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What the End to the Pup Pandemic Means for Rescues

 Late last March a longtime acquaintance reached out via text, saying, "Hi Jessica, do you have any dogs I can foster? Now I'm working from home, and I'd love a dog."

I had attempted at least a 1/2 dozen times to get this friend to foster over the years; she had always politely refused. And suddenly here she was wanting, yearning for canine companionship in her condo of solitude. 

On several occasions I had urged (pseudonym) Lourdes to foster because she: loves dogs, lives alone, is responsible, friendly and lives in a dog-friendly condo. Again, she had always said no.

So I was flabbergasted, and eager, to help find her a foster dog when she reached out at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown.  

rescue puppies

Within a week I had dog-options for her to foster, but by that time she had borrowed, or was pet sitting one of her supervisor's dogs. 

"Whatever," I thought, but was intrigued because this was one of a few signs I was getting that, suddenly, dogs were in demand. 

It was so cool! 

One of our AWESOME pandemic-pup adoptions

Some months after this I had a man reach out on behalf of his deceased mother's 13 year old, semi-def cocka-poo (cocker spaniel/poodle mix).  -This dog only peed on pee pads because that's what she'd always done. 

I said, "yes, I'd help find her a home," because that's just what we do.  Concerns it could take several weeks to responsibly re-home her were present, but to my amazement I had several inquiries on her and she was adopted within days!  

Then I knew: the spoken-of pandemic pup craze was real. 

Months went by of getting several solid inquiries on each adoptable dog I'd post, of me as owner of this rescue, getting to 'take my pick' of awesome adopters. -What can I say, it was surreal. It was wonderful. -Awesome. 

Another adoption that occurred during the pandemic (his mom's a groomer!)

Since 2007 I've been fostering dogs and cats, finding homes for them.  I used to make flyers, post them on Craigslist because that's all there was back then for individuals fostering death-row-dogs on their own (this is from when I worked at LMAS as an ACS, I'd take home dogs to foster that were in immediate danger of euthanasia).  Thankfully, using Craigslist as a way to promote adoptable pets is long behind me/us, but back in the day, I did find some excellent adopters using the site.  Of course I had to screen even more carefully than usual, but not everyone that used CL back then was 'bad' or a weirdo... now a days I don't know what it's like because, again, we don't use it to promote adoptable pets. 

I've always believed divine intervention was at play when adopting out pets. 

Mila, a dog we were able to pull and adopt out during the pandemic

And I still believe that.  For fosters and rescues it's often just trusting that when you leap, the net will appear. -zen saying

We oftentimes don't know how long it will take for a pet we take in to find its forever home. We do always have a plan in place for pets we take in as far as 'where they'll go' (to our home, or to one of our foster families' homes).  We must have foster commitments to save dogs and cats from high risk situations and shelters. 

And now that adoptions have slowed down so much, we cannot, as a foster-based rescue, take in as many pets as we took in over the past year.  

Sweet senior, Tanka, currently for adoption

Tanka, on her awesome foster mommy, Dee's couch :)

Even though I just typed that paragraph, and it sounds practical, truthful and reasonable (because it is), those words cannot truly 'sink in' for me.  Because the thought of 'not being able to' save as many pets as we've been saving, at a time when more pets need saving, is too heartbreaking to fully process or swallow.  -So I don't. 

I have faith that things will get better, that adoptions will stay, at least, steady.  -That people will keep their pets.  -That fosters will hang in there and foster for 1-4 weeks oppose to 1-4 days.  

How You Can Help:

-Keep your pets!

-Foster for us or another rescue or shelter

-Adopt a pet


-Do not adopt or buy a pet unless you're 97% sure you're ready for one

Note: One benefit of rescue is: the pet has a 'safe place to land' when it doesn't 'work out' with an adopter.  Instead of being returned to a shelter, which is EXTREMELY traumatic, they can go back to their foster families.  This is not nearly as traumatic.  Don't think for a minute, that turning a pet into a 'no-kill' is o.k.  

A prison sentence, encaged for 23 hours< more/day with no definite end in sight is NOT ok. Don't don't it. Work with your pet. Keep your pet. It builds character, wisdom and will help your soul. 


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