Foster Dogs, Inc. is a non-profit organization that connects volunteers and various rescue groups in New York to provide foster homes for rescue dogs. In 2013, founder Sarah Brasky started receiving appeals from local shelters regarding senior and ill canines.
Sarah then realized that there was a need to create a unique program for these pooches, who may find it challenging to find forever homes. Indeed, data from the American SPCA shows that the adoption rate for senior animals is less than 50% that of younger dogs.
And that’s how the Foster Dogs, Inc.’s Fospice program was born. Fospice provides senior and terminally ill shelter dogs loving homes where they can spend their remaining days in comfort.
That’s not all there is to the program, though. Fospice pooches receive monthly goodie bags from BarkBox, which contain fun toys, treats, and chews. The canines also get a professional photoshoot so their families can have something meaningful to remember them by.
There’s also an emotional support system in place for the foster parents. They never know when their pooch is going to cross the rainbow bridge, and it can be tough to say goodbye even when they’ve only fostered the dog for a short period.
The Fospice program finds matches through their Foster Roster, a database containing the information of more than 3,000 individuals interested in sharing their homes with canines in need. Thus far, Fospice has helped 55 senior or ill dogs from 22 rescue organizations.
Once a Fospice pooch passes away, foster parents don’t have to worry as all the associated expenses are covered thanks to donations. They can focus their energy on mourning for the dog and remembering all the good times they had.
The experience does take an emotional toll on the foster families, but Sarah reports that nearly all of them eventually bounce back. After that, they’re ready to open their hearts and homes to another grateful Fospice dog.
Sarah hopes that the idea behind the Fospice program spreads to more organizations across the US. Watch some of Foster Dogs, Inc.’s volunteers with their adorable pooches in the video below: