Rescues and shelters work hard every day to take in animals in need and find them forever, loving homes. But sometimes facilities are simply too full to take in just one more animal and are forced to turn pets away. No one likes to turn pets away but it’s a sad reality that when the inn is full, it’s full, and operating under state regulations and ethical guidelines, it happens all the time.
If an organization is fortunate enough to have reliable fosters, more animals can be saved regardless of how full their facility might be.
Melissa found Elle after her owners moved away, taking with them another dog and Elle’s seven pups. According to neighbors, Elle’s owners were supposed to come back for her, but never did. Elle was hungry and wormy and had no place to go and Melissa couldn’t bear to leave her alone and scared.
Unable to take in another pet on her own, Melissa contacted Rough Road Rescue, a small no-kill animal rescue outside of Perryville, Mo. Unfortunately, all the kennels at the rescue were full and they couldn’t accept Elle. So Melissa did what many people might not have thought to do, she offered to foster Elle if the rescue would help find her a home.
Linda, co-founder of Rough Road Rescue, explained to Melissa that she would first have to fill out a foster application and if everything checked out the rescue would accept Elle as an intake and Melissa as a foster. She went on to explain that it might take some time to place Elle and Melissa should be sure she was willing to commit to what ever time necessary to find Elle the right home. Melissa was good with that and said she was willing to care for Elle until a suitable adopter was found.
While in Melissa’s care Elle saw the vet, got up to date on her shots, received wormer, and soaked up a ton of love and attention from Melissa and her family. She was put on monthly preventatives, socialized with other animals and people, and she met many neighbors and friends.
A rescue representative visited Elle at Melissa’s home and photographed her and her temporary family. The images were used to place Elle on Adopt-A-Pet and to network her on social media, telling her story and putting out her need for a loving home.
During the fostering process it was discovered that Elle loved children and was very gentle with them. She enjoyed living indoors, was potty trained, and got along well with other pets including Melissa’s cats, whom Elle adored. Elle was a wonderful house guest and Melissa a kind and caring foster. Living as part of a family unit, Elle received the guidance and socialization she needed to thrive.
Eight weeks after Melissa had taken Elle in, potential adopters Allen and Becky, contacted the rescue about meeting Elle. They were a middle aged couple with no children at home but plenty of grandchildren who visited frequently. They had seen Elle’s images and description and were very interested in meeting Elle to see if she was a fit for their family. Becky said it was love at first sight when she saw Elle’s images online. The couple filled out an adoption application and a meet and greet was arranged.
Melissa, Elle, Allen, Becky, and a Rough Road Rescue representative all met one afternoon at a local park. When Melissa and Elle arrived Elle was instantly drawn to the creek running through the park so Melissa allowed Elle to have a little swim. Minutes later Elle met Allen and Becky and was full of excitement. The couple was laid back and didn’t seem to mind a bit that a wet and energetic pup was all over them. In fact, Becky couldn’t seem to get enough of Elle and the two ended up going for a walk on their own. When they returned Melissa, Allen, and Becky discussed Elle’s demeanor and behaviors, and what a good dog she had been while living in Melissa’s home. It was no surprise when Allen and Becky said that they wanted to make Elle a permanent part of their family.
When everyone left the park, Elle returned home with Melissa, Allen and Becky went home, and the representative called the rescue to speak with Steve and Linda to report the events of the afternoon and give her recommendation. Linda had already been working on the adoption application, checking references and analyzing all the information the couple had provided. Everything checked out so a home visit with the couple was arranged.
After visiting the couple at their home, with Elle in tow, there was no doubt that the adoption would take place. Elle was happy to see Allen and Becky again, and made herself right at home. The couple was equally as happy to see Elle and thrilled that she would become a part of their family. Once the paperwork was signed it was a done deal. Elle had a new and permanent home where she would be loved and cherished.
It was a bittersweet time for Melissa. Unable to keep Elle herself, due to a demanding job and three children, she knew from the beginning her limitations and was well aware this day would come. And while she was happy and excited that Elle would be getting a family of her very own, she was saddened to let Elle go. She had rescued her from a bad situation and then cared for her for several weeks awaiting a potential adoption. Saying goodbye was heartbreaking but Melissa knew it was the right thing for everyone involved.
Fosters are an important part of the animal shelter and rescue systems of today. They are strong individuals and families willing to give the best of themselves to help pets that will eventually live out their lives with someone else. They are selfless, loving people willing to do what it takes to provide care for pets in need. Fosters make space available for animals in need when there is no facility with an open space to house them. They provide love, care, training, and much needed socialization, that many stray and homeless animals require to be able to thrive in their new homes. It is no doubt that fosters are an invaluable tool to any organization that is fortunate enough to have them and utilize their volunteer efforts.
If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of animals in need, and can open your home and your heart to a rewarding volunteer effort, contact your local rescue today and find out how to apply to be a foster. You can apply to be a foster at Rough Road Rescue by following this link and filling out a simple form. Someone with the rescue will contact you as soon as they have had a chance to go over your information and arrange a time to speak with you.
Rough Road Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill animal rescue located at 9126 S. Hwy 51, Perryville, Mo. 63775. You can find them online on their website, www.roughroadrescue.com or on Facebook.