Our Warrenville household just got two more foster dogs yesterday from Chicagoland Dog Rescue (CDR)—see the slideshow. I’ll write more about them later, but just in summary, Angus and Duncan are probably black and tan coonhounds, definitely puppies (whelped sometime in August), cute and cuddly but all boy.
Maria Dalianis whom I met in September, at the fall festival hosted by Friends of DuPage County Animal Care & Control, told me about Dire Straits, the rescue group she works with. Jan Tuma, founder of this West Chicago rescue organization, started Dire Straits after helping with animal rescue after Hurricane Katrina showed her the need for more groups dedicated to rehoming pets. Dire Straitsis in the process of filing for 501.c3 non-profit status.
An essay on fostering Maria Dalianis sent me reads in part, “Foster dogs come from sorry situations. Some come from poor areas of the country where people can’t afford to care for dogs so they are left to roam the street; some come from local kill shelters where they have slim chance of survival. Taking one of these dogs, who each desperately need someone to give him or her a break, makes a huge difference in that dog’s life.”
More and more, rescue organizations depend on foster homes rather than kennels in a physical shelter—perhaps even most newer rescue organizations. I know that CDR, Dire Straits and West ‘Burb Weiners do, naming only the few with whom I’ve talked. Not only is volunteer housing less expensive than buying or building shelter space—a home environment is better for the animals rescued, whether impressionable babies needing socialization and training, or older animals needing to learn or relearn manners—and maybe learn to trust that people can be kind.
I say animals, because foster organizations may handle more than just dogs. Many specialize in a single breed, others simply limit their efforts to dogs only, such as the Chicagoland Dog Rescue that I’m working with. But birds, rabbits and even reptiles need fostering, and at least one organization that I’ve found specializes in fostering and rehoming cats: the appropriately named PURRS. With its foster homes sheltering only adoptable cats, PURRS also supports the efforts of Feral Fixers, a trap-neuter-and-release (TNR) group, by finding homes for any friendly cats (usually young kittens, occasionally adult strays) trapped by Feral Fixers. TNR programs reduce feral cat population by preventing the cats from reproducing. PURRS lists all its adoptable cats online and also shows its cats at adoption events held by local Petco and Petsmart stores.
Similarly, Dire Straits’ dogs are adopted primarily through adoption events such as the one Friends of DuPage County Animal Care & Control held in September, as well as being listed on Petfinder and Adopt a Pet. Chicagoland Dog Rescue likewise takes its adoptable dogs to events at big-box pet stores and elsewhere, as well as being listed on the group’s website and Petfinder.
These local rescue groups constantly work to recruit more foster families, so they can rescue more animals. If you are interested in fostering, please contact a rescue group in your area. Just search “pet rescue” (or substitute “dog”, “cat” or another animal for “pet”) and “Chicago area” or your city or town name. You may be surprised how many groups show up.
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