A local dog lover is urging people to become foster carers for homeless hounds at Dogs Trust Leeds.
After three years of opening up her heart and her home to four-legged friends, Christine Drysdale of Morley says it’s the most rewarding thing she has ever done.
“After I gave up work and as my own dog had passed away, I knew I wanted dogs in my life so I decided to look into volunteering at Dogs Trust Leeds. I went along to the Christmas Fair, saw a leaflet about fostering and have never looked back!
“My house isn’t a home without a dog in it but I also like to go away every now and then so fostering is ideal. I don’t have to worry about leaving a dog but can have a canine companion all year round if I want one, and know that I am helping a dog in need get ready for their new forever home.”
The Home from Home scheme provides foster ‘parents’ for dogs who might find kennel life stressful, such as poorly or pregnant dogs, strays, older dogs who are used to a quieter life or puppies.
Amy Ripley, Home from Home Co-ordinator at Dogs Trust Leeds, says:
“Our foster carers are a vital part of the team at the rehoming centre. The more volunteer foster carers we have the more dogs we can look after and find forever homes for. Our priority is to find all of our dogs their ideal homes as soon as possible and fostering definitely helps with this.”
In the last three years Christine has looked after 32 dogs including Patterdale Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
“It is fantastic to see them grow in confidence and start to show their personalities when they know they are being loved and cared for.
“Without fail I cry buckets when they go, whether I have had them a few days, weeks or months, even though they are heading off to their wonderful new homes. But sometimes it has been a case of waving one off in the morning and another has arrived in the afternoon. I find it hard to say no but it’s entirely my choice!”
The team are looking for foster carers who are fairly local to Dogs Trust Leeds as dogs will need to be brought to the rehoming centre to meet their potential new owners. All costs are covered by Dogs Trust and foster carers don’t have to be experienced dog owners.
“If you haven’t been able to have a dog of your own but could foster, we will give you all the support you need and will always make sure the foster carer and dog are an ideal match.
“We need people who are at home a lot to help the dog settle in and although we are looking for a variety of foster homes, homes without young children or pets give us the best chance of placing a dog in foster care quickly, helping them on their way to finding their forever home.”
“It is so rewarding to know you are helping a dog in need who has found themselves having to leave behind everything they’ve ever known. It is great fun too and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a dog in their life.”
If you would like to become a foster carer, please call
0300 303 0292. You can also find out more about the Home from Home fostering scheme at www.dogstrust.org.uk