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As a father and son walked along the beach after the high tide began to ebb, they noticed starfish baking in the hot sun. The boy stopped, picked up a crustacean and flung it into the ocean. A few minutes later he tossed another one in the water, and then later another.
“Son, what are you doing?” the man asked.
“I’m saving starfish.”
The father gestured to the beach littered with thousands of dying sea creatures. “There are thousands of them. What difference could you possibly make?”
The boy picked up a starfish. He ran fingers across the rough surface and then threw it into the water. The starfish landed with a small splash and the boy smiled broadly. “It made a difference to that one.”
This year millions of bewildered dogs will find themselves in animal shelters. It’s overwhelming to think in terms of such vast numbers. While you may not be able to help every homeless pet, just saving one frightened dog from death in an animal shelter would mean the world to that dog.
You can rightfully brag that you’re a bona fide lifesaving hero. Maybe you didn’t drag a person out of a burning building, but if you foster a homeless dog you have, in fact, saved a life. That should make you feel all warm and gooey inside.
Fostering saves millions of animals every year. Most animal shelters have limited space and resources. Consequently, the dogs in their care often have a narrow survival window. When you invite a homeless pet into your home, it opens up a kennel, allowing the shelter to rescue another needy dog. Two lives for the price of one. Any shopper knows that’s a great deal!
Your canine halfway house helps wonderful, adoptable pooches who don’t do well in a shelter setting. Being trapped in a kennel surrounded by other barking dogs, nightmarish smells, and strange people can cause even the most friendly dog to cower. Foster homes give shy or fearful dogs a chance to learn to trust and come out of their shells. Homeless dogs experience everyday sights, sounds, smells, and activities of a typical home, making it easier for a dog to seamlessly move into a new home.
Also, foster parents can share the dog’s personality with prospective families to help determine whether or not a dog will fit into their household. For example, if he’s housebroken, likes kids, is not good with other dogs, gets along with cats, etc.
Other dogs may need the TLC a shelter can’t give them, such as orphan puppies, pregnant dogs, sick dogs, pups recovering from an injury or surgery, and dogs who need help with behavior problems. Without foster homes, many shelters quickly euthanize these special-needs pets.
Be a hero. Open your family to a homeless dog. It means everything to that dog.
See the German Shepherd rescue dogs in Houston for yourself!