Foster the Pooches

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf

Fostering a dog is something that has been on my mind these past few months during unemployment. Now that winter is soon approaching, it seems only natural to reach out and do some volunteer work since most of my photography work starts to die down as the weather gets more grim. It is really disappointing to think about how pets are mistreated, especially during the holidays, and how people rush to pet stores rather than making the obvious choice to seek a shelter dog as their newest family addition.

The fact that people still buy pet store puppies is a little shocking, especially since a lot of pet owners don’t realize they are supporting puppy mills when they adopt from a local store. This map, organized by the “No pet store puppies” campaign by the ASPCA is particularly eye-opening. Buying anything in pet stores that sell puppy mill dogs supports the industry, so I urge pet owners to buy your supplies from stores that do not sell puppies, or buy your supplies online.

{Carli Davidson Photography}

That being said, there are many dogs waiting for homes in shelters all across the country, so I am anxious to make a trip to the PSPCA soon with Pete and Betty White. If you already have a pooch and want to foster a dog, the two dogs must meet ahead of time. I adopted Betty from the PSPCA, so it will feel good to give back to the organization that gave so much to us over the past five years.

Photographers have an advantage when trying to find adoptive parents for dogs because they are able to capture the animal’s character in creative ways, which inevitably helps in rehoming the pet. I’m going to try to reach out to the Montgomery County SPCA, which is probably a two minute drive away, to see if they would be interested in having me swing by once a week to photograph adoptable animals. I think it would be beneficial to give the pets better exposure since many of the dogs on their site don’t have photos.

If anyone has any experience with fostering dogs or reading materials they’d like to recommend, feel free to comment below!

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3 thoughts on “Foster the Pooches”

  1. I’ve fostered pooches and kitties before ~ it’s very rewarding. My mama has fostered close to 40 dogs! It’s been tough to part with a few of them, but it feels really good to know you’re saving a life. I think it will be good socialization for Betty White, too!
    Good luck!

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  2. I just saw that news story and reposted it on twitter – good for you to volunteering! It’s great to think that you could help a pet get adopted with just a great photo!

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  3. We have now fostered 4 dogs, and the biggest downfall of the whole things was that we realized that our lives were better with more than one dog; we’re not fostering anymore because we just got a puppy for keeps 🙂 That said, we *loved* fostering and I think it’s an amazing experience. Read lots of dog books and behavior stuff (or maybe that’s just me). Cesar Milan is crap and will not be helpful, but if you want other book recommendations, email me, I have a ton! I’m also a big fan of a few different dog blogs. I don’t know how your local shelter works, but ours only had us foster dogs that were not adoptable at the time: one with a behavior problem (it ended up being medical and he was euthanized; it was necessary, but still heartbreaking), and a momma and her pups. Momma went back earlier and we kept the pups till they were big enough to be adopted. Ah, so here’s my novel in response to your question, email me if you have any questions! Good luck!

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