How To Foster, Part III: Saving Them All

fosters paw print

by guest blogger Kelsey Nichols

When you become a foster parent for Dallas Pets Alive, the pup you save is one of the many animals at Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center in need of rescue. According to their annual report from fiscal year 2013-2014, approximately 15,195 animals were euthanized between October 2013 and September 2014.

[fosterssavelivesRecognizing that the staff and volunteers of DAS have worked incredibly hard to reduce the number of animals PTS in their facility and they continue to do so! Dallas has far to go to reach the success Austin has.]

These numbers are heartbreaking – so of course we get it – you want to save all of these sweet babies. But because you can’t save all of them, it’s great to know how many animals you can save.

Some of our foster parents don’t have any other dogs besides their foster pup, while others have seven of their own dogs plus their foster. The number of pups that you can handle really depends on schedule, space and how much time you are willing to commit.

I’m lucky. I live right next to my work and I have no problem taking advantage of that. I come home on the reg during lunch to make sure my pups go to the bathroom and have a midday treat. We even have “Walking Wednesdays,” when we go on a 20-minute stroll every week over my lunch break.

foster dogs
Buffy (left) and Rose (right) snuggling up for a nap after a ‘Wednesday Walk.’

Living close is extremely helpful for me, but for long-distance commuters, you might not feel comfortable leaving your doggies for nine or more hours at a time.

While my schedule is somewhat lenient, as far as space is concerned, I am not so lucky. Living in a 700-square-foot apartment on the fifth floor is no dream home, and it’s especially not a dream home to a Greyhound or a Great Dane.

It’s important to save lives, but you need to make sure that if you’re in a small space, you don’t have a 150-pound dog.

Time is the biggest factor in determining how many animals you can have at once. I wish that all I did was care for animals in need. I have so much respect for the people who have eight happy, healthy dogs at a time, but I know that I am not one of them. And that’s just fine. It’s important to know your limits and not feel bad about them – because anything you do to help this cause is incredible!

Don’t want to foster but want a pup of your own? Check out all of our cuties available for adoption here.


Kelsey Nichols is a foster parent, adoptive parent, social media volunteer and rescue volunteer for Dallas Pets Alive.

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