due to the ever increasing amount of dogs in need, we are always looking for new foster families willing to open their hearts and homes to a neglected, abused, or abandoned pup. Because foster homes are the backbone of our organization, the number of dogs we can save depends entirely on the number of foster families we have.

Rehabilitating dogs in a foster home environment has several advantages over a shelter. For example, they provide an environment for learning and growth that is likely very similar to the one the pups will experience in their forever homes. Foster dogs therefore have a chance to properly learn, socialize, and interact with people and other animals in a safe, comfortable setting, making the transition into their permanent home smoother.

Fostering is also very rewarding for you! You will have the chance to see your foster dog grow, learn, and become confident, and in return, you will experience unconditional love. You will feel needed and special, and will have the opportunity to meet lots of different characters and personalities. You will learn lots about animal behavior, care, and health, and children can learn to responsibly care for a pet.

As a foster home, SBRET will pay for all medical expenses for your foster dog. We ask that you provide food, shelter, and lots of love and care. We will do our best to provide beds, leashes, toys, and other items as we receive donations.

Fostering is truly incredible, both for you and for a special dog in need. In the words of an unknown author: "Saving one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog".

If you are interested in fostering for SBRET, please submit your completed Foster Application via this website, or by email to

You can download and print a foster brochure here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What are my responsibilities as a foster home?
A. We ask that you provide food, shelter, basic training, and lots of love to your foster. SBRET will do its best to provide you with the necessary items (e.g., leashes, crates, beds, etc.) for your dog. SBRET will cover all medical costs while the foster is in your care. You are also asked to attend adoption events on a regular basis to facilitate permanent placement of your dog. These events are usually held every Saturday at various locations throughout Knoxville, TN.

Q. What is the process to become a foster home?
A. The first step is to fill out the foster application. You can fill it out electronically, or print it and mail or email it back to us. We will do a vet reference check to make sure that any current pets are spayed/neutered, up to date on their shots, and on heartworm prevention treatment. We will then contact you to set up a home visit during which we will give you an overview of the rescue organization, your responsibilities, and we will answer any questions you may have. You will likely receive your first foster dog soon after the home visit!

Q. Who makes for a good foster home?
A. If you can provide love, exercise, meals, and a safe place for a dog in need, then you're a good candidate!

Q. What if I have other pets?
A. As long as your family pets are well balanced and get along with other dogs, then they may actually enjoy the company. Foster siblings may even help a foster dog build their confidence and "learn the ropes in your house". All current pets must be spayed or neutered.

Q. How long will I have my foster?
A. This depends on the dog and the situation. It may only be a couple of weeks, or it could be a few months, or even longer in some cases. The more you work with your foster and the more adoption events you attend, the faster they will find their forever home!

Q. What if my foster dog isn't working out?
A. If there is a problem with your placement, we will move the dog to a new foster home. It is in everyone's best interest to place foster dogs in appropriate home situations and we work hard to make sure that happens.

Q. Is it hard to see a foster dog go to a permanent home?
A. Yes, it can be sad to see a foster dog go to its permanent home. However, we have a thorough adoption process that is designed to ensure that our foster dogs go to safe and loving permanent homes. Knowing that you were an integral part of a dog's life; in providing love when no one else would, in giving care when they needed it the most, and in opening your heart and home when others turned away is one of the most rewarding experiences. And the unconditional love you get in return is also an amazing thing! If you do find that a your dog has attached itself too strongly to your heart, we do allow foster homes to adopt their foster dogs following the same adoption process as for all adoptions.