Save a Life, Foster a Dog!

A new site makes it easy to con­nect with shel­ters and res­cues to foster a dog in need


A new site makes it easy to con­nect with shel­ters and res­cue groups to foster a dog in need.

Have you ever thought to your­self that you might like to foster a res­cue dog but didn’t know where to get started? Well, Ali­son East­wood, ac­tress, di­rec­tor, daugh­ter of Clint East­wood, and founder of non-profit an­i­mal wel­fare or­ga­ni­za­tion East­wood Ranch Foun­da­tion, is here to help. The ac­com­plished an­i­mal lover has just launched, a web­site that con­nects res­cue groups and an­i­mal shel­ters with a U.S.-wide net­work of po­ten­tial pet fos­ters and trans­porters like you!

Any­one in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a foster can sign up and con­nect with res­cue groups and shel­ters that need tem­po­rary fos­ters. Fos­ters can set up their own pro­file and list their pref­er­ences, in­clud­ing the type of an­i­mal they want to foster, breed, age, tem­per­a­ment, en­ergy level, and length of time they can com­mit to fos­ter­ing. They can also se­lect whether they want to be a volunteer or paid foster, and set their own rates. Res­cues signed up with sup­ply food, beds, leashes, bowls, kitty lit­ter, and vet­eri­nary care so it doesn't cost fos­ters a thing. The web­site is com­pletely free to use.

If you want to make a dif­fer­ence, this is a great way to do it—you’re help­ing save lives. Fos­ter­ing helps shel­ters and res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tions save more home­less pets by keep­ing space open. A res­cue or shelter that’s at ca­pac­ity can’t take in more an­i­mals. By fos­ter­ing, you open up space for an­other an­i­mal in need, thus sav­ing not just one life, but two!

Ali­son has per­son­ally fos­tered about 20 dogs over the years and prob­a­bly over 50 cats, mostly lit­ters of kit­tens. Two of her own cats are foster fail­ures. “It's re­ally hard not to get at­tached to them!” she laughs. “If you're look­ing for a new pet, fos­ter­ing is a great way to get to know an an­i­mal be­fore you make the com­mit­ment of adopt­ing.”

Is fos­ter­ing right for you? “I think any­one that loves an­i­mals and has a safe, lov­ing home would make a good foster par­ent,” Ali­son says. “And if you

can't foster, you could al­ways sign up to help trans­port a shelter or res­cue pet to wher­ever it needs to go.”

As Ali­son notes, it's ex­tremely re­ward­ing to help an an­i­mal in need. Plus there’s no long-term com­mit­ment as a bar­rier for get­ting in­volved. The amount of time you foster for re­ally just de­pends on the needs of the per­son and the pet. “We have a cou­ple of fos­ters that have been fos­ter­ing for a cou­ple of months now and are in­def­i­nitely go­ing to foster un­til the dogs find the per­fect homes,” Ali­son ex­plains, “but most com­mon is sev­eral weeks to a month.” ex­plains ev­ery­thing you are ex­pected to do as a foster, which ba­si­cally comes down to pro­vid­ing a nur­tur­ing and lov­ing en­vi­ron­ment for the res­cue an­i­mal you are car­ing for. This in­cludes: Spend­ing time with your foster pets and treat­ing them like your own an­i­mals while they’re in your care Bring your foster pet to the vet­eri­nar­ian should the need arise (the cost will be cov­ered) Pro­vid­ing your foster pet with food, care, and shelter just as you would with your per­sonal pet Pro­vid­ing be­havioural feed­back and eval­u­a­tion to the res­cue or shelter Pro­vid­ing your foster pet with ad­e­quate ex­er­cise and so­cial­iza­tion Show­ing your foster pet to po­ten­tial adopters or co­or­di­nat­ing a meet and greet through the res­cue/shelter). In short, fun stuff! But the best part, ac­cord­ing to Ali­son, is “know­ing that you helped save an an­i­mal, gave them lots of love, and pre­pared it for an amaz­ing for­ever home.” We couldn’t agree more! Get started at

Ali­son East­wood and her dog Lo­gan.

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