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Can we crash at your place for awhile?

Walter M. Crowe Animal Shelter in need of short-term fosters

Posted: August 23, 2012 3:01 p.m.
Updated: August 24, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Christine Long picks up her foster dog, Tigal, from the Walter M. Crowe Animal Shelter.

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It was a sweltering hot day at the Walter M. Crowe Animal Shelter, but that didn’t stop volunteers from coming out and walking dogs, playing with puppies and cuddling with kittens. Throughout the week, dedicated volunteers come to the shelter not only to spend time with the animals, but to take photos and help place them in foster homes. These foster homes are only a temporary stop before they are able to be sent to rescue groups such as the North County Animal League in Vermont and the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons Inc. in New York.

"I don’t know if it’s due to the economy, but adoptions are very low for us," shelter employee Jan Foreman said. "Rescue organizations have really been our lifeline."

More than 500 dogs were rescued in 2011 thanks to breed-specific rescues, such as Danny and Ron’s Rescue (located in Camden), or partnering adoption centers affiliated with the shelter.

"In order for a dog to go to certain rescues, there must be a two-week period where they are out of the shelter. This is a benefit for the animal because it puts them in a healthy home environment where they can de-stress and socialize with people and other animals," said Andrea Walker, a dedicated volunteer and foster mom.

All food and medical care is provided for the animals that are being fostered. They just need a place to sleep and a loving, stable environment. Animals are spayed/neutered and up-to-date on vaccines.

"We are in constant need of finding more foster homes. It’s really their ticket out of here," Walker said. "Recently, we have sent about 30 dogs each month to northern adoption centers thanks to families who have opened their homes up for fostering. We are still in desperate need for a bigger fostering network of people so we can get these dogs out of the shelter and into permanent homes."

"What’s really great about these rescue organizations is that the animals are adopted almost immediately," Margaret Ellis, another volunteer and foster parent, explained. "They’ve already been socialized, they are relaxed, and detailed information is provided to the rescue about their temperament and their personality. Fostering is such a rewarding experience, especially when later you see a photo of the dog with their new family. It’s a great feeling to know you helped save a life."

If you are interested in fostering, please contact the shelter at 425-6016

For the most up-to-date information about dogs available at the shelter, visit their website:

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