Helping Many vs One!
Testimonials From Our Foster Families
We started fostering dog’s a few months ago and it has been more rewarding than we had imagined! Our family agreed to this thinking we were just helping dogs but in turn they have taught us so much about new beginnings! It really is a joy for us to watch a dog come out of their shell, build confidence and gain trust again. We are so thankful to people who adopt, we just feel this is our way of helping many vs. one. It is a little sad saying goodbye to one dog, but their new forever family is so excited to take them home and when another dog leaves his/her kennel and stays in our home...it’s bitter sweet!!
- Michelle Mang and family -
More than 10 years ago I started volunteering at the Allen County SPCA. At an Animal Care committee meeting, we discussed ways to help more animals. We decided we needed a foster care program. We worked hard to write up a program that would be great for potential fosters and our animals. I decided I needed to step up and become a foster parent. I have an extra bedroom (now referred to as the “cat suite”) so I can isolate my fosters from my own animals.
The Allen County SPCA provides the animal, the food, the care plan and the medical attention. My first foster was a gorgeous gray pregnant cat named Jane. Jane was sweet, beautiful, and big! Within less than a week Jane delivered 4 beautiful kittens (3 boys and 1 girl). I learned so much! The Allen County SPCA staff helped me out so much, always taking time to answer my questions. I have fostered for more than 5 years. It is easily the most rewarding volunteer job I have ever done. In that time, I have fostered more than 70 animals, mostly kittens. I know this may sound crazy but I feel like I have had a part in saving and enriching their lives. Fostering is an amazing feeling and so worth the time and effort!
- Terah Brogan -
I joined the Allen County SPCA in December of 2010. So far I have fostered four different sets of cats and kittens. I am so rewarded each time I release them back to the shelter because I know that I have given them love, care, and nurturing in a quiet, comfortable, and safe environment. They in turn have given me their affection and trust. This is very important groundwork for being adopted in their forever home.
Fostering is a wonderful program which gives the foster person an exceptional insight on the cat’s habits and personality. The Allen County SPCA provide all necessary items to foster along with medical attention. They will cheerfully answer any question a foster person may have.
In March, I took in a pregnant mom who promptly gave birth to three boys and a girl. I was ecstatic! As they grew, their mom, along with their kitties, would sleep on my bed next to me. I would awake many times the next few months and find a kitten on each side of my face licking me and sending forth a symphony of purring. A large grin was on my face and my heart was singing --- ahh such peace!
- Rosie Greiner -
Call the shelter today to see how you can become a foster parent!
I was sure this guy received a lot of attention from volunteers and I just wanted to spend hours and days with him, so I made myself a deal: I would spend some time with the least attended dog(s) and then reward myself by spending some time with this guy. I upheld my end of the bargain and walked two dogs before turning my attention to him and though I enjoyed myself with all three, this guy was just special.
I entered his kennel and was greeted not by jumps and frenzy but by a quiet, happy appreciation for my company. I got him leashed up and he walked so well out to the play yard with the same toy in his mouth that I could just feel myself melting even more. Unlike his kennel neighbors, he did not pull or strain, but walked with me to the play area and stood waiting for the next cue. We checked out some of the toys, but he seemed content to sit near me and let me pet him and I was happy to oblige. I found a spot on the ground and he climbed onto my lap where we snuggled for awhile and he let me hug him while a tear or two blazed a hot trail through my make-up.
He got up and sniffed around a bit, examining the toy offering in the yard while I dug in my bag for a tissue then turned those cinnamon eyes on me as if to ascertain that the tears were not the result of anything he might have done. Once I had a slight grip on my sudden emotions, I returned to a spot on the ground near him and he rolled over for some belly rubs. The ease and comfort of our time together once again choked me up and I feared that further interactions with him might turn me into a blubbering mess. I’ve even engaged in an internal debate as to whether I should stay away until he is adopted and just try to network him from afar. Could I stand to be away? Could I stand not to come? Could I carve out the time to come every day? Time was getting tight and I knew he was reluctant to return to the kennel, yet he did so with no trouble and accepted more hugs as I turned to leave.
I don’t know why some dogs grab your heart so quickly while others don’t. I don’t know why I had to stop writing this so many times and why I finally finished it with that hot tightness in my throat and waves of tears welling in my eyes and an emotion-soaked tissue in my fist. I've visited with this fellow several times since that first week. I'm less emotional but no less happy to see him. He is not my heart dog but I am in his corner rooting for him and hoping that his heart person finds him. What I do know is that the love of your life may be waiting for you at your local shelter or at your local rescue. I'm not going to post a heart-wrenching photo of a dog languishing in a kennel, or the sad eyes begging for a home. I honestly believe that to guilt a person into adopting a dog (or cat) is a recipe for failure. Adopt because you are looking to add to your family. Adopt because a certain dog caught your eye. Adopt because you want an older/younger dog. Just give them a chance. Adopt.
*Originally, the title of this post was that dog's name. There is no name and no picture because that is too limiting. He or She is waiting for you and only you know the name. Only you know what that dog looks like.
Want to help
Our center is always on the lookout for supplies that will help keep our dogs and cats healthy, safe and happy. From food to toys, we welcome a number of items that will give our fur friends a comfortable lifestyle. Some items can be purchased directly from our wishlist on Amazon.com. Just follow the links.
Special Enrichment Items
• Training dog treats
• Soft dog treats
• Adaptil and feliway in spray bottle
• Feliway plug-in diffuser with refills
• Peanut butter
• Disinfectant spray such as Lysol
• Hand sanitizer
• Dish detergent
• 39 gal or larger trash bags
• Tall kitchen trash bags
• Paper towels
• Toilet paper
• Resealable plastic bags - quart or gallon size
• 4” x 4” gauze pads
• Postage stamps
• Address labels- white 1" x 2 5/8"
• White & color copy paper
• Duct tape
• Zip ties - medium/heavy duty
• Radient space heater for the feline isolation unit
Cat & Dog Needs
• Box lids from copy paper cases (for disposable litter boxes)
• Heavy weight paper bowls for medication
• Egg cartons
• Dog squeaky toys
• Martingale-style collars (medium & large sizes)
• Kennel slipleads
• Stainless steel pet pails
• Made in the USA rawhide chews
• Kuranda dog beds
• Kuranda Vinyl cat perches
• Screw on cage food & water bowls
• Disposable cat scratchers
• Covered cat play houses (no carpeting)
• Kitty condos
• Kitty Kongs
• Gift cards to PETCO, PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, & Green DogGoods
Our Cat & Dog Food
We feed our dogs and cats the following food while in our care.
• Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin (cats & dogs)
• Science Diet Puppy Healthy Growth
• Science Diet Kitten Food
• Science Diet canned kitten & adult cat food
For Our Community Pet Food Donation program
• Dog and cat food, dry or canned
• Aluminum cans, cell phones, laptops, iPods, empty ink & toner cartridges
* We do not take comforters or pillows. (Some of our dogs like to chew the stuffing out of them.)
Donations may be dropped off during our regular business hours.
Article written by volunteer Debra Lockhart
I’ve been volunteering with a local rescue for about a year now and have loved every minute of it. In the past year, I’ve transported dogs, helped rescue dogs off of a chain, helped a dog give birth, adopted and said goodbye as some of my favorites have found their forever home. I’ve gotten to know some dogs more than others and have cheered nearly every adoption and only shed a tear or two for a few who have especially touched me in some way.
Still, there was something missing. This rescue is foster based, and at this time that is the one thing I’m not able to do, so most of my interactions come from adoption events or transport services. If I could bring my dog to work with me things might be different, because sometimes you just need to hug a dog or play with a kitty, so I began volunteering at our local SPCA. I figured that they were located close enough to my office that I could spend a lunch hour or two each week relaxing in the company of a furry little friend under the guise of helping them while in all actuality, reaping the benefits that come with cuddling a pet. Orientation was in two parts so after part one, I was able to ‘socialize with cats’ and I spent a good portion of a lunch hour on the floor of a kitty room getting and giving some soft purr-y love.
Part two allowed us to interact with the dogs and there was a special boy whom I met at both orientations and I was eager to go back and really interact with him on my first “dog day.” Its funny how a dog (or any animal, really) can grab your heartstrings and how it varies from person to person as to who that special furry pal may be. A fellow volunteer nudged me and pointed at a dog, “That’s my dog. I’m going to adopt that one.” “Hmmm, cute dog, nothing special,” I thought. He or she was the kind of dog I might not have given a second glance at if I weren’t here to generally socialize with the dogs.
In the kennel next to “her dog” was the special someone who had me at first glance. Truth be told, “special boy” is not usually someone who would grab my attention… except he did. He was just a medium sized dog, medium hair, medium build but with a deep chest and funny white paws that were too big for his body. (As a further testament to how perception skews what we actually see, he is listed as a large dog with long hair.) There was nothing exceptional… but his eyes. Ah, those soulful cinnamon eyes peering at me over the chew toy he hopefully offered me, they had me at hello.
Northern Indiana Pet Expo
April 21 & 22
11 AM - 4 PM
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Click here for details.
To join these companies in support of the Allen County SPCA email Melissa.