When I started writing Keep the Tail Wagging I wanted to approach dog rescue from a positive point of view. I laugh now, but I was sincere then. I was tired of the negative stories. I was tired of the sad pictures. I was tired of the horrifying stories. I wanted to share the happy endings. And then we were introduced to a puppy that we named Riley and less than two weeks later she was gone. And then I was introduced to a puppy named Edgar Frog who was born in a puppy mill and terrified of humans at 5 months old.
Now I’m looking at dog rescue in an entirely new light. I’m not longer resentful of the ASPCA commercials; now I appreciate them, because an ASPCA veterinarian took the time to talk to me about canine parvovirus. But I’m not ready to put on a cape and boots and bust up a puppy mill. So what can I do?
There are many roles in dog rescue…
Foster a dog - Our family tried fostering and I got attached to the first dog and we kept the second dog (Riley). My conclusion was that we couldn’t foster a dog, because we’d end up with 10 dogs. Now I think I’m mistaken. We now have three dogs and two cats. We can’t take on any more permanent pets without sacrificing the care and love of our current fur kids, which probably makes a great home for a temporary foster. Although I’ve heard of families hosting a foster for 6 months or more, many rescue groups try and keep the foster period short (hopefully about a week, two at the most). And if the foster family does it’s part in promoting the dogs, then the foster period will be brief.
With our first foster, Morgan, I took pictures and video. 10 families showed up at the adoption event (a week later) to meet him. He’s in an amazing home.
Sponsor a dog - For those of you who still aren’t convinced that you can foster a dog. Try fostering a dog. I’ve reached out to my favorite, local dog rescue group to sponsor a dog with a $10, $20, $50 contribution. The dollar amount really doesn’t matter, because every dollar works. If every person who has liked the Keep the Tail Wagging Facebook page contributed $1, I could forward over $4,500 to a rescue group. Imagine what that would do for their cause! When you contribute, imagine 100 other people matching those funds.
Even better! Some companies will match employee contributions, so check with your manager or Human Resources department to see if your contribution qualifies.
Rescue groups also need food, blankets, food dishes, beds, kennels/carriers, leashes/collars, and other supplies. Check their site for a list or contact them directly to find out what they need. It’s amazing what you can pick up around the house or at Goodwill that will be more than enough for the rescue group.
Kimberly Gauthier, a perpetually happy person, lives with her amazing guy, their spoiled dogs and cats, and loves dog rescue, photography, reading, and laughing. She’s the author of Keep the Tail Wagging, where she shares tips on raising happy, healthy dogs and promotes dog rescue and reputable breeding. You can also find her at Girl Power Hour as The Fur Mom.