“I said ‘Somebody should do something about that.’ Then I realized I am somebody.”
- Lily Tomlin
We can’t rescue a single Havanese without having a foster home ready and waiting for her/him. These rescues need some time with someone who can help them transition from being a caged mill dog to a family pet. Although it takes a time commitment to be a good foster, you don’t need to be home full-time.
We know there are any number of reasons people hesitate to foster. We can’t tell you how long the foster will be with you, what the dog will be like, how quickly he/she will progress, whether your dogs will enjoy this house guest, what challenges you might encounter, or how much you’ll struggle when it’s time to say goodbye.
What we do know is that you will receive all the support necessary to work through any issues that arise. We promise the struggles and inconveniences will pale compared to watching your foster take each first step in this new life of freedom – play with a toy, run in a yard, relax on a soft bed, enjoy being loved. Fostering is a wonderful family volunteer project, teaching children about compassion and generosity. Because of your efforts, patience and affection, your foster leaves for his/her forever family a happier, healthier dog. You will be part of a strong, supportive group of foster families who understand your fears, share in your accomplishments, and are always willing to lend a helping hand.
Anyone who has fostered can tell you it’s incredibly rewarding, but the most important reason? The alternative for mill rescues is stark and horrible – these babies have no safe place to go if they do not have a foster who will take them in.
We asked some of our HALO members who are experienced fosters why they keep doing it:
1. “To me fostering means a way I can give back to a community that gave me so much with my two little rescues. It’s watching a very scared little pup slowly learn to trust you in ways you never thought possible. It’s the first time they wag their tail at you when you enter the room or that first little kiss on the hand. It’s watching them grow into a confident and trusting pet. I foster because I like the challenge trying out new techniques to get them to trust as each pup learns so differently. I love to see the small puppies either born into freedom or get rescued into freedom at an early age and not have the puppy mill issues that the older pups have. But…the number one reason is the look of happiness and pure love and joy on the faces of the adoptee family when they meet the newest member of their family.”
2. “Fostering... I always said I would never be able to do it. How can you hand a precious little soul into the arms of a stranger after you have spent time with them? And then while on the HALO Facebook page, I saw a request for someone to foster one of the girls from an Ohio puppy mill. It would be so difficult. But they will be put down if someone can't foster. HALO has a lot of members, someone will volunteer. But then I had a moment of clarity! If these two girls had survived the horrors of years in a puppy mill, I could handle the emotional sting of letting go! I've never questioned my decision that night. I am so grateful for the joy these loving dogs have brought into my life. To see them run in the yard after years of being locked in a small wire cage, bring tears to my eyes every time. Or when they show extreme courage and take a treat from your hand. It's more than words can describe. One of my concerns early on was that I didn't know whether I could let go! But I did it! As my foster and her adopter drove away, there were a few tears - sad that she was gone, but so happy that a new loving family was her future!”
3. “Why foster?.. Why not? Why not give back to the special furbabies who give so much, and in return just want to be loved. Time, patience and love go a long way for someone who has never experienced it. It is the best feeling in the world to watch a foster go from being frightened and in hiding to a loving, integral and active part of your family. They deserve a chance to be free, so why not be the person to give it to them?!”