The smallest things take up the most room in your heart

Fostering plays a very, very important part in any charity; it enables the charity to help dogs who are suffering in kennels for various reasons.

Some breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Lurchers and Greyhounds do not bode well in kennels; others are old, young, poorly or simply petrified in the kennel situation. Although the staff do everything they possibly can, it is impossible to spend the time needed to offer more comfort or to give a home environment to these poor dogs. Many dogs accept the kennels quite well; they have clean cosy beds, heat lamps for the colder months, 2 meals daily plus 2 social walks and playtime. Quality time out for each dog also depends on how many volunteer walkers kindly give their time too.

We have 2 different fostering policies:

Short Term

For dogs who are not settling in kennels for one reason or another but will be re-homed at some point. Vet bills will be covered by the charity and food if necessary. The foster carer will also have to be willing to take the dog to the kennels to meet potential adopters or allow the meeting to go ahead in their own home.

Long Term

For dogs that may never be re-homed due to illness or age. They again will have no vet fees or have to buy food but will have to accept the dog they have, may be there until the end.

A few words from a foster mom

I have fostered for Forest Dog Rescue and although sometimes it is sad, it is also extremely rewarding when you see a dog blossom through love, time and patience. It isn't easy, especially if you have had a dog for a while and you have seen the changes, to actually getting it adopted but we are stepping stones from a home that possibly didn't want the dog, to his or her new home, which we hope will be forever.

Foster parents are worth their weight in gold. Lots of dogs suffer terribly when placed in kennels no matter how good the kennels are. There are many reasons why we need foster people; all are concerning the welfare of the dogs.

I have fostered for Forest Dog Rescue for nine years and in that time there has been well over 200 dogs. Some short term only staying for a couple of days, others a few weeks and others, well, they just sort of stayed here and became part of the gang.

Here are some dogs which unfortunately are no longer with us; all have passed on either through old age or illness.

Rosie - The Lurcher

Brought in to kennels by the warden, after a little while stopped eating, wouldn't walk and became skin and bone. She came to me as a foster, it was then I discovered mammary tumours, they were removed within 48hours but because she had that problem nobody wanted her. Well she stayed with the gang and lived for another 8 years which made her approx 15yrs old, sadly the tumours came back.

Toffee - The Yorkie

Brought in by the warden, being so small he came into foster care. He couldn't walk because his front claws were so long they stuck into his pads and his back legs were matted together. We cleaned and clipped and soon got him fit for rehoming. But every time a prospective Mum came along, he would fly out the door guns blazing, growling, bearing gums (as he had most of his teeth removed) needless to say it was a thank you but no thank you. As they drove away he looked at me a waddled back into the house as if to say, that's another one who bites the dust. It seemed he had made his own mind up and stayed along with the others but sadly died 3 years later with kidney failure; we never had a problem with him.

Vinnie - One Eyed Lurcher

We think Vinnie had been trained as a fighting dog due to his temperament, unnatural muscles and hatred of everything and everybody plus his fear aggression. He was on the website for years but soon became the most loyal and trusted companion anyone could have. He stayed in foster for 8 years helping others who came along too but sadly died of lung cancer.

Dolly - The Jack Russell

Dolly is now once again in foster with us, she was re-homed to a family in France but sadly her owner died and has since been returned to us. As she can scale any fence you care to build, it was considered she would be safe here in the forest, otherwise she would almost certainly become casualty on the road.

Hope - The Stafford Cross

You may remember Hope. She came in with terrible injuries and had to have a lot of treatment with the Orthopaedic surgeon resulting in she has no ball joints. Hope stayed in foster as we thought she may have some real problems but 5 years on, she is going strong with the rest of the pack. (update - Hope has now been re-homed)

Lulu - The Mini Jack Russell

Lulu is the latest little foster dog, she has a skin condition and is about 6 or 7 yrs old. She is your little shadow, so loving and gentle. It is wonderful that she has now gone into another foster home where she has another four legged friend and will have more of a one to one too. (Latest update on Lulu...her foster family have now adopted her!)

These are just a drop in the ocean and there are so many dogs that desperately need your help. If you feel you could help a dog short or long term at no financial cost to yourselves, contact the kennels on 01299 269181.

Dolly is still with us too but couldn't keep any more still long enough to take a picture!

(Molly and Hope have since been re-homed but sadly little Thimble passed over Rainbow Bridge at the end of 2014) R.I.P little one

Read some of our dog's stories...

Interested in fostering? Get in touch!

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