Recently a no-kill shelter in a very rural area of the state asked for some help in moving out some of their dogs. They were willing to give other shelters and rescues their most adoptable dogs, but I decided I would rather help with a harder to adopt dog. I picked out Charlie, a mixed breed dog who has been at the shelter longer than any other resident.
Charlie is now in a home for the first time ever. He'd been living in the shelter since 2007, and has never experienced being a pet dog before. He barks like crazy at the television because he can't understand where the people on TV are coming from. He is scared of people and loud noises and new places. He was very well cared for in the shelter, but in a place with so many dogs, and so few adopters, he wasn't lucky enough to get a home before now. So Charlie is now here, and learning about being a pet dog for the first time. He is great with the other dogs, and does okay with the cats too. He will start going to adoption events and training classes every week so he can learn that other places aren't so scary. And hopefully soon he'll find a home with a patient adopter who is willing to give him the time he needs to adjust.
There are many more dogs like Charlie waiting in no-kill shelters around the country. Foster homes make a huge difference in the lives of these dogs because they can teach them about living in a home and help them prepare for an adoptive home. I hope to get a second dog from this shelter this weekend, and several of our foster volunteers also took dogs from this shelter. We usually take in dogs that are going to be euthanized, but it's nice to be able to help these dogs who were safe but don't have as much of a chance at being adopted.
Ziggy is still out on his trial adoption. And Allie is meeting some potential adopters on Saturday, so hopefully she'll go to her new home and that will open up space for another foster.