Dog Rescue R Us, a Gardendale, Texas-based dog rescue, recently had to close its intake to medium and large dogs, only being able to take in small breeds due to a lack of fosters. A sufficient number of fosters willing to care for dogs of all sizes is crucial for rescues to continue their essential work.

In the Midland/Odessa, Texas area where Dog Rescue R Us (DDRU) is based, the municipal, city-funded pounds often put down a high number of otherwise adoptable animals. Odessa Animal Control put down over 3,000 animals in a recent year-year period.

DDRU has saved over 5,000 dogs since its founding in June 2019. Partnerships with organizations like Dog is my Co-pilot have made it possible to fly dogs from Odessa, TX, to other cities like Seattle and Montreal for placement. 

However, not all homeless animals will get out on one of these rescue flights. Organizations like DDRU strive to take in as many homeless animals as possible before they are relinquished to animal control facilities. However, rescues must rely on fosters to make this a reality.

What Role Do Fosters Play in Rescue?

Fosters play a crucial role in dog rescue. Yet, many are unaware of what fostering is and how it makes a difference in what rescues do. A common misconception is that fostering is the same as adoption.

Unlike adopting, fostering is not a commitment to keep the dog or animal for the rest of its life. Fostering provides a dog with a temporary home until they get an adopter. 

Dogs kept in a home before adoption are likely happier than dogs in a shelter or boarding setting. These dogs will have better social skills and an increased chance of being adopted into a permanent home.

Every rescue has different criteria that they use for fosters. However, some of the most common are ensuring renters have permission to keep pets in their homes and a willingness to take the dog to vet visits and adoption events.

Donations that rescues receive help pay for the veterinary costs, food, and other everyday expenses, requiring the foster only to provide a temporary home. Sometimes fostering involves keeping the dog for a few months, and sometimes it’s for a few weeks until a rescue transport is arranged. In many cases, foster families pleased with a dog they have cared for have the option of adopting so the dog can live with them permanently.

Why Permian Basin Rescues Need Fosters

With much of the economy built on the oil business with boom-and-bust cycles in the Basin, which includes Midland, Odessa, and the surrounding areas, many of the residents with pets only remain in the area on a shorter-term basis. Many of the owner-surrendered pets that end up in local pounds belonged to people who relocated and declined to take their pets with them or under various other circumstances.

Regardless of why the pets were surrendered, owner-surrendered animals are not subject to a holding period as strays are and might end up being put down before any of the strays. Having more fosters allows rescues to pull these animals likely to be killed first.

If fostering is something that interests you, you’ll find foster applications on DRRU’s website. Even if you’re undecided on fostering, volunteers are always needed at area rescues.