I’ve mentioned past foster dogs here, here and here, but decided to write this post after questions from readers. A lot of you have asked me why and how I started fostering dogs when I moved to Arizona. Well, it was because of a Facebook page I stumbled across when we first moved there.
I remember lying in bed, searching Facebook for Arizona rescue pages because we were considering adding a second dog to our family. Instead of finding an actual nonprofit rescue group, I found the ‘Friends of Arizona’s Shelter Animals’ page. I was disturbed by how many dogs were on the euthanasia lists for the next morning, and learned that both county shelters euthanized many unwanted animals every day at 5 am. Right then I knew that I wanted to help in some way. While I was scrolling through photos of dogs that were scheduled to be killed, I saw a German Shepherd girl who looked absolutely miserable. A young dog should NOT look like its ready to give up in a county shelter — a young dog should be chasing squirrels in the park, playing with toys and being showered with love. But sadly, this happens far too often. I sent a text to my brother and his girlfriend and they told me they’d take her.
Now, I’m not sure if many states have these types of groups on Facebook, but the animal-lovers and rescue groups that run Friends of Arizona’s Shelter Animals are absolute angels. I simply commented on the German Shepherd’s photo and asked if someone would “pull her” so she wouldn’t get put down. Even though it was late at night, someone responded right away and said that they would contact the shelter and remove her from the list. The rescuer kept her word and the next day we went to the county shelter to pick her up.
When we arrived in the morning we walked past rows and rows of dogs. If you’ve ever been in an overcrowded, high-kill animal shelter you know how horrible the experience is. The dogs look defeated, sick, and believe me, they know what their fate is; they can sense it. I couldn’t help tearing up and I still do every time we visit a pound.
Out of all the German Shepherds at the shelter we were able to pick her out quickly. She was smaller, had larger ears, reddish hair and was hiding in the corner. We asked a worker to remove her so we could take her to the fenced-in meet and greet area outside and sadly, the shelter employee could barely get her out of the run. The sweet girl wouldn’t look anyone in the eyes, dragged her feet, cowered down and peed herself right away. When we finally got her to the grassy area she did the same thing. I got down on the ground, held her head and tried to look into her eyes while petting her, but she was too timid. While B was hesitant, I knew I wanted to take her home right away.
We thought that doing a type of foster to adopt would be better just in case another family was better suited for her, but when I asked for an application, the lady at the front desk told me that the person who approved fosters wasn’t in that weekend. When I asked if we could do the paperwork Monday morning, she told me that the German Shepherd wouldn’t be alive then. She was labeled as a “resource guarder” (she wasn’t, by the way) and had to go. We adopted her on the spot.
To make a long story short, Sadie was a very sad girl when we brought her home. Loud noises, people, dogs, and almost everything frightened her. But eventually she realized she was safe. She has been living with my brother since the end of October and I can’t believe how much she has changed. She is no longer taking her anti-anxiety medication, she has gained 15 more pounds, not much scares her anymore, and she’s ridiculously happy. The scared shelter dog we met in Arizona is now a happy-go-lucky toy hoarder, and is so grateful for her second chance at life.
Sadie is the reason I filled out a foster application. Sadie is why I foster dogs.
You can read more about her here.
Filed Under: Dogs, Fostering Dogs, Shelter Animals