A couple of months after adopting Gambit, my husband was already pressing to get a second dog. When his family had dogs during his childhood, they were always pairs. I knew the vet bills for two dogs of about the same age would be high when they became older and that he would probably want to get another young dog, not one that was several years old. As a result, adopting a second dog right away was a no go.
At the same time, we noticed that a lot of the dogs that were at the shelter when we adopted Gambit were on the urgent list. In a place where the euthanasia rate is well above the national average, partially due to a large population of unfixed animals, this is not unexpected but it’s still very sad.
My husband contacted the humane society to see if we could foster dogs who were on the urgent list to buy them some time. Then we went in person to see about filling out paperwork. The local humane society and animal control are separate but work together on the same property, and their volunteers and employees sent us back and forth between the two buildings.
A form for fostering was finally found at the humane society, but they told us foster homes were only used for litters and possibly heartworm positive dogs. The humane society treats heartworm positive dogs who are otherwise highly adoptable if there is both funding and a foster home available.
We knew we couldn’t handle a litter and heartworm positive wasn’t our first choice since they have to stay quiet for a month or longer but agreed that we were willing to foster heartworm positive. The big problem was that Gambit was still a high energy puppy who couldn’t fathom the idea that another dog might not want or be able to play with him.
Further contact with the humane society continued the runaround. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to sort out such things or keep everyone up to date on lesser known policies in a place largely staffed by volunteers. We decided to look into other local shelters and rescues since we were still figuring out what we were doing as well.