The Humane Society Of Elmore County Why
Illness Or Injury:
Sometimes an animal may have an injury or an illness that needs a few weeks of
foster home care.
Sometimes age is a major factor. A litter of puppies or kittens may need to be
fostered because they
are too young to be placed up for immediate adoption. Many times young animals
need a few weeks
of socialization before going to a new home. So until the appropriate age is
reached, foster care is needed. Or if an animal is older and cannot handle the
stress of being at the shelter he may be placed in foster care until a permanent
home can be found.
Some animals are so malnourished when they are brought into the shelter that
they need to gain weight before adoption.
While in Foster Care these animals are also being trained to make them "more
adoptable" for the public. Crate Training, Housebreaking, Leash Training, and
Learning Commands will ensure these animals are ready for his or her new home.
If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent please ask the staff for more
information. As a foster home volunteer you will be providing an essential
service to animals in need, and you will also have a direct affect on the number
of animals who are given a second chance at finding that special
permanent, loving home.
Every month ECHS receives animals that can not be adopted
into permanent homes for various reasons. Some animals are too young, sick,
injured, need socialization/training, or are just at risk because of limited
space in the shelter.
As a foster home volunteer you will be providing an essential service to animals
in need, and you will also have a direct affect on the number of animals who are
given a second chance at finding that special permanent, loving home. However,
it is important to note, that the foster home program is not intended to
warehouse animals, or to be a means of a trial adoption period.
A variety of supplies are needed to insure a successful foster experience. The
following is a list of recommended items:
Cage/crate or playpen
Food-based on age, health
Toys-based on age, health
(for dogs) and collar
(bleach and detergent)
box (for cats)
2”pan (kittens litter)
Bags (poop patrol)
(for special memories)
DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO FOSTER AND RESCUE
Melissa sat on the floor, unable to sit
straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a
child. Today, it would be impossible. And tomorrow...it probably wouldn't be
possible then either. Her mind was too busy thinking about the dog that lay
across her lap.
When he came to be with her, he had no name. She remembered that day very
well. The first sight of him was enough to break her heart into little pieces.
The woman, who had taken this dog from the rough streets where he had lived, had
tried to save him because she was unable to watch this young dog find his own
food in a dumpster outside the crack house where he lived. Nobody cared that he
His fur was very thick; so thick that she had to wiggle her fingers down to feel
his bony body. And as she pulled her fingers away again, they were coated in old
dirt. Black and white, he was supposed to be. But on that day he was beige and
dust. He sat in the back of her car panting continuously, ears laid outward for
he had lost his courage and couldn't keep them proud and tall. He sat
motionless, waiting and limp. But the thing that was the most disturbing was the
look in his eyes. They were quiet eyes, sunken into his head - and they watched
her. They were alive with
thought. He was waiting for her to do something "to" him. Little did he know
at the time that, instead, she would "give" something to him. She gave him one
of the little broken pieces of her heart. She reached out to stroke his head and
he instinctively squinched his eyes shut and dropped his head, waiting for the
heavy hand. With that little bit of movement she gave him another one of the
broken pieces of her heart.
She took him home and gave him a bath. She toweled him dry and brushed some
order back into his coat. For that, he was grateful and even though his own
heart was loaded with worms, he accepted yet another piece of her heart, for it
would help to heal his own.
"Would you like some water, big boy?" She whispered to him as she set down a
large bowl of cold well water. He drank it up happily. He had been dehydrated
for a long time and she knew it would take him most of the week to re-hydrate.
He wanted more water - but it was gone. Ah... that's how it is, he thought to
himself. But he was grateful for what he had been able to get. "Would you like
some more?" and she gave him another bowl along with another little piece of her
heart. "I know that you are hungry. You don't have to find your own food
anymore. Here's a big bowl of good food for you. I've added some warm water and
a little piece of my heart."
Over the four months that he stayed with her, his health improved. The heart
full of worms was replaced piece by piece with little bits of her loving heart.
And each little piece worked a very special kind of magic. When the warmth of
love and gentle caresses are added, the little broken pieces knit together again
and heal the container it resides in. That container becomes whole again. She
watched each little broken piece fill a gap in the gentle dog until his quiet
eyes radiated the light from the little pieces. You see, kind words gently
spoken turn the little pieces into illumination for the spirit that resides
within. He rested beside her, happy to be with her always. Never had he known
such kindness, such gentle caresses; such love. His health had returned, his
spirit was playful as a young dog's should be and he had learned about love.
Now his heart was full. The healing was complete. It was time to go. There was
another person who had another heart that was meant to be shared with him. So
she sat shapeless on the floor because all the broken pieces of her heart were
with the dog. It is difficult to sit tall when your heart is not with you. She
wrapped her arms around the dog that sat with tall, proud ears for her. Lean on
me, he said. And she gave him one last thing that would keep him strong; that
would keep the pieces of her heart together long after he had gone on to live
his new life. She gave him her tears and bound them to the pieces with a simple
statement made from he ribbons of her heart.
"I love you, Joe." And Joe lived happily ever after.
Melissa sat on the floor, straight and tall like her mother had always
admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be possible. And
tomorrow... it probably would be possible too. Because her mind was busy
thinking about this, the next dog that lay across her lap.
Where did she get the heart to help yet another dog, you ask? Ahhh... it came
with the dog. They always bring a little bit of heart with them. And when the
rescuer breathes in that little bit of heart, it quickly grows and fills the
void left by the last dog.