THE OTHER PIECE OF THE ‘NO-KILL’ PUZZLE
The Bosque Beast invited some of the main rescue groups in Corrales to reflect on what it’s like
to “foster” animals—care for them and get them adopted—which is the centerpiece of keeping
companion animals from being euthanized. All of the volunteers expressed hope that more
people will consider getting involved, without harboring any illusions about what it takes.
Barbara Bayer, CARMA - Companion Animal Rescue and Medical Assistance
We provide the support that the other rescue groups provide. We will do everything we can to
make it a positive experience for fosters. What we can’t do most of the time is to make people
understand what a special privilege it is to foster—to be able to help an animal learn that people can be good, to ready the animal to be part of a family, and then to let go. Most people who foster have a hard time letting go. It is the person who can love and then let go so they can take another and another animal that is the best foster. I never forget my foster animals, and I worry about them and miss them. Even so, the best thing I can do is to find that special, perfect home so I can save one more.
Judy K. Paulsen, Greyhound Companions of New Mexico (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Foster families are the life blood of our rescue group (next to donations, of course!). Our dogs
come from race tracks or shelters and are often in desperate need of TLC and some training. We give our foster homes lots of support, and are always available if a problem should arise and they need immediate assistance. We pay for food, vet care, and we loan out crates and any other supplies our fosters may need. If a foster dog needs to go to the vet, we provide transportation if the foster family can’t manage it. In other words, we do everything we can to make fostering for our group a good experience!
Our biggest problem is that our foster homes often end up adopting their foster greyhound, and then, depending on how many dogs they have, that may eliminate them from being able to foster for us again. So we’re always looking for foster homes.
Mitzi Hobson, Boston terrier rescue (email@example.com)
Yesterday I received photos of Newman, a handsome blue-eyed Boston Terrier, sitting in his chair with his toys, and was reminded of how fostering an animal in transition is one of the most rewarding uses of anyone’s time.
Newman came to us two weeks ago after being abandoned at a campsite at Ute Lake and discovered by good Samaritans. A family in Clovis fostered, vetted, and checked for microchip while transport to Corrales was figured out. Another good Samaritan offered to take a day off work and drive to get him. They had picked the name Mac for the dog, and my husband attached Newman because he has Paul Newman eyes.
We waited for Mac Man’s arrival. It was coordination at its best at a moment’s notice, as is so
often the case. Many people come forward to help in the re-homing of most animals, so that it
sometimes seems the animal is on a path, and I am simply responding to help them complete
We sensed the need for Mac Newman to live as part of our family, even for a short period of time. He left us after one week, riding in the front seat of an SUV headed to Las Vegas, Nevada. Today we still find ourselves looking for him, but we know we did what we needed to do. We were a stepping stone for him to move from abandonment to his forever home. Fostering enriches your life beyond measure, and beats pills for depression. Foster homes are desperately
needed, so please consider giving it a try.
Joyce Fay, Bro & Tracy Animal Welfare (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Each time I accept a new foster, I immediately regret it, as I begin to worry about the possible
problems I may face. Will he or she get along with our dogs? (Our fosters live as part
of our family.) Will there be any unexpected health issues? How long will it take to find the
right adopter? What happens if no one wants this dog? I promise myself that once this one
is placed, I will take a break from fostering.
I reassure myself that it will work out, but sometimes it can take a long time—six months
or more. I get discouraged. And then one day, an amazing individual or family will appear,
seemingly out of thin air. After home visits and conversations are done, I will cry a little as I
hand the dog over, but he will always have a place in my heart. I am grateful for the opportunity to know one more dog than I could ever possibly “own.” As a bonus, I have met some new humans I like, many of whom will stay in touch with us, emailing photos and news of our former fosters.
There is the thrill of knowing that, with the help of others in the community, I have saved
a life. While I’m enjoying this latest success I inevitably say “yes” to another dog before I
remember that I promised to take a break.
Rochelle Radloff , SCAR - Second Chance Animal Rescue (email@example.com)
Whenever I tell someone I volunteer with a rescue group by fostering animals in my home,
I almost always get a response of, “I could never do that because I would want to keep them
all.” I explain that while I love them and get attached to each animal I foster, I know there
are thousands out there still waiting to be rescued. They are desperate for someone to care,
even a little. In order for me to save more, I have to find a wonderful home for the ones I
have. If someone comes along that I feel will love them as much as I do, then I’m happy
for the dog or cat because they will have a great life, even if I will miss them terribly. That
is what keeps me fostering—knowing I’m making a greater impact by letting them go. But
to be honest, I’ve not been able to let go all the time, and that’s why fostering, even if you
adopt every dog you have ever fostered, is very rewarding. Whether you find a home for a
foster or your home becomes a forever home, you have made a difference, and that is what