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...because fostering a pet may save their life!

In Fulton & Montgomery Counties & Beyond

Heartwarming Words From Foster Parents and more!

Fosters Needed! Look Inside to Find Out How to Apply...

FREE - Please Take One!

First Edition - Fall 2017 Published by Creativity Unleashed

2 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

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King, a male Pitbull Terrier is available for adoption at Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter (pg. 19) Photo Credit: Frankie Page - King’s Shelter Buddy (pg. 31)

Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017- 3

Fostering is such an important part of the animal rescue world...

Even if you have never been a foster parent to a pet before, this magazine will be a great read. There are some wonderful stories in here from current foster parents. There is great advice as well about readying your home and mind to become a foster - see page 27. Picking up that phone or emailing a shelter to sign up will likely save a pet about to be euthanized. If you cannot foster but would like to help out Mike & Linda you can still do so: By donating, by adopting, or by helping out in other Palmieri ways. You can also volunteer at a shelter or rescue to take dogs out on walks or excursions, or to spend a holiday with you and your family - see page 31 to find out about the Buddy Program at Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter. Many things inspired Mike and I to print this magazine. Our son and his wife have fostered many dogs - see page 8. We know first hand how truly amazing it is! Read on about a foster mom for Tracys Dogs* and watch her video (when I saw it I cried, in that moment I realized how very important foster parents are to saving a pet and becoming that bridge between homeless and forever loved.)

BLOSSOM - saved by Tracys Dogs foster mom, Rhonda Harmon Please watch the video Rhonda Harmon made from the beginning of her journey with Blossom until she was ready for adoption. If you are not able to scan the QR code below, the video can be found here at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rt101n5lZs (believe me, it is worth watching!)

In the shelter on the day of her “save”

After being loved back to health by foster mom Rhonda Harmon

Blossom has been adopted and is loving life in her new home!

Rhonda says... Fosters are the bridge, to help those with no hope find their place in the world. It's a journey of pure love. Because you must always understand fostering is only a temporary stay to guide them to their new family. Love them like your own, heal them Scan to watch Blossom’s physically and emotionally, then let them go. No one transformation here: said it was easy. I sigh, I cry. The secret? Get more fosters right away. Their is no time for tears. Foster failing is never an option. I know if I do a dog waiting, just like Blossom, for a chance at life, will die. We are only the bridge. Only temporary. Warning! Fostering is addicting. When my fosters leave I can't wait to get my hands on More!!! Foster On!

Tracys Dogs was founded in 2011. They rescue dogs with pending euthanasia dates located in South Texas municipal shelters. Find out more about Tracys Dogs on Facebook or by going to: www.tracysdogs.com

This is where we have to shout out a huge “Thank You” to all of the people who constantly have our backs, those who continue to support our love of pets, by riding this roller coaster with us. We also owe a huge “Thank You” to our advertisers and contributors who made this posssible. Without their support we could not have printed this magazine!

We regret that we could not feature all of the shelters/rescues we have to come to love and those we haven’t met yet in this issue. We will most certainly do our best to include them in the next Foster a Pet Magazine. Please Note: The content in this magazine is for informational and educational purposes only.

It is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. Please consult your own veterinarian if you have specific questions about any medical or social issues your pet may have. Published by Mike and Linda Palmieri - Creativity Unleashed - Amsterdam, NY 12010 - 518-842-6532

Email: linda@creativityunleashed.org • Find us on Facebook

4 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

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Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 5

What exactly does fostering a pet require from you? Well for starters you must have strength...in your heart. The ability to love and let go is a must! It isn’t easy, but is so very important to the mission. You see every time you let a pet “go” you open up your door to save another and by doing so, you actually save one more, giving that next pet a spot at the shelter your foster pet was pulled from. Of course this is not to say you cannot love this pet forever after he/she is placed in their new home. Oftentimes the new owners look back to the foster parents for support and advice and may even use them as pet sitters as well since the dog/cat is used to the foster’s home. Besides the love, your new foster pet will require you to make sure he/she able to adjust slowly to his new surroundings. There is much you can do to prepare. See the article by Leatrice Miller-Natola, dog trainer on page 27 for advice on this subject. Shelters and rescues will have their own vet that you may be required to bring the pet to. They may provide the food, toys, bedding etc. or you may take that on yourself as a donation to the organization. All rescues, have different needs and situations. Look through the magazine to find answers to some questions you may have about each shelter/rescue we have featured in this first issue of Foster A Pet Magazine - each of them have specific protocols for becoming a foster. Besides the ones we have included in this magazine, there are many more in our area. Please contact any shelter or rescue and they will surely be able to direct you on the first steps to becoming a foster for them. This magazine contains some wonderful stories from current foster parents and information on local shelters and how to sign up to foster. Think about whether it may be something you could try - there is such a huge need for it. Just by picking up this magazine you just may save a life (or two). And remember, fostering is not right for everyone, but there are so many other ways you can help homeless pets, all you have to do is ask where/how you are needed - see page 31 to find out about the Buddy Program at Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter.

If you have any questions about content in this magazine, reach out to us at linda@creativityunleashed.org or contact the organization you have the question about directly.

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6 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017


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Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 7

Montgomery County

Amsterdam, NY

Shelter Hours: Mon, Wed-Sat. 12pm to 4pm; Closed Tues. & Sun.

SPCA Rd., Amsterdam NY 12010 • (518) 842-8050 • Email: info@mc-spca.org

1) If I foster and have my own pets, can they get sick from a contagious pet? If proper precautions are not taken, there is a chance your pet will become ill. As a rule, we do not put contagious pets into foster homes that have other pets.

2) What if I foster a pet from your organization and those pets need veterinary care?

We take on the responsibility of the pets in foster care that require veterinarian care.

3) Will I be allowed to adopt the pet if I so choose? Yes, you are allowed to adopt the pet.

4) Will I be expected to pay for pet food/toys/bedding for the foster pet?

To alleviate costs to the MCSPCA, we ask fosters to provide the pet food, toys and bedding. If it is not possible for a foster caregiver, we will help with providing the necessary items.

5) Why does your organization look for foster families for some of the pets that come to you?

We can help more pets by placing ones that are not ready for adoption into a foster home; such as, kittens that are too young to be spayed or neutered. Once the pet in the foster home is ready for adoption, the pet is returned to the shelter for adoption.

6) How do I go about signing up to be a foster parent to a dog/cat? Please visit the shelter during open hours to meet the shelter manager, Anthonio Baker. The completion of a foster application which is available on our website is required.

SCAN HERE to see all the pets currently adoptable at the MCSPCA

Check out Montgomery County SPCA on or go to: www.mc-spca.org to find out more!

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8 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 You will find many stories on these pages written by foster parents. Their stories may encourage you or someone you know to try fostering. Dan and Brittany - our son and daughter-in-law - are two foster parents who are close to our hearts of course. We have witnessed so many wonderful outcomes since Brittany has started fostering for Out of the Pits, Inc. Here she explains how she started fostering and what it means to her and Dan...

Meet Foster Parents Dan and Brittany Palmieri

by Brittany Palmieri

“I remember when the idea of fostering was first brought up to me. I recall that half of me thought it would be a great way to find out if Petey would really want a sibling. Yet the other half of me thought that I was destined for failure and wouldn’t possibly make it past my first dog without keeping it! But my heart thought it was right to try, that even if we failed at fostering and ended up with a second dog, isn’t that what we went into it for?! Little did I know at that time just how successful my husband and I would be at being foster parents. Never for a moment has it been easy. There are dogs that I will never forget, that I connected with more than others. It wasn’t until this past year that we kept our girl Jenny. She just slipped into a part of my heart that I did not realize was empty. Her and Petey compliment one another so well - yet when she first came to me to foster...reluctantly, my heart allowed her to go. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t cried. I think that it comes with the territory, but mostly there is a bittersweet feeling that can’t really be described well by words as I have never felt emotions so mixed. When I got word a few months later that she would be coming back to me, I rushed to go get her back - “to get my dog back”. I don’t see anything wrong with “foster failing” yet it seems to be Foster dog Butch helping the only reason I have ever heard a person decline ever attempting Dan in the garage to foster. Fear of adopting or breaking your heart just a little bit when they leave is only hurting those dogs that never had the chance...that never had anywhere to go. Now I can’t picture my life without these dogs in them. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing an adopters excitement at adding that new addition to their life and family. An addition that never would have made it to them without you! I would not be able to sleep at night if I knew that there was a dog out there that lost it’s life and never stood a chance because I was too afraid of a piece of my heart leaving me.

Butch getting a kiss from Brittany

So my heart goes to the ones known as “pit bulls” as I will continue to foster them for the rest of my life and encourage others to do the same. My soul goes to the misunderstood ones who wouldn’t have a life at all if my husband and I didn’t open our homes to the joy that these dogs bring. And if the day ever comes when there are no longer any dogs for me to foster then I will smile. But until then I will continue to be their stepping stone to a new and better life and encourage others to give it a try like I did. Who knows, you may just surprise yourself like we did and be able to do it after all!”

Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 9

This is Petey. He has been a foster brother to countless foster dogs who have been saved by his mom and dad, Dan and Brittany Palmieri.

Find “Petey” on

Photo Credit: Brittany Palmieri

Here is some advice from Petey* if you are considering becoming a foster parent to a homeless pet.

So people, here’s the thing...fostering pets is so cool! In my opinion it is fun for your dogs to have a friend come into the house to “play”. But please consider whether or not your own dog/dogs will accept the new dog. If it doesn’t seem to work out at first, are you willing to keep them separate for the sake of all involved? Kids love to play with pets, but are your children going to be scared of the new pet or would you have any seniors in your home that would need to be careful around the new dog/cat? Older dogs may be ok for 8 hours while you are at work, but puppies will need to be taken out and checked on more often. When you go into the whole fostering “thing” you may need to decide whether you are willing to foster for a short time only or if you are able to keep the dog/cat with you until the right family is found. Sometimes that can be quite a long time. Personally, I love that, since I get to play with my friend and get to know them even better when they are here long! Oh and just a heads up...do you realize that your foster dog can get sick while in your care? Just as if they were your own dog, you would need to be willing to take them to the doctor as needed, are you ok with that? Even though I have to say “goodbye” to my new friends as they leave for their loving forever homes I want you to know that my mom makes sure they are going to wonderful families, and I know I almost always will see them again. One more thing and I think this is the really cool part - Sometimes their new parents bring them back so mom and dad can watch them and that makes me and my sister Jenny so happy! * Thank you Cydney Cross from OOTP for helping Petey with this information.

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10 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

Regional Animal Shelter

Gloversville, NY

Shelter Hours: Mon.-Sun. 7am to 9am & 4pm-6pm or by appt. 117 West Fulton St., Gloversville, NY 12078 • (518) 725-5956

The Regional Animal Shelter is a volunteer run not-for-profit, no-kill animal shelter founded in 2002

1) If I foster and have my own pets, can they get sick from a contagious pet?

All pets that go into foster are fully vetted and vaccinated prior to leaving the shelter. If the foster pet is sick or injured it is disclosed to the foster family up front. We require all of our foster families to show proof of current vaccinations of their resident pets in order to be approved as a foster family.  If the foster pet has a contagious illness, we work to find a foster home that either has no other pets or one that is set up to properly quarantine and provide necessary care to the foster pet. 

2) What if I foster a pet from your organization and those pets need veterinary care?

At Regional, when you foster a pet, we pay for the necessary veterinary care for that pet. Often due to the foster family’s schedule they will transport the pet to and from the vet’s office however we are always available to bring the pet for the foster family.

3) Will I be allowed to adopt the pet if I so choose?

Yes. If the foster family wishes to officially adopt the pet (lovingly referred to as “foster fail”) we allow them to do so.  

4) Will I be expected to pay for pet food/toys/bedding for the foster pet?

A foster family is not expected to pay for anything for the foster pet. Most of the time the foster family is happy to pay for food, treats and toys especially if they already have other pets at home. 

5) Why does your organization look for foster families for some of the pets that come to you?

We would love for all of our shelter pets to be able to live in foster homes prior to finding their forever homes but we realize that is just not feasible. Sometimes we get pets in that do not transition to shelter life very well, are sick or injured or we have run out of space at the shelter.  Any pet that is terminally ill we will promptly seek foster for.  For a pet that is not transitioning well and experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety and is at risk for injuring themselves we will seek foster for - or in some cases, rehabilitation training.  If we have no space at the shelter then we would seek foster for the pets at the shelter that beest fit the foster homes available and not necessarily the pet that has been there the longest or the newest pet that has entered the shelter. We keep the needs of our shelter pets as our main priority.

6) How do I go about signing up to be a foster parent to a dog/cat?

Fostering is an extremely rewarding experience! If you would like to join the Regional team as a foster parent please stop into the shelter to complete the foster application or email us at info@regionalanimalshelter.org and we will email the application to you!  Once we receive the completed application, and if approved, we then schedule an interview and home visit (just like we do for our adopters!) Then you are on your way to helping a pet in need until their forever family is found!

It’s that easy!

Check out The Regional Animal Shelter on or go to: www.regionalanimalshelter.org to find out more!

SCAN HERE to see all the pets currently adoptable at The Regional Animal Shelter

Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 11

Mountain Rottie Rescue of New York, Inc. A 501(c)3 non profit organization

MRR of NY is located in the Catskill Mountains, The Capital District of New York and Central New York areas. We are dedicated to re-homing homeless dogs, Rottweilers and other breeds as well . Mountain Rottie Rescue of NY


P.O. Box 109 Monticello, New York, 12701

or email us at: Mountainappl@yahoo.com


1) If you foster and have your own pets, can they get sick from a contagious pet?

Yes there is a chance, but I have fostered many many dogs and none of my dogs have gotten sick from a foster. The most common sickness is kennel cough, like a cold in humans, lasts few weeks. To be safe you can quarantine new dog for 2 weeks.

2) What if I foster a pet from your organization and those pets need veterinary care?

The rescue will pay for the veterinary care at the approved vet the rescue uses.

3) Will I be allowed to adopt the pet if I so choose?

With our rescue, yes you have first option to adopt, what a great way (if you are not sure if you want to adopt or not), to foster!

4) Will I be expected to pay for pet food/toys/bedding for the foster pet? With our rescue, our fosters do pay for food and toys but when we get them donated we give to the foster homes, so it works both ways.

5) Why does your organization look for foster families for some of the pets that come to you?

There are so many homeless dogs that are dying everyday just due to lack of space, yes puppies too. Until we do a better job with spaying and neutering of our pets, the pet overpopulation will not get better.

6) How do I go about signing up to be a foster parent to a dog/cat? We only take dogs but you may submit an application on our site. Go to: www.mountainrottierescue.org and state you wish to foster, we will process your application to help match the right pet with the right home, some dogs are not good with cats, etc. We do a vet reference, phone interview and a home visit prior to adoption or foster.

See Penny Ross’ (a Mountain Rottie Rescue foster mom) story on page 23 Check out Mountain Rottie Rescue on or go to: www.mountainrottierescue.org to find out more!

SCAN HERE to see all the pets currently adoptable at Mountain Rottie Rescue

12 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition September 2017

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Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 13

Wilton, NY a volunteer based, non profit, 501c3 organization that literally saves dogs from death row PO Box 2297, Wilton, NY 12831 • (518) 223-5589 Email: info@11thhourrescueny.org

Their only crime, is that they’re out of time.

ABOUT FOSTERING FOR ELEVENTH HOUR CANINE RESCUE: 1) Why does your organization look for foster families for some of the pets that come to you?

Our foster program is one of our most important means of saving the lives of endangered dogs. When we receive animals for rescue, our first thought is to place it into a loving foster home until a permanent home can be found. If a foster home is not available, we have to pass on saving that animal. So many animals are given up for varying reasons; without the Foster Program, many of these loving pets would be euthanized. Please help them by becoming the link between their old life and their new.

2) What if I foster a pet from your organization and those pets need veterinary care?

You will be given contact information for experienced EHR Members that specialize in medical attention for our pets. If you have a medical emergency you need to call Barbara Kucharczyk at 518-223-5589. If she cannot be reached for any reason – contact Chris Kucharczyk at 518-223-5590 or any of the 11th Hour Canine Rescue, Inc. officers, or your foster champion. It is our policy to ensure that the dogs receive the appropriate medical attention. There are several vets/clinics in the area that provide us with discounted medical attention, so it is important to talk with one of the above mentioned volunteers before a pet obtains medical care.

3) Will I be allowed to adopt the pet if I so choose?

Yes, you certainly can. It happens quite often, and I suspect is one of the reasons that foster homes are in short supply. We call it ‘foster failing’ - and many of our volunteers are victims! Our policies require that you go fill out the appropriate adoption paperwork and pay the standard adoption fee.

4) Will I be expected to pay for pet food/toys/bedding for the foster pet?

A foster is a temporary placement for our pets. EHR will cover the cost of veterinary care and the pet will usually have a donated collar. We will also provide monthly Heartworm treatment and flea/tick preventative. Fosters can access any donated food for their fosters if necessary. Eleventh Hour will provide ongoing support to you as well: you will be assigned a Foster Champion that you can contact at any time. You can also call any of the EHR officers or other Foster Champions on the list of contacts provided. EHR also has a very active Gmail community that can provide real time ongoing support and information as well.

5) How do I go about signing up to be a foster parent to a dog/cat?

If you elect to participate in our foster program; first, the prospective foster must complete an application. Volunteers from 11th Hour Canine Rescue, Inc. will review the application and conduct an interview, and we may also perform a home visit. Once your home has been approved, you will be contacted periodically and asked to foster a pet in need. Your choice! Your decision! Sometimes you’ll have the pet a week or two. Other times, you’ll have your faithful friend there for a few months. Once your foster pet has been adopted, you can either move right on to the next one, or take a break in between!

See More About Eleventh Hour On Page 21 Check out 11th Hour Canine Rescue NY on or go to: www.11thhourrescueny.org to find out more!

14 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 501(c)3 not for profit rescue

233 Houseman Street. Mayfield, NY 12117 Phone: (518) 573-9906 Email: adoptions@kittenangels.org

We are a non-profit organization dedicated to rescue of abandoned & orphaned kittens, pregnant cats, mama cats & their kittens through foster care. So many kittens are in need of a loving home.

ABOUT FOSTERING FOR KITTEN ANGELS: 1) Why does your organization look for foster families for some of the pets that come to you? We are the only rescue in our area dedicated to rescuing kittens, nursing moms, and pregnant cats. We do not have a shelter, we are a small organization run entirely on fostering.  There is an important distinction too between sheltering and fostering, in that someone may have the physical room to house more animals, but truly not have a proper way to keep them isolated or socialized.  So the more fosters we have being able to take, the less likely of having fosters who often get overloaded trying to save more than they really can. During kitten season we can get upwards of 50-75 calls a week from people pleading for help.  Some are dire situations in which newborns have lost a mom due to the cat being run over, or pregnants dumped at a farm, or sick or injured kittens outside in desperate need of help or they will die.  Some of them are from people who didn’t realize their nursing mother cat could get pregnant again, or from people who were trying to rescue but got overwhelmed when they couldn’t keep up with spay/neuter, or from farmers who have had multiple cats dumped at their farms and now have no means to support them.  Some are people who are moving or who’s parents or family member died, who can’t keep their cat.  Each story is heartbreaking, each needs a different situation/solution/type of foster care.  

2) Will I be allowed to adopt the pet if I so choose? Fosters can absolutely apply to adopt one of their or any other foster animal. Please know, though, the goal of fostering is “good-bye”, as then you open up your kitten room to save more.  Still, there will be always one that you probably won’t be able to live without.  Know that there are a lot of those “ones”, and that you can.  But that many of us have a “foster fail”.

3) Will I be expected to pay for pet food/toys/bedding for the foster pet? We are a small rescue organization that runs on fostering, adoption fees, and donations. We make every effort to set each foster up and provide food.  We can sometimes provide other items, but these depend on donations.  Some of our fosters have created their own Facebook pages and Amazon Wishlist for fostering, in which they have built their own following and have followers who help support their fostering by providing food, litter, scratching posts, toys.  It’s extra work, but they usually have all their food and supplies donated by their followers and about 80% of their fosters get adopted straight from their posting their progress through fostering on their pages.  

4) What if I foster a pet from your organization and those pets need veterinary care? Kitten Angels has arrangements with a number of vets, so that if there are veterinary care needs we can provide. All veterinary decisions must go through the director in order to be covered.  The majority of issues you’ll face can be easily treated without a vet visit, so it is important to alert the director the moment something seems off. Cont’d next page...

Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 15

ABOUT FOSTERING FOR KITTEN ANGELS cont’d 5) If you foster and have your own pets, can they get sick from a contagious pet?

There are two really important things in fostering. One is that your own animals are up-to-date on vaccinations. There are some viral dis-

eases that can be devastating, but are easily avoidable for your own animals if properly vaccinated. When fostering, our vets have  recommended staying with the 1 year boosters rather than switching to the 3 year boosters, as an extra precaution.

The second is to have proper quarantine protocols. Often in rescue you don’t know what the kittens have been exposed to before they got to you. While we try to do as much preventative care (depending on the age of the rescue) as we can during intake, its still important to have fosters separated from your other animals in the household, in a room of their own. Proper quarantine protocol should be in place for at least the first 2 weeks, just to try to ensure that you bring nothing into or out of the foster room on your being.  We usually recommend fosters remain separated at all times, just as an added precaution, but also we are a small rescue and to treat someone’s full household for something that didn’t have to spread is truly cost prohibitive.  While there are also non-fatal diseases that sometimes don’t even show until after a particularly stressful incident, that can be guarded against spreading throughout the household, like ringworm, they are still time consuming and extremely costly to treat. Some of our fosters do have residential cats who are vaccinated beyond usual protocol for things like FeLV.  They do this in particular for the cat to be able to surrogate any orphan kittens, without being at high risk of possible infection should the kittens later test positive.  Some do slow introductions to some of their residential animals, once the fosters have been completely vetted (tested, vaccinated, fixed, etc), just to help be able to socialize them to other cats or dogs, thus helping them be more adoptable.  These however are done at their own cost.

6) How do I go about signing up to be a foster parent for your organization? For more information on fostering for Kitten Angels, please see our web page at


If you have any questions, you can also reach out to us on our Kitten Angels Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/KittenAngels/ You can then contact our Director, Judie Janco, via email at adoptions@kittenangels.org or phone 518-573-9906. Once accepted as a potential foster, we ask that you keep an eye on our Facebook page or your email for pleas regarding particular rescue/foster needs.  If one comes up that you think is a “purrfect” fit for your household, then call Judie immediately letting her know. Unfortunately, as we are entirely run by volunteers, we do not have the resources to call every potential foster for every possible rescue to see if they are immediately available to foster. So we must rely on people watching for our pleas and responding.  Also note, sometimes in rescue it is “hurry up, wait”. We cannot say we can do a rescue until we have fosters lined up, but also then have to rely on the people helping us with or asking us for rescue SCAN HERE to get back to us. So often an emergency plea will feel drawn out. Patience and persisto find out tence pays off.  Being very clear on what you can do, also does. Sometimes you’ll find more about yourself driving for miles to get this one pregnant cat, sometimes they can be brought Kitten Angels to you - every single time it is worth it!

See Jenia’s story on pages16 & 17 (a Kitten Angels foster mom) Check out Kitten Angels on or go to: www.kittenangels.org to find out more!

16 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

A story from a Kitten Angels foster mom:

The highs, the lows, the cuddles, and purrs, the heartwarming and heart-wrenching moments.

This is fostering.

The goal is sending them off to live with wonderful families to free yourself up too to foster the next batch that desperately need you. It's an amazing journey. Filled with love and sometimes tears, but always worth it. Keeping them healthy, warm, and helping to socialize them are key. Fostering is different than just sheltering. It's fostering a temperament, a personality, a love and a kindness. It's having the time to spend with each. It's not just about getting them inside, but giving them an environment in which to flourish. It's fostering health and care. Though fostering too takes knowing that kittens are fragile, they have more of a chance safe with you. That was actually the first thing I was told by the director of Kitten Angels when I got my first foster, “kittens are fragile”. It’s been one of my biggest struggles too, no matter how her words echo in my head, as I twisted it around to mean “until they are with me, then they are safe and nothing will ever harm them again.” But I have to play her whole statement in my head again and again, “kittens are fragile. You can do everything right and sometimes still not be able to save them.” It’s one of the most heartbreaking things about fostering; not the goodbyes when you see a family’s faces light up as they pose for a picture with your foster with whom they’ve fallen utterly in love, but the goodbyes where there is no tomorrow for the kitten. When they had seemed so healthy and then had turned on a dime and no matter all the things you learned (the sub-q fluids, the feedings, the medicines) there was nothing you could do to save them. Those are the ones that hurt the most. I was lucky starting out. My first foster mama was purrfect. She was a beautiful, regal looking ginger. She looked so elegant, she reminded me of Sophia Loren, but as a blonde. So I called her Sophia L’Orange and named my Facebook page after her. I got her when she was in late stage pregnancy. They were sure she was going to drop any moment, so by the 3rd week I was posting WANTED FOR FRAUD posters, saying she had probably swallowed a volleyball to get a home inside. Then she had her litter. I heard a cry upstairs and came running to the “nursery”. She was on the bed and I could see the contractions happening. I came in and sat down by her. She let me pet her, then jumped down and walked to the closet that I had converted into a den. When she saw I hadn’t followed, she came out, jumped up on the bed, meowed at me, jumped down and went back. I followed! She had the first kitten within minutes after. A huge kitten, which we had joked would probably be all that was in there. The second came soon after. Then it was a while to the next, I was on the phone to the director of the rescue asking questions, barely containing myself. Had to bring that baby to her mouth to encourage her to lick off the sack to open the airway. She was already exhausted and still had three more after that. I was so grateful to be home. When her babies were 5 weeks old, she took on 4 orphan kittens who had been being bottle fed. My first orphans. I documented in pictures and videos their lives, the precious moments, the thrills, my experiences and have been doing that ever since. Through the good, bad, ugly and beautiful. Through my fears, frustrations, hopes, and love. Sharing my mistakes, my misgivings, my dreams, my experience. Hoping that it would help not only get these precious being homes of their own, but also anyone who may be starting to foster who may go through what I’ve gone through. So that they know they are not alone. or go to: www.kittenangels.org to find out more!Cont’d on next page

Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 17

A friend up here recommended Kitten Angels. He had seen a post that they needed fosters. My NYC best friend and I drove out to an event in the PetSmart Niskayuna parking lot to meet the Director and talk about fostering. There was this gorgeous very pregnant cat in a cage under their table who had just been turned over to them. I asked about her and the director said oh we have a foster coming to get her. Forty-five minutes into our drive back up the catskill mountains, I get a call from the Director. The foster never showed, did I want the This is Tess ginger pregnant. I don’t think I’ve ever turned a car around as (Alecia Palmieri’s kitten) fast as I did that day. adopted through Kitten That was on May 5th, 2013. There have been nearly 300 Angels. She started her life cats and kittens that have passed through our house since then. loved so very much at this wonderful foster home! There has been incredible joy. I have fallen madly in love time and time again. I have had some tremendous heartaches. I have had to deal with some horrendous diseases. I have had a couple of foster fails (one who now acts as surrogate dad to any of our orphan kittens).

I have experienced such joy. I wouldn’t trade the last four years for anything. Check out the life and times of this foster mom’s kittens and mamas at: www.facebook.com/SophiaLOrange/

James A. Brennan Memorial Humane Society 437 Nine Mile Tree Rd. Gloversville, NY 12078 • 518-725-0115 Open to the public: Monday - Wednesday - Friday & Saturday 11-3 Tuesday 2-5: Thursday 11-7 (open late on Thurs. until Mid Fall) Sunday 11-2

Founded in 1909

One of the Stratford French Mastiffs who were nursed back to health at Brennan

SCAN HERE to see all the pets currently adoptable at Brennan

The Brennan Humane Society provides a tangible example of humane ethics and compassion for all living creatures. After the Stratford French Mastiffs were rescued from being left at a home with no food or water, James A. Brennan Memorial Humane Society took them in and nursed them back to health. There were hundreds of applicants who applied to adopt one of the Mastiffs. The shelter staff went through them and when they were released for adoption they were placed with the right homes for them. One of the 10 dogs that survived was Lola. See page 29 for Lola’s foster mom’s (turned adoptive mom) advice about fostering and what it means to her and her husband.

Check out James A. Brennan Memorial Humane Society on or go to: www.pawsforyou.org to find out more!

18 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

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Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition September 2017 - 19

Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter

133 Hilltop Rd., Sprakers, NY 12166 • (518) 673-5670

Email: ayres673@hotmail.com

Hours: Tues. 12-5: Wed. 12-7; Thurs. - Sat. 12-5

Sprakers, NY

Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter operates as a No-Kill “quality of life” shelter, and the devoted workers are committed to making sure that every animal in their care has exactly that.


1) Why does your organization look for foster families for some of the pets that come to you?

We currently look for fosters for mother cats who come in with kittens who are either not ready for homes and handling or not old enough to be taken away from their mom. We look for fosters for adult cats and litters of kittens that we may not have room for at the shelter, who need help with socialization or who need to get better after a surgery or illness they may have had. For dogs, we look for fosters for dogs with health problems or senior dogs so that they can help be in a better state for adoption into a forever family.  In the future - we plan to start a training and foster program for our dogs who come in and need extra help to be able to be ready for families of their own.  These dogs would most likely need fosters with no other animals or kids, and a person who was dedicated to the dogs training, mental health and helping them to become the stable dogs ready to become members of a family of their own.

2) What if I foster a pet from your organization and those pets need veterinary care?

If an animal needs necessary veterinary care - then we will schedule an appointment with our veterinary hospital. If there is something that you would like done for the animal to be in your home (for example a vaccination that we do not usually do), then we may have you pay for that - but the appointment would be made through our veterinarian. 

3) Will I be allowed to adopt the pet if I so choose?

If your family and the pet you are fostering are a good fit - then you can absolutely give them a forever home!

4) Will I be expected to pay for pet food/toys/bedding for the foster pet?

We can provide any supplies that the animal needs. We never argue if the foster would like to get their own supplies, though.

5) If I foster and have my own pets, can they get sick from a contagious pet? Our goal with the fostering is to have it be safe for both our animals and yours. So if there was something that could knowingly make your animals sick when fostering a dog or cat from us, we would suggest waiting until they were better or taking all necessary precautions to ensure your animals were not put at risk.

6) How do I go about signing up to be a foster parent to a dog/cat? If you think you would want to foster an animal for us or to find out more information, contact Marissa at marissa.ayresshelter@gmail.com. Even if we don’t have anyone right at this moment - we would love to have a list of people ready for when we do need a foster. :)

See More About Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter On Page 31 Check out Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter on or go to: www.ayresanimalshelter.com to find out more!

SCAN HERE to see all the pets currently adoptable at Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter

20 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

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Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 21

Wilton, NY When asked to foster a shelter dog, many people state “I could never foster knowing that I would have to give the dog up.” Usually that means that a wonderful family has made a match with the foster and the dog is going to their forever home. But what happens if you knew that the end of your time with your foster didn’t mean that they were going to live their life out in a home, but they were going to die? - that your goal was to provide the TLC and medical care so that this foster would pass to the Rainbow Bridge having known compassion, love and companionship as they cross to their truly forever home?


11th Hour is blessed to have three foster homes that specialize in hospice fosters… you need special people who truly do angels work to help these wonderful souls. These fosters are our heroes, performing the ultimate act of kindness by taking in our sick pets and giving them a loving home for the sunset of their lives. 11th Hour covers all medical expenses for these special dogs; foster homes provide the love and patience. Ruth Smalley has been an 11th Hour hospice foster home for almost six years and is truly an angel on earth. She has fostered three hospice dogs in that time. She is truly an inspiration to everyone. Otis is Ruth’s current hospice dog. How did Otis come to be a part of the 11th Hour family? Otis, a 12-14 year old pitbull who was found abandoned in a local cemetery here in New York. When the Animal Control Officer walked up to him, she realized that he was so beaten, his head was misshapen and he was blind and deaf. Ruth opened her heart and home again to this fragile and unsure soul. Over time, Ruth and Otis got to know each other. Otis was desperate to be loved, he always wants to be next to Ruth. He has blossomed with her love and walks on lead because he trusts that Ruth will always lead him safely. With a light pat on his shoulder, Otis is assured of her presence and love. Why foster a hospice dog? Ruth’s goal is to make sure these precious dogs feel loved in their last few weeks, months, years. Her heart truly goes out to them. It is unimaginable that these dogs would spend their last hours abandoned or die in a concrete cage alone or in pain. What is a challenge to fostering a hospice dog? The emotional challenge it plays on your heart. There are difficult days, perhaps they have several accidents or as they grow older, the dog experiences dementia or anxiety. A support network of Ruth’s includes her loving companion John who walks with her on this journey. Ruth also derives support from the 11th Hour family and our precious vet Dr. Jolie who assists in the care and understanding of these special dogs. When you never know what tomorrow is going to bring, you live in the present, you live to the fullest. However, it does cross your mind “what happened to you?” Ruth remarks, “I sometimes wish I could get my hands on the people who did this to you!” She cries. However Ruth transfers that pain into something positive and filled with love. What advice would you offer someone considering fostering a hospice dog? “You have to have compassion; there will be issues,” Ruth offers. Bear, Ruth’s first hospice dog was simply “an old man”. With special needs dogs like Otis - he came with blindness and deafness - you need great patience and love. “You never know if you will have him for a couple of months or a couple of years. But you know they are so thankful for your compassion.” Ruth says...Fostering a hospice dog is “giving the ultimate gift” to this wonderful creature. “Making the last few months happy and loving is worth everything”.

See More About Eleventh Hour On Page 13

22 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

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Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 23

Our friend, Penny Ross has been fostering for years now. At any given time she may have multiple foster dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages, living happily at her home while they wait to be adopted by a forever family. Penny fosters for Mountain Rottie Rescue (see their information on page 11). She not only meets the transport team - often in Oneonta - to pick up her new fosters, but she frequently travels a good many miles to do meet and greets with potential families for her fosters. You may also find her at adoption events as well. Penny has a huge heart and the pets in her care are truly well loved. Penny doesn’t always have to say goodbye to her fosters, instead she says “see you later!” She often pet sits for dogs she has placed with her forever families and enjoys updates on their new lives.


by Penny Ross

I have taken unwanted dogs in my entire life. Strays always seem to find me. I guess I really heavily started fostering around 5 years ago, volunteering for about 20 -24 hours at a shelter per week. Leaving their little faces every day is heartbreaking. You fall in love and know they have no one else. Every dog is different, you must watch their actions, listen for their warnings - you don’t know their past, you can only hope for their future. I lost my job 10 years ago due to back issues and needed to fill a void so I started volunteering. I was kept at cleaning kennels and driving dogs to vet visits and it wasn’t fulfilling enough for me. I somehow ended up with 6 dogs from this shelter. Eventually, I left to join a foster based rescue. I then began bringing dogs into my home 1 at a time then 2 and at one point I had 19 in total. If you get into a routine, it becomes easy, but takes a majority of your time. My pack is great - they love everyone, there are not very many times that any have to be separated. For me, fostering is a full time job. I have probably had about 150 dogs through my home in the past few years. This Penny Ross - with two of her foster dogs. includes taking dogs to the vet, doing interviews, home visits, vet reference checks, personal references and finally driving them to their adopted homes on their big day. I recommend that you really try to get to know each and every adopter for you never want that dog’s heart broken again. I have made so many friends along this journey. I keep in touch with every adopter and watch my fosters grow, and sometimes die. I spend a lot of time helping a few southern shelters as well as re-homing local dogs, when they have no one to help. I have a team of volunteer transporters that I work with a few times a month that get the dogs to NY on a 2 day trip. I also help with this by driving to pick them up in Oneonta. The few times we couldn’t work out transport, I have driven to TN and VA to get them to my home - I couldn’t fail these dogs! Being a foster based rescue, we live on donations. I continue to collect bottles and cans, do 50/50 raffles at any event I can, and set up anything we can draw money from. Some dogs come in that need training - that has to be paid for as well. Your promise to these dogs is that the perfect FUREVER home will come along, however there are times when things just don’t work. In that case they will always come back to me. I have had the heartbreak recently of this happening. When they see me their faces light up and the tears roll down my face. This is a heartbreaking, tiresome, endless task. Dogs give so much love, they have more compassion than any human even when they Some of Penny’s foster dogs enjoying playtime have been starved, beaten, chained out their entire life or gotten too old for their owner. It’s amazing when they arrive how perfect they really are!! It breaks you down but it also makes you strong. You can’t save them all but with each one comes so much hope for that dog’s future and the next one that can now fill their spot in the shelter or foster care system instead of being put down. For the Love of a Dog, please foster !

See information about fostering for Mountain Rottie Rescue on page 11

24 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017



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Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 25

Out of the Pits -

and into your hearts

Founded in 1994

P.O. Box 2311,, Albany, NY 12220 • Email: info@outofthepits.org Out of the Pits, Inc. is a registered 501c3 not-for-profit organization. All members of this organization are volunteers, and 100% of all donations are dedicated to saving the dogs. Out of the Pits seeks to educate the public about the true nature of the American Pit Bull Terrier and to make them aware that they used to be one of America’s favorite type of dogs. Our efforts are aimed at restoring the Pit Bull type dog to its former position of esteem in the hearts and minds of people everywhere.

ABOUT FOSTERING FOR OUT OF THE PITS 1) Why does your organization look for foster families for some of the pets that come to you?

Puppies, elderly and infirm dogs/cats/animals in general do better away from the stress of kennel/shelter environments. Puppies MUST be in fosters! The critical time frame for socialization is birth to 12 weeks for dogs . Puppies in a shelter or kennel are not able to fulfill the critical exposure to the World requirements needed for a well socialized adult. Puppies need to be away from their litters by 8 weeks. Animals recovering from surgery/injuries/sickness in general do better in a quiet home environment.

2) What if I foster a pet from your organization and those pets need veterinary care?

We will take care of all vet care needed and vaccinations necessary. We pay for spay, neuter and any intricate surgeries your foster dog may need while with you. If a dog has a pre-existing condition we continue to pay after that pet is adopted.

3) Will I be allowed to adopt the pet if I so choose?

Some people foster to adopt. If they have a female dog we would put a male puppy with them or sometimes two and they choose who best fits their family - same for male with female. If they weren’t intending to keep a puppy but fall in love they have a week to decide if they want to adopt it. For adult fosters it is the same - they have a time frame to let us know. Fosters have the final say whether or not they feel comfortable letting their foster go to a certain home. If they aren’t comfortable we handle the situation from there so they don’t have to.

4) Will I be expected to pay for pet food/toys/bedding for the foster pet?

Some fosters like to buy their own supplies for tax write off but we always offer everything to them. We supply food, toys, treats, meds,pee pee pads, newspapers, crates, x pens, collars, tags, leashes, harnesses and anything else they need.

5) How do I go about signing up to be a foster parent to a dog/cat?

Go to: www.outofthepits.org to fill out our an application to foster. Contact the “volunteers email or “adoptions” email on the site and someone will direct them the right person. Without a network of wonderful foster homes we couldn’t take in a fraction of the dogs we are able to help. The foster family cares for the dog (or puppy) until an SCAN HERE amazing adoptive home can be found. It is a wonderful experience, and following to see all the the progress of your foster dog after they have been adopted can be incredibly rewarding. You come away knowing you have made a significant difference in the life pets currently adoptable of the dog. Potentially, it can be the difference between life and death. People often through say they can’t foster because it would be to hard to give a dog up. When you do so however, you come away knowing what a great impact you had on that dog for the Out of the PIts, Inc. rest of his/her life and you will be content knowing he/she is now in a forever home.

See some of the wonderful foster photos from Out of the Pits on the next page Check out Out of the Pits on or go to: www.outofthepits.org to find out more!

26 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

Out of the Pits -

and into your hearts

Founded in 1994

P.O. Box 2311,, Albany, NY 12220 • Email: info@outofthepits.org

Please consider becoming a foster parent for one of our dogs in need. Our foster homes are essential to our mission of rescuing Pit Bulls. Without a network of wonderful foster homes we couldn’t take in a fraction of the dogs we are able to help. Foster homes are the backbone of rescue! Below you will find some wonderful photos of happy Out of the Pits fosters and heartfelt words from a 14 yr. old young lady whose family fosters for OOTP

Fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve ever gone through. I’ve been fostering for most of my life and of course letting go was hard at the beginning, and sometimes now too, but I wouldn’t want to do anything else. To me and my family fostering means everything. It means helping dogs in need while giving us a fulfilling experience. It means seeing dogs from all different backgrounds go from skinny and fearful to loving the world with nice full tummies. It means seeing that dog that you have put so much care and time into go up to its family with so much joy, and knowing that for the rest of its life it will experience immense amounts of happiness. Knowing that you have been a part of that is something that you can’t just put into words. That is what fostering means to me and my family.

Alexis’ three siblings are pictured here with a puppy they are fostering

by Alexis Bertrand

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to be a Foster Home, please contact our Foster Home Coordinator at Adoptions@outofthepits.org or complete our Foster Application on www.outofthepits.org Alexis getting kisses and we will contact you from foster puppy Canela within 24 hours. Go to:www.outofthepits.org or check out Out of the Pits on Maybe we can’t save them all.. but we sure can try! ❤ See all issues of our magazines online at


www.issuu.com/creativityunleashed or call us for a list of where to find a copy!

If you are interested in advertising on our mats - which are out in over 20 restaurants, please call or email today! They change every six and eight weeks!

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CALL or EMAIL NOW to be a part of our (518) 842-6532 or (518) 369-3016 5th issue - target date is Nov. 2017 linda@creativityunleashed.org

Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 27 Did you just bring a new foster dog into your family? Read on to find out how best to transition the new dog into your lives and home.

Fostering a Dog: Tips and Hints by Leatrice Miller-Natola, CPDT, RM

Fostering a dog is a huge commitment and THANK YOU! The transition to a new home always includes a period of adjustment for any dog coming into your home no matter where or why the dog is now being welcomed into your home. As a professional dog trainer, and life long dog lover, many rescue dogs have graced my life both personally and professionally. The following tips and hints are intended to help you and your foster dog bond and live happily together for whatever length of time you are together.

Leatrice Miller-Natola, a certified dog trainer is shown with her two dogs Em and Buzz

1. Limited Socialization: Keep exposure to new experiences, people, and other dogs as limited as possible for the first 2 weeks at least, except to take him to the vet. EVERYTHING is brand new! His whole life has been turned upside down and inside out. Give him time to adjust. I recommend limiting experiences to simply learning what is expected in your home and yard. Take the time to ensure his outdoor experiences are 100% safe and secure. The last thing your foster dog needs is to get loose and end up a stray in yet another shelter. 2. Limit walks. Your foster dog is not yet fully bonded to you. If the dog gets away from you during a walk, it might not come back when you call. Practice walking on a loose leash in the house and in the yard (fenced is ideal). This helps your dog friend learn to follow you and what you expect from him. This will transfer beautifully to his fur-ever family. 3. Home Bonding: When at home, use a leash to have your foster dog learn to relax next to you. If they do not respond to “sit” or “down” when you say it, don’t use those cues...yet. Simply wait, keep the leash short but loose enough so he can lay down and the dog will eventually lay down on their own. Reward desired behaviors with loving attention or treats. (No hugs….most dogs don’t appreciate hugs.) 4. Crate: Hopefully your new pooch is crate trained. (If not crate trained, begin positive crate training asap.) Please continue to use the crate both when you are home and even when you are not home. It is the ONLY familiar, stable thing in his life at the moment. Always keep the crate a happy place. Offer meals and treats when in the crate. The use of a crate is a gift to him and his fur-ever home! Using a crate helps to avoid the tragedy of separation anxiety, which is very difficult to treat even by a professional. If the pooch is showing signs of separation anxiety, get professional help as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse. 5. House manners: Help your new friend learn the rules of your home by having him drag a leash when you are home. When he makes a mistake, tell him so with one word, and lead him away from the item of temptation. With the leash attached it is easy to move the dog away from choices that result in undesirable behavior. 6. Training: Try to enroll your foster dog in a reputable Basic Dog Obedience Class. This will help you and your dog learn to understand each other and communicate more effectively. If your dog is demonstrating behaviors that concern you, contact a trainer IMMEDIATELY. Safety is always the priority. 7. Finally, be prepared for it to take lots of time for your foster dog to fully acclimate to their new home with you. Keep in mind, your investment of time and love will help him find a loving, stable fur-ever home. 8. Thank you for all you do to help our furry friends! If you have any questions about this article, give Leatrice a call at (518) 705-8469

28 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

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Pictured Left to Right: Koda and Bentley - two content clients and Kathy’s own rescue dogs: Jackie - from Arkansas and Dee Dee - from the Regional Animal Shelter


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Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 29

Lorrie and Phil Venneman, of Gloversville, NY have fostered many pets. Some of them have become “foster fails”. When that happens those pets hit the jackpot, as Lorrie and Phil give them a loving home where they will never feel alone and abandoned again.

Meet Foster Mom Lorrie Venneman

by Lorrie Venneman

My interest in the fostering starts back 5 years ago when I met a French Mastiff named Max. Max and I immediately had a bond with each other. Unfortunately it did not last, as the court system had another plan for the Max - they thought they knew best, but I knew the real Max. When I heard of the situation with the Stratford 22 (the French Mastiffs found without food or water at home in Stratford, NY) I had a feeling that Max was coming back into my life somehow and that I was destined to help out in his honor. When I first went to Brennan’s to visit them all - 10 were left as 12 had passed away - I walked from kennel to kennel and felt an instant connection to a scared and withdrawn little girl who was cowering in the corner of her kennel. Her name was Agnes and I took her out to meet her and sat Lorrie and Lola on the floor with her. When she snuggled up by me I knew immediately that Max had sent her to me and she was the one. We decided to offer to foster her but unfortunately she developed health issues and passed away. A couple of weeks later I received a call from Christie at the shelter asking me if I was ready to foster another one. Her name was Lola and when we were later able to adopt her, we did so with great joy. Now, when I come home from work each time, there she is - with our other three rescued dogs - Winston, Mersh and Sheila standing right there waiting for Winston, Mersh and Lola me to come through the door to waiting for treat greet her. Every day, there are lots of kisses and hugs from our 110 lb. Lola! Foster parenting is almost always very rewarding but then along Lola is very content comes a dog/cat that is too broken to save. It rips a piece of your with her new life. heart out, but I wouldn’t let that stop me from helping any animal in need. When you foster a pet you know in your heart that when that pet eventually gets adopted you gave him/her all the loving and the life that they always deserved. The look in your foster pet’s eye will melt you and you know in your heart they appreciate all you do for them. I guess you could call Phil and I “foster failures” as usually when we foster a pet they end up staying with us. We have rescued many stray cats and vetted them before finding them good homes. Senior dogs are always welcome here as long as our Winston approves. Winston thinks he is the pack leader, so if he approves our “fosters” usually become one of the pack to live out their years happy and well loved like every dog and cat deserves to!

Lorrie has been on the board of directors of The Regional Animal Shelter since 2012 (see page 10)

30 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

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Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017 - 31

IF YOU CAN’T FOSTER BUT WANT TO HELP: Some of you reading this magazine may wish to foster but can’t for good reasons.There are other ways you can help “hands on”. Sign up for the Buddy Program at Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter.

Ayres Memorial Shelter Buddy Program There have been many times in life where we have had someone say to us, “I’d love to help, but I can’t adopt a pet right now.” As much as we would love for everyone to have the opportunity to know the love from a rescue pet, we know that it is not a viable reality for everyone. With that said, there are still plenty of ways for people to help out a shelter animal in need! It doesn’t take money, just a little time and a lot of heart. We at Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter have put together what we call our “Shelter Buddy” program. This program pairs up a two legged volunteer with a four legged pal that they can call their very own! As a “buddy” you are able to take your your dog out on walks, hikes, swimming, to the pet store for treats, celebrate holidays, get them socialized and give them love until their very own forever family comes along. The bond that you will develop with your buddy is unlike any other that you have ever felt - you are making an impact on an animal’s life The author of this article: Frankie Page - showing them consistency, shown here on an outing with her shelter buddy helping them redevelop trust King, who is featured on the front cover. in a mankind that had previously abandoned them and showing them love to help overcome whatever past experiences they may have had. The changes that will occur as a result of spending just one day a week with your buddy are unmeasurable. A dog that is timid will come out of it’s shell and give you it’s belly to rub, a dog that is anxious will begin to settle and learn to walk by your side with structure and exercise, a dog that had lived life in a crate or on a chain will run on a loose leash with that special smile that a dog can only show, a dog that has never seen open water will paddle around with a look of pure joy. Words cannot fully describe the rewards that you reap as a shelter buddy, you learn lessons that cannot be taught in books but only learned through experience. You see change occur before your very own eyes, you get to give and receive love and most importantly, you make a difference. A few hours a week may not seem like that much to you, but that time means the world to an animal in need. by Frankie Page

Mike Page - shown here with Jordan, another one of the couple’s shelter buddies, enjoying their time together

Email: Marissa.ayresshelter@gmail.com if interested or to find out more about the Buddy Program King, tired after a great day out!

See Page 19 for more about Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter

32 - Foster A Pet Magazine...First Edition - Fall 2017

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Foster A Pet Magazine in Fulton and Montgomery Counties and Beyond  

A magazine created to highlight the incredible need for foster parents for dogs and cats waiting in shelters and rescues for homes. It conta...

Foster A Pet Magazine in Fulton and Montgomery Counties and Beyond  

A magazine created to highlight the incredible need for foster parents for dogs and cats waiting in shelters and rescues for homes. It conta...


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