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Humane Society of Greater Rochester

Big dogs at Lollypop Farm need people with big hearts–like you!. Right now, we are actively recruiting volunteers to foster large-breed dogs in your home. Big dogs often spend longer in our shelter while they recover from illness, work on behavior challenges, and wait for loving new homes. But research from The Humane Society of the United States shows that often these dogs recover and adjust more quickly in a home environment. That’s why we need YOU.

large dogs at Lollypop Farm could really use your help
Whether they are stressed in a shelter environment, recovering from injury, or facing some other struggle there are large dogs at Lollypop Farm that could really use your help.

Why Do Dogs Go Into Foster Care?

We place dogs in foster care for several reasons. Many are recovering from illness or injury, and resting in a relaxing environment is just what the veterinarian ordered. Some dogs may even be on mandatory rest and unable to bounce around. For these pets especially, constant company and supervision are necessary to ensure they get better.

Other dogs may be following behavior plans to work on challenges before adoption. From separation anxiety to stranger danger, some behaviors need extra help before transitioning to a new family. Unfortunately, many of these issues are made worse by the stress of a shelter environment. Having volunteers willing to work with dogs in a calm, supportive environment–without barking neighbors and tons of smells–can make a huge difference!.

Shelter stays aren’t for everyone. Between the smells, the sounds, the confinement, and the routine of people coming in and out, being in a shelter can be downright stressful for some pets. For these pets, particularly large dogs, longer hold periods don’t translate to settling in or relaxing in the shelter environment. Fostering can mean a world of difference and save them from a lot of stress.

Shelter stays aren’t for everyone
Who wouldn’t want to rest on a comfy couch while they heal? Pets like Jackson are happiest when they are able to recover in the home of a foster care volunteer.

Why Large-Breed Dogs
A lot of the dogs who come to Lollypop Farm are large, mixed-breed dogs. Our shelter teams and volunteers do a great job getting them out as much as possible. But the truth is for many of these big furry friends, rest and recovery go best when they have more space to be themselves.

Lollypop Farm is very fortunate to have many foster care volunteers ready to help the thousands of cats and kittens coming through the shelter. But our larger dogs are often on the foster plea for a long time, waiting. We need someone like YOU to scoop these big boys up and give them a chance for rest and recovery in a home environment where their true personalities can shine.

But you will not be alone. Not one step of this journey is without our support. Our Foster Care Coordinator, Behavior and Training Staff, and Veterinary Team are all here to help you every step of this journey with every dog you foster. You will receive the supplies, training, and support you need to make you and your foster dog successful.

Would I Make a Good Foster Care Volunteer?

If you are willing to open your home and have time to care for a pet, you will make a FANTASTIC foster care volunteer. That being said, every pet has unique needs. Some timid pets may do best with a confident dog already in the house. Other pets may have a history of being very selective in making dog friends and prefer to be the only pet. Some still may need an adult-only home if they are easily scared by the loud noises and quick motions small children tend to make.

Not ready to make a lifetime commitment to a pet? Fostering a dog could be perfect for you! It’s not a lifetime commitment, but it is a commitment that will help save a life.

Fostering a dog could be perfect for you
While some pets have unique needs, anyone able and willing to open their heart and home to a dog like Winnie, who needed time to heal, will make a fantastic foster care volunteer.

What if I Fail?

We hear it a lot. “I could NEVER foster! I would bring them home.” First off, if you “foster fail” (and honestly, we hate that term), it’s because you fell in love. You fell in love so much that you decided to make this pet a part of your family. And that is something we never say we are sorry for. Maybe “you’re welcome” …but never an apology.

MANY volunteers are fulfilled by knowing that they were the bridge between homeless and home. Foster care volunteers don’t adopt every pet they meet, and it’s not because they are superhuman (although we think they are pretty super). They know their foster pet will find the family meant for them. They trust that every pet makes it to a family who will give them lots of love and care in the ways they need it most.

We know the first foster is the hardest, and our foster coordinator Pat will be there to see you every step of the way. The first time and every time! We want you to succeed as a foster, and whether it’s supplying you with dog food, behavior advice, or just counseling you through an emotional goodbye–we’re there for you.

Ready to Learn More?

We could go on and on about fostering. (It’s one of our favorite topics!) But if you want to learn more, visit: and check out the FAQ.

Ready to Become a Foster Care Volunteer?

Head over to to sign up to help these big, beautiful dogs!