Foster Dogs’ Executive Director Sarah Brasky was recently featured on PetInsider's podcast, discussing our absolute favorite topic: fostering! Please listen, and share share share this inspirational 40-minute easy-listening podcast for your morning commute or when you need a little pick-me-up at the end of a long day. Check it out, to hear Sarah interviewed by Loni Edwards of PetInsider and The Dog Agency.
Owning a dog is not always possible for all dog lovers, but have you ever thought about fostering? Sarah Brasky, founder of Foster Dogs speaks with Loni Edwards, Founder of The Dog Agency and PetInsider, about how her non-profit organization is organizing the fostering process through their foster roster, finding homes for terminally ill or elderly dogs through their fospice program, and educating people about the importance of fostering.
We gathered some highlights from Sarah’s PetInsider interview:
How is Foster Dogs changing the rescue scene? The whole idea is to build this community of fostering, and we want not only people to feel passionate about fostering, but rescuers and shelter staff and volunteers with all the local rescue groups, because it does take a village and it takes a whole team of people who are like, "Oh, I can donate grooming or I can help drive this dog from place to place," and we all work together. So when we're sharing dogs from all these organizations, it's helping the whole rescue effort, not just one organization or one shelter. It's always been a great experience having people not know what fostering is and then five minutes later feel like this is something they need to do.
Being in foster care and living in a shelter are vastly different. Fostering is a wholly different experience [from long-term life in a kennel], and the dog will get exercise, get new photos, get shared on that person's own social media accounts. […] And it's just the coolest thing, a dog who was really suffering in boarding and moved into foster care and everything changed.
How do you find fosters? We have something called a "Foster Roster" and it's our online database that I had a tech developer create just for us. I think it's revolutionary, it's this central database. And anyone can apply, you can sign up right now. […] There's something out there for everybody, so we're trying to get that into people's inboxes without having to ask them to go searching around.
Let’s talk about Fospice. Fospice is a really special, unique program in that it's not a typical foster experience. You're taking in a dog in the end of his or her life, whether that's a few weeks or a few months. We've had a couple Fospice dogs who've been in foster care for a couple years, but there's just no way to know. We want people who are looking for a really special experience, but knowing that the dog is going to pass away eventually in their care. That's a necessary part of this process is having compassion and knowing when it's okay to say goodbye and let that dog go. I try to remind people, it's not a sad program, because we're doing something that is important and required, I think, in the world of rescue, is why are we letting terminally ill and super senior dogs pass away in a space where they have nobody with them? Why in a shelter, when they could easily just be in a home, and just sleep the day away, get a little snack every now and then.
Why should people foster? Fostering is not just about helping the dogs, it's also about helping yourself. You're able to feel really good about something that is so yours. It's your experience. You take the dog out. You meet new people. You go to new parks. Sometimes people foster a dog to lose weight. Take a lot of walks around the city. You connect with the community [see: Foster Forum on Facebook]. You have, honestly, you've got great content for your selfies to do on Instagram. It's a really cool experience that comes with challenges, but there's so many more positives than there are negatives.
I'm hoping that more people will foster, and not just foster, but also volunteer and help with their skills, because just because you can't bring a dog home doesn't mean that you can't help the dog-rescue cause.
Join us November 17th and 18th to meet dogs and cats for adoption at Petcon at the Javits Center, in New York City!
Credit for featured photos: Real Happy Dogs, The Dog Matchmaker, Boprey Photography