Until forever comes along, foster homes keep pets safe and loved

December 15, 2009 at 7:17 pm Leave a comment

MuttvilleGrandpaI admit it; this week’s column on SFGate.com is nothing but a shameless plea for pet lovers to considering becoming a fosterer for a homeless pet. It’s obvious, of course, what’s in it for the pets: We get them out of stressful and over-crowded shelters and into homes. But guess what? There’s even more in it for us:

San Francisco resident Sherri Franklin caught the pet fostering bug from a dog named Angel, a chow/golden retriever mix so shy she would cower when she met new people.

“I called her a ghost dog, because she would run through the house and hide under the bed,” Franklin said. She and her other dogs gave Angel space and some TLC, and it paid off. “To see her running on the beach and finally come out and doing things like give a little kiss or lean against you — it was so amazing.”

So amazing, in fact, that Franklin went on to foster dozens of dogs after Angel found her permanent home. Eventually she established Muttville, a nonprofit Bay Area rescue group relying entirely on foster homes to house its dogs.

“A lot of people like fostering because, while they want to help animals, they don’t want to make a forever commitment,” she said. “Maybe they know they’ll be moving in the coming year, or maybe they have job obligations that are seasonal and know they can only help out during certain months.”

It’s also the perfect answer for pet-loving families that are worried about pet food and vet bills.

“Most organizations, including Muttville, cover all expenses for pets in our foster homes,” Franklin said. “That way, you don’t have to take on an animal without knowing what it might cost in the future.”

Read the rest here, and when you’re done, check out the dog in the photo, Grandpa, a 12 year old mixed breed currently being fostered by Muttville. I’m in love with his sweet face.


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