General Dog Foster Handbook


Emergency Medical


Overnight & Field Trip Handbook


Dog Foster Bite Protocol
Overnight & Field Trip Handbook- Espanol
Key Dos and Don'ts of Being a PVAS Dog Foster

Key Dos and Don'ts of Being a PVAS Dog Foster



  • DO carefully review all of APA!’s dog foster communications and resources, including the Dog Foster Handbook, and abide by the rules and responsibilities set forth therein.

  • DO understand that there is an adjustment period when a dog moves into a foster home that can manifest itself in certain unwanted behaviors. Dogs often just need time to settle in and get used to a new routine. 

  • DO make sure any resident animal is fully vaccinated before fostering.

  • DO keep your foster dog separated from any resident animal for at least the first week.

  • DO maintain a 10-foot bubble between people and other animals when walking your foster dog.

  • Do immediately notify our Foster Team if your foster dog is showing any sign of illness, injury or a behavioral challenge you need support with.

  • DO give our Foster Team at least 4 days advance notice if you need to rehome your foster dog or need a sitter. Also post a request in the PVAS Volunteer & Foster Facebook group to increase the chances of finding one.

  • DO email pictures, videos, and bio information to our Foster Team to market your foster dog.

  • DO respond to ALL adoption inquiries within 24 hours.

  • DO always let potential adopters know there is or may be other adoption interest in your foster dog. Setting expectations is key!

  • DO immediately notify our Foster Team ( if you want to adopt your foster dog.

  • DO immediately report any foster dog bite per our Dog Foster Bite Protocol.

  • DO immediately report if your foster dog is lost or stolen to our Foster Team at

  • DO shower your foster dog with love!



  • DON’T allow your undervaccinated foster dog (typically puppies under 20 weeks) to touch the ground in any public area. 

  • DON’T bring your foster dog to any off-leash area or let your foster dog off leash.

  • DON’T house your foster dog outside or leave your foster dog unattended outside.

  • DON’T introduce your foster dog to any animal other than your resident animal(s) and any potential adopter’s animal(s).

  • DON’T travel out of the area with your foster dog without express written permission from PVAS. 

  • DON’T hand off your foster dog to a foster sitter, another foster, or any other person without first arranging it with the Foster Team. Sitters must be PVAS-approved fosters.

  • DON’T use boarding facilities, doggie daycares, groomers, or any other third-party care providers for your foster dog without express written permission from PVAS.

  • DON’T let a potential adopter take your foster dog on a trial basis, field trip, or sleepover. Your foster dog must be in the custody of an PVAS-approved foster at all times until officially adopted.

  • DON’T use a retractable leash. Retractable leashes are dangerous and can severely injure you, a bystander, your dog, or other dogs.

  • DON’T remove or loosen your foster dog’s martingale collar.

  • DON’T use aversive behavior modification tools like prong or remote collars.


Dog Bite Protocol

Please follow this protocol if your foster dog bites you or any other human. 


If a bite occurs:


  1. Immediately remove the foster dog to a safe environment, i.e., a crate or other option that both prevents further injury to the person and provides a calm environment for the dog.

  2. Report the incident immediately to the Foster Team at If it is an emergency or you need immediate assistance, call or text 956-330-3206.

  3. Your email should include a detailed description of the incident and photos of any injuries (this can be done in a follow up email).

  4. PVAS will determine the dog’s future placement and any needed behavior modification or training.


If the bite resulted in an injury, follow these additional steps:


  1. Call 911 if injuries are life-threatening or severe (e.g. excessive bleeding, broken bones, person is in shock or unconscious)

  2. First Aid: Wash bite and scratch wounds with soap and water immediately.

  • If there is no break in the skin, no further action is required.

  • If a break in the skin occurred, stop any bleeding with pressure. If punctured, professional medical care should be sought as soon as possible to prevent further injury. Wounds should be monitored for redness and infection.

  1. The Foster Team will verify the status of the dog’s rabies vaccination and provide you with proof thereof, as needed. Note: Per Texas law, dogs under the age of 3 months will not have been vaccinated for rabies.

  2. If the bite broke the skin (deep scratch, puncture wound, bleeding), it may be necessary to quarantine the foster dog for 10 days. This can usually be done in the foster home or, in some cases, may require a dog to serve the quarantine at PVAS. If the dog that bit is given a clean bill of health after 10 days, it could not have passed on the rabies virus at the time of the bite.


Bites are a dangerous issue and must be reported immediately per the instructions above. Reporting is especially important for a bite involving an unvaccinated dog. 


Appropriate medical treatment is also crucial. An infected bite can cost thousands of dollars if not treated immediately and can cause sepsis, loss of function, or even death.


PVAS IS NOT liable for any damages relating to a bite or responsible for any medical bill or other cost associated with a bite (including any injury to another animal). If you choose not to seek medical help, PVAS IS NOT liable for any resulting consequences.


Overnight & Field Trip Handbook- Espanol


Levels of Emergency

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