Our team had a very busy and productive weekend putting together the first batch of Foster First leaflets and poster packs for smaller rescues to help them attract more fosterers in their local communities. Even little Alice bichon lent a paw to help her fur friends!
Foster First was launched just before Christmas last year and thanks to the exceptional dedication and compassion of Ana Cossart, our Foster First Co-Ordinator, and the overwhelmingly positive response from smaller rescues across the UK who are already involved in this initiative, there are dogs, cats, rabbits and other homeless animals beginning their journeys to happier new lives.
Our spotlight on fostering as a lifeline for rescue pets initially came about in preparation for the greater numbers of puppy farm breeding dogs being surrendered as a result of Lucy’s Law. We know from personal experience that in order to start the rehabilitation process, these special dogs need to be in a home environment, normally with a calm resident dog, so that they can start learning how to be dogs and living the lives that should always have been theirs.
But of course, this is only one aspect of the vital work fostering animals fulfills. From companionship for the elderly who are increasingly isolated, to helping provide a safe haven for animals so that human victims of domestic abuse can flee to safety, to freeing up valuable kennel space for a pound dog that may otherwise be euthanised, fosterers are amazing people and the small rescue world would collapse without them.
And there’s another key reason for Foster First. We want to encourage potential first-time puppy purchasers to stop and think before they leap into a purchase they may regret. To give first timers a taste of what having a dog in your life really means, how it affects your daily life, your routine, your environment and your finances – we are urging anyone who thinks they want to buy a puppy to foster a dog or puppy first – before making that huge, life-changing commitment. With one in ten pups being surrendered to rescues within a month of being purchased, we are committed to doing whatever we can to get people to stop and take a breath before taking home the ‘dream’ and then using local rescues as recycling depots when they decide their cute fluffball is a noisy, destructive, pooing, weeing nightmare – or whatever excuse they decide to come up with in order to ‘get rid’ of their costly mistake fast.