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Large dog and puppy



Sunshine Big Dog Rescue relies on its amazing team of volunteer fosters to be to help dogs in need from all over the Southeast.


We are based in the Tampa Bay area, however our foster range area covers the surrounding counties in all directions.  If you are near any of these areas and would be willing to foster for us, please read over our foster requirements below.

 1. All Dogs and Cats in your home MUST be spayed or neutered. We will call your vet to verify this. We allow exceptions to this in rare medical instances upon verification with your vet, only. 


2. All Dogs in your home MUST be current on annual vaccinations and monthly (or semiannual) heart worm and flea prevention. We will call your vet to verify that all dogs in your home are current. We allow exceptions to this in rare medical instances upon verification with your vet, only. 


3. You must be 21 years of age or older to foster for the rescue.


4. If you do not own the property in which you live, your landlord must be willing to verify that you are allowed to have a dog in your rental home. We will call your landlord to confirm this. We check property records.


5. A home visit is required for ALL fosters, without exception. This is not a white-glove inspection, rather it is to ensure that the home is a safe environment for the Foster and that everyone in the household is on board for bringing in a dog in need.


6. We only foster our dogs as INDOOR pets. We will not allow our dogs to be used as guard dogs or to be kept outdoors in foster care.


7. Each dog is placed in the most suitable foster home for him/her, based upon his/her individual needs and temperament.

Dog smiling at camera


Please remember, fostering a dog is always an adventure, but IT IS NOT for everyone. Fostering takes hard work, patience, dedication, and there is an undefined time commitment involved. It can be exhilarating, rewarding, exhausting and heart rendering, all at the same time. There is no perfect profile of a foster family, but there are some things that you should know before volunteering to foster.



  • Provide quality dog food for the dog at their own expense.

  • Provide basic grooming responsibilities.

  • Use a crate to prevent mishaps.

  • Provide treats, toys, bowls, and other goodies.

  • Evaluate and observe each dog to identify any potential behavioral issues.

  • Care for the dog in a manner that is consistent with how you care for your own animals. Fosters need to provide basic training for the foster dog, as many that come into rescue have had NO training previously.

  • Attend adoption events to get their foster dog exposure, and occasionally drive to pick up dogs, take dogs to the vet, etc.

  • Adhere to the principles of positive reinforcement training. SBDR believes in treating dogs with kindness and respect.​

  • Work willingly and effectively with SBDR.

  • Allow prospective adopters to visit the foster dog at approved times. We work very hard to make sure that appropriate families visit the foster dog, however, the input of the foster family is very important in making the final determination if the match is “right.”


  • Those who are torn between fostering and adopting. While many foster homes do end up adopting a dog, it is very important to remember that fostering is not a “try one on for size” activity. Fostering is strictly for those who wish to assist “the cause” and feel that they have the time, space, and dedication to do so and do it well.

  • Those who cannot abide the emotional turmoil of caring for a dog and then having the dog leave when adopted.

  • Those who cannot tolerate disruption in their lives. Foster dogs can make housebreaking mistakes, get on the furniture, “counter surf”, get ill and need a trip to the vet clinic at 2 a.m., and leave slobber in the most amazing places. The most successful foster homes are those that have a high tolerance level and a good sense of humor.

  • Those who truly do not have the time or energy to work with their foster dog. All foster dogs need exercise, training and direction, be it house manners, housebreaking or learning to walk politely on a leash. If you cannot honestly provide the daily exercise and training, then fostering is not for you.

  • Those who have difficulty taking directions from others. We have rules and procedures for a reason and we expect all of our fosters to follow them. Let’s be honest—some folks do not thrive in such a system and find it annoying at best and stifling at worst. If that is the case with you, then fostering for SBDR will not be a rewarding experience.



SBDR covers the foster dog’s approved veterinary needs, medical needs, preventatives and meds. We provide mentoring to our fosters via our SBDR officers and knowledgeable volunteers. We are very proud of our volunteer team and work together to provide encouragement, advice, and support. We solicit for donations of goods and services that are of use to our fosters.


If you are interested in fostering, please fill out the foster application below.

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© 2020 Sunshine Big Dog Rescue

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