Foster Feature: Honey

Today’s foster feature is Honey. Written by Shellie Bellinghausen.

TrueBlueAnimalRescueFosterFeatureHoneyI got tagged in a Facebook post for a dachshund and a chiweenie (chijuajua/dachshund mix) one Friday evening recently. Yes, I’m THAT dachshund lady that everybody tags. A shelter in a town two hours away had an emergency situation and had to find homes for some of their dogs ASAP, or they would be put down Monday morning.

I replied to the post and started emailing with the shelter that evening. Their sheriff’s office had seized a large number of dogs that day in a cruelty case, and it took up half the shelter’s kennels. The kennel these two dogs were in was tagged for euthanasia. The dachshund was a year or two old, and the chiweenie about five months old. Two young and healthy dogs, perfectly adoptable.

Thankfully the owner of the dachshund claimed him on Saturday, but the chiweenie was still there. So TBAR pulled her from the shelter, and since we had an event all day Saturday, I met a transporter half way on Sunday to get her.

Turns out, the “chiweenie” hasn’t got a lick of dachshund in her, but is probably a corgi mix (shorter legs/longer body also). She showered me with kisses from the moment I first held her. Adorable hardly describes it. I named her Honey since her fur and her eyes are honey-colored.
The sad thing is this precious little puppy would have had her life ended prematurely because this shelter, as do many across the country, had limited space and was greatly over capacity. Some of
these shelters have kill rates as high as 85%. Let that sink in. 85% of the animals that come in to some shelters die there.

Now before you get angry at the shelters, please know that the majority of the people working at these shelters are loving, caring, giving people who genuinely care about these animals. They do their best to adopt them out or find foster homes or rescues that can take them in order to avoid having to needlessly kill them. But with so many animals coming in their doors, their hands are tied.

In Septemberr, TBAR received a request from a local shelter to network an older Red Tick Coonhound. We networked her for a few days before receiving notification from the shelter that she was on the euthanasia list that day due to overcrowding. Again, TBAR pulled her, I picked her up that evening after work, and we had a pending adoption for her the next morning. Annabelle went to her forever home that Friday after a quick trip to the vet. What a difference a day made for her!

The reason we were able to find a home for her so quickly was through social networking. Facebook has allowed us to share pictures and descriptions of these animals with lightening speed! And friends share these posts, who share these posts, and so on, and so on, and so on (anyone remember that commercial from the 70s?). And someone out there sees it and steps up to foster or adopt. Networking works!

TBAR has even created a separate networking page on Facebook for just this purpose, called RAIN Networking (Rescue Animals In Need). Anytime we receive calls or emails for help with animals, we post them here first, and often times we don’t even have to officially bring them into rescue because these animals find homes through this page.

So whenever you see the countless posts from those of us active in rescue, even if you can’t help any other way, you CAN share the post, because you never know when someone you know may find an animal they can help.

And just as important, you can foster through a local rescue. You may have to fill out a foster application, which only takes a few minutes, and when an emergency situation comes up (and they do often!), the rescue can immediately respond because they have foster homes available. (Just like shelters, rescues are limited by the space they have available.) The rescue covers all the vet care (and many provide food and crates), you provide the love and one-on-one attention, which socializes them.

Fosters are able to share additional pictures and information about these animals, such as temperament and whether the animal is good with children or other pets. When potential adopters read this information, it often seals the deal, and they know this pet is meant to be theirs. That’s what happened with Annabelle! Her adoptive family saw a picture of her that a friend had posted on Facebook. That picture reminded them of a Blue Tick Coonhound they had that was no longer with them. They knew Annabelle was theirs!

And Honey? Well, after seeing her pictures, my mom decided this little girl was for her (much to my surprise)! I’m telling you…networking works!!

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