Another Way to Foster

Another Way to Foster

Agencies that need short-term care for animals that are not yet adopted.

Chana Shapiro

Chana Shapiro is an educator, writer, editor and illustrator whose work has appeared in journals, newspapers and magazines. She is a regular contributor to the AJT.

We are all familiar with foster-parenting children who are in need of a temporary home, but did you know that it is also possible to foster a pet? There are a number of agencies that need short-term care for animals that are not yet adopted or are in the process of adoption.
Erica Bercovitch is a woman who has fostered three dogs, and she and her mother, Marlene, who loves dogs as much as Erica does, have permanently adopted two of them. Erica has many wonderful stories to tell about her pets. At one point the family had three dogs. I asked her to share the story of Miracle Molly in her own words:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, one picture changed my life. It was a picture of a scared little dog with the caption ‘this dog dies tomorrow’. Molly (then known as Darcy), had a very hard life. She had been used as a bait dog and she’d been bred countless times. She also had several other strikes against her. She was black – people tend to prefer light-colored dogs – she was a pit bull and she was out of time, meaning she’d run out of time for an adoption. She needed a foster home, and I couldn’t resist.

Molly was originally supposed to stay with us for two weeks, but she was critically underweight, and two weeks turned into four months. Because of her severe situation, it became clear that her progress to health would be slow, but neither she nor I gave up. She was totally dependent on me – for walks, hand feeding and building trust. With all that she had been through and because of her tenacity, she became Miracle Molly, named for her indomitable spirit. I took care of her and she learned to trust me. She taught me about unconditional love and being a part of something bigger than myself.

Today, Molly is living in upstate New York with her amazing forever family. In addition to the incredible couple that adopted her, she has two “fur brothers” and two human siblings to love her. She plays in the snow and even climbs trees.

Letting that incredible dog go was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but it was also the best thing I’ve ever done. Molly is healthy and happy, and that’s what matters most.

If you are interested in providing a temporary home for a pet, an online search under dog or cat rescues in your area will provide plenty of opportunities. Potential foster homes and foster parents are carefully vetted to ensure that each animal, while in their care, will be safe, loved and nourished. ■

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