This is Skittles! She is a typical puppy - just wants to play, get attention, eat, and then play some more! She has very soft fur, and is so fun to hold and cuddle.
This is Reese. She is very quiet - I've only heard her bark once. She is small - maybe around the size of a Jack Russell Terrorist, but of course she's much quieter than a JRT. :-) I'll have more information on both of these girls and how old they are when I get back from the vet today!
These puppies both came from the North County animal shelter. The shelter had over 150 animals there on Tuesday, and most of them were going to be euthanized the next morning. Most of these pets came to the shelter as strays, and the owners don't want to pay (cost of vaccinations and spay/neuter) to get the animals out, so they just get another one from a backyard breeder. The animals pay the price with their lives.
I can't save all of them, but we saved two of them. I grew up in North County, so I feel especially concerned about the animals at this shelter. Once they're picked up by animal control, they are given 6 days to be claimed. If they are not claimed during this time, and no one has shown any interest in adopting them, they are euthanized immediately. Look at Reese and Skittles - could you leave them there to be killed once you saw them? I hate that I also had to leave Oreo and Salt & Pepper and Simon and Pepsi behind. They were other ones at the shelter that I really wanted to take - they were just as cute, or even cuter than Skittles and Reese, but I couldn't save them.
A couple people have said that four foster dogs is too many. That might just be because my family is worried about me going nuts from all the dogs. :-) In my opinion, however many animals you have, if you can take good care of them, that is the important thing. And Skittles and Reese are getting very good care at my house, just like all my other foster animals. Our fosters have great medical care thanks to Heartland, they have lots of play time with each other, lots of outdoor time (dogs only of course), and lots of one-on-one time with me or my husband. Right now both puppies are quarantined to make sure they are not sick - many animals coming from the shelter have been exposed to viruses that may not show symptoms for several days. So they each have their own bedroom, and they have to stay by themselves until their quarantine time is up. Then they'll be able to join the rest of the household, and sleep in our room (in a crate until they're housetrained), and play with the other dogs. So I don't think I have too many animals - I love them, and love fostering! I admit it has become a second job - I get up an hour earlier in order to get them all fed and outside and back in before I go to work, and then I spend most of my evening with them, either feeding or playing with or cleaning up after them. I don't watch TV much anymore, or play computer games, but I enjoy being with the animals so much more. If I had less fosters, I'd have more time for "entertainment" but it would be much less entertaining than watching my puppies or kittens. :-) And one of the awesome things about fostering is that I can always take in less when I need a break! I just wish we had more foster homes and adopters - there are so many more cute puppies and kittens, and dogs and cats, at North County and other shelters that are being euthanized every day just because there aren't enough animal lovers out there that are willing (or know how) to foster. If its something you'd be interested in, check out http://www.hhsrescue.com/ for more information. You can even foster Skittles or Reese once their quarantine time is up, and I'll go get another one. ;-)
For those of you who have adopted a dog or cat from Heartland or another shelter/rescue group - thank you for being part of the solution! It does no good to foster these animals if they can't find good homes to adopt them, so without you, these animals wouldn't have a chance! And if your adopted dog or cat needs a playmate, consider adopting or fostering another one. ;-)