A lot of people have a misconception that fostering dogs is difficult and that you get so emotionally attached there is no possible way you could give your foster dog to another family to love. While taking care of any animal comes with it’s challenges, to me fostering dogs is such a rewarding experience that I actually look forward to welcoming a new dog into my home.
Fostering brings me joy!
My dog, Puka, was rescued off the streets of Los Angeles by a close friend of mine in 2011. My friend already had a couple rescue animals of her own to look after, so we took Puka in even though we weren't sure if we were ready to add another member to our household. But we’ve been inseparable ever since. Puka is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. And after she came into my life, I had a strong desire to pay it forward and contribute to the rescue community.
I have fostered dogs both independently and for local rescue organizations. Fostering a dog gives the dog a greater chance at finding its forever home and being successful in that home. When you foster you get to know that dogs personality and habits, which really helps people interested in adopting them understand if that dog is the right fit for their family. And you're also providing a nurturing environment for a dog to thrive, and to learn how to be a dog!
Fostering brings me a lot of joy because for that moment you are that animals guiding light, leading them on a path to the perfect home that they’ve always deserved. There is always a small part of me that wants to hold onto my foster dog because the love I have for them is so great, but adopting them out and watching them thrive with a family that loves them is equally if not more rewarding. Fostering a dog is like sharing happiness, and that always feels good not just for me, but for our four legged friends.
Willie • Available
Rescue: Deity Animal Rescue
Willie was scrambling in the Barstow shelter for 10 days. She came in as a stray. I put a call out to the rescue community saying I was interested in fostering a puppy, and immediately I heard back from Deity Animal Rescue about Willie needing a home. She was born with Carpal Laxity Syndrome (deformed front legs) but I didn't care! I loved her from the very first picture I saw. I take her everywhere with me... in a wagon, in my arms, walking with a leg brace on next to Puka, I always find a way to include her. She is so grateful and a very good dog. Willie is gentle, quiet, well-mannered, and self-contained, an even mix of 'fun time at the dog park' and 'chill time on the couch'. But as easy going as Willie's personality is, she needs a lot of hands on care. Currently Willie is in physical therapy and hydro therapy to straighten her legs and learn how to walk. She has a leg brace to provide extra support while she is playing or walking around the block and every day I help her with exercises and stretching at home. We are looking for a an adopter who is dedicated in continuing Willie's therapy and committed to helping Willie thrive.
Available for adoption!
Rescue: Road Dogs
After adopting Puka, I wanted to learn more about dogs with cleft lips and cleft palates. I reached out to a variety of rescuers, vet techs, and doctors inquiring about clefts in dogs and over the years I had become very knowledgeable about clefts and how to care for them. The rescue community connected me with Road Dogs Rescue and The Labelle Foundation who had a beautiful clefty named Rosie in their care and gave me the opportunity to foster. I tube fed Rosie for the first week and then weaned her off milk to solid food. She was a huge part of my life, and one of the best things that had ever happened to me. We spent 6 glorious months together and then out of nowhere we met a woman in our neighborhood who was looking for a companion for her dog Smokey. Rosie loved this idea so much I remember her crawling all over this stranger's lap and drowning her in snotty clefty kisses as if to say, "This is what the rest of our lives could be like together!" And just like that, Rosie found her forever home.
ADOPTED! June 14, 2018
Rescue: Best Friends Animal Society NKLA
Will was in and out of the shelter system for years before finding his forever home. The shelter really stressed Will out, and he never showed well to people looking to adopt a dog. Best Friends Animal Society reached out to me asking if I would take Will in so he could have some time to decompress outside of NKLA. I was super excited to foster Will, because I knew that Puka and I could really help him relax and find his forever home. When I brought Will home, he was a completely different dog than when he was at NKLA. Will was quiet, and polite, and besides stealing your shoes and needing some on-leash training, he really was a perfect dog! I provided BFAS NKLA with countless pictures, videos, and notes all about Will and I blasted social media with his face. I was determined to let the world know how awesome he was. And shortly after I returned Will to NKLA, he was adopted.
ADOPTED! September 19, 2019
Kat n.k.a. Sharkey
Rescue: A Purposeful Rescue
Kat was brought to the shelter with a severe injury to her back leg. Nobody knows what happened to her, and unfortunately her back leg had to be amputated. A Purposeful Rescue pulled Kat from the shelter after her surgery and gave me the opportunity to foster her. Kat was the first ortho pup I had ever cared for and the first pup I fostered for a rescue organization. I learned a lot from working with A Purposeful Rescue and I am forever grateful for all of the guidance and support APR showed me while fostering Kat.
Follow Sharkey on Instagram: @juno_n_sharkey
My friend sent me a picture of a dog in the shelter with a text message saying, "He looks like Puka!" And boy, did he ever! Clefton looked just like my Puka dog with his white coat, red patches, and cleft lip. I stared at the picture and immediately made a plan. The next day I drove to the Downey shelter to meet and rescue this doppelgänger. When I met Sir Clefton at the shelter he was nothing but smiles in the play yard. I remember he wiggled his way right up into my arms, fearless and friendly, and I knew right then that he was coming home with me. I fostered Clefton for 4 months before his forever family claimed him, but man, it was worth the wait because Clefton's family has become some of my closest friends here in Los Angeles. Puka and I still see Clefton on a regular basis for play dates and hang time.
ADOPTED! November 3, 2016
Follow Clefton on Instagram: @matildabeans
Little Richard Simmons n.k.a. Ouija
Ouija was my first foster dog. I got a random call one day from a guy I barely knew asking to help him with some dogs he pulled from the shelter. I was pretty new to the rescue world at this time and I wanted to start fostering so when I heard that there was a dog in need I jumped on the opportunity to help! Shortly after rescuing Ouija a woman contacted me saying she saw Ouija's picture on Instagram and fell in love. I knew she was meant to be Ouija's mom from the first day we met. It was truly love at first sight.
ADOPTED! July 19, 2015