Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Six.. oops, seven degrees of (foster) connection

Hi everyone,

Your favorite red-nosed princess here!  Sorry I haven’t written for a while.  I’ve been busy going to class, going to outings, meeting and greeting new people, and napping on my thrones.  My human friends have been busy, too, connecting people and dogs.  This is a story about the seven doggies of connection. 

1.  Meatloaf

Meatloaf had been at Alachua County Animal Services (ACAS) for a couple of months and was not doing well.  He was very unhappy and bored, and he expressed his unhappiness loudly.  Because of his kennel stress, he was at risk of euthanasia.  Helping Hands Pet Rescue pulled him, with the help of Plenty of Pit Bulls, but his new foster home was not a great fit.  His foster dog brother, Marty, was undergoing heartworm treatment and needed a quiet environment.  He and Meatloaf did not hit it off, and their conflicts made things difficult for both dogs as well as their foster mom.  In addition, Meatloaf did not do well crated at adoption events, but his foster mom could not “market” him in less traditional ways.  At just the right time, Stefani learned about the foster network and offered to foster a dog.  She took him on outings (wearing his “Adopt Me” vest) and within a few weeks, he found a great adopter. 

2.  Marty

Marty was rescued from a chain in Florida's Panhandle.  He had been terribly neglected and was suffering from heartworm disease.  When Meatloaf moved to his new foster home, Marty and his foster mom were able to have the peaceful home they both needed. Marty is now healthy and available for adoption from Second Chance Farms.

3.  Raven

Marty’s foster mom has a big heart and offered to take in another foster dog, as long as he could get along with Marty.  Second Chance Farms agreed to place Raven in the spot opened up when Meatloaf went to Stefani’s.  Raven had been at the shelter for almost five months.  Raven is an extremely sociable and easy-going dog, and he and Marty get along well. Raven is a wonderful boy who gets along with everyone he meets, canine and human, and has a very happy, resilient personality.  He is available for adoption from Second Chance Farms.

4.  Gatsby

Glaw was a shy older puppy who had been in the shelter for two months.  When Meatloaf was adopted, Plenty of Pit Bulls was able to pull Glaw from the shelter and place him with Stefani. We renamed him Tucker, because he was so shy at first that he kept his tail tucked.   In little over a week, Tucker met a wonderful couple who drove all the way from Orlando to meet him.  They fell in love with him, took him home, and have renamed him Gatsby, “because he is so great.”

5.  Buck

After Gatsby was adopted, Stefani was ready for another foster dog.  She needed someone special, however, because she was getting ready to leave town for the summer at the end of the semester.  She needed a dog who was known to be good with cats and other dogs, and also one who did not look like a pit bull, due to a breed ban at her apartment complex.  Just as Gatsby was heading to his new home in Orlando, Buck was heading back to Phoenix Animal Rescue after his potential adopter changed her mind.  We knew that Buck, a hound mix, was housetrained and great with cats and other dogs.  Within a couple of weeks, Stefani found a perfect family for Buck.

6.  Brittany

During the short time that Gatsby was with Stefani, her friend Colton helped take care of him.  He enjoyed having canine company so much that he offered to foster as well.  Unfortunately, he lives in the same apartment complex as Stefani, which bans pit bulls.  We knew the shelter was full of pit bull type dogs and wanted to be able to pull one who was in danger of euthanasia.  The perfect solution: place Phoenix Animal Rescue dog Brittany with Colton, opening up a spot in another foster home for a pit bull type dog from ACAS.  Brittany is an active, playful, outgoing hound mix – the perfect frisbee and jogging partner for Colton. Brittany is a happy, outgong dog who is available for adoption from Phoenix Animal Rescue.

7.  Scooter

Once Buck found a home, Stefani was ready for a new foster dog.  The timing was perfect for a very shy little puppy at the shelter.  He was so terrified that he hid his head in the corner and urinated whenever anyone approached.  However, he also craved attention and once he was next to someone, he wiggled and cuddled and kissed like crazy.  Shelter staff loved him and gave him two reprieves from the euthanasia list.  He was almost out of chances, however, when we matched him with Stefani.  Within a few minutes of meeting her, he was feeling more relaxed and happy.  "Shy puppy" now has a name -- Scooter -- and a bright future ahead of him.  Scooter will soon be available for adoption from Second Chance Farms.

And counting...

Stefani's initial decision to try fostering saved the lives of Meatloaf, Raven, and Gatsby, and it will do the same for her new foster dog.  The ripple effect is even bigger – Marty is safer and happier.  Buck found a perfect home, after months of waiting and some false starts.  Brittany is more adoptable because she is getting one-on-one attention, which was not possible in her former multi-dog home.

Stefani did not know she had super powers, but it turns out she is a Magic Foster Super Hero.  There are more of you out there.  Give it a try!