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Dogs Trust Shrewsbury issues appeal for dog foster parents

Dogs Trust Shrewsbury is issuing an urgent appeal to dog lovers to help them care for more dogs in need by becoming volunteer foster carers.

Foster carer Vicki is pictured with her first foster dog Tess who has now found her furry-tail ending with her new family
Foster carer Vicki is pictured with her first foster dog Tess who has now found her furry-tail ending with her new family

The team is facing a record numbers of enquiries from people needing to hand over their dog, so more than ever they need volunteer foster carers to provide a temporary home for dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes who have nowhere else to turn.

Becky Preece, Co-ordinator of the Home from Home fostering scheme at Dogs Trust Shrewsbury, says:

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“We are facing a crisis as our kennel space is really stretched. We need to act now to be there for as many dogs as possible.

“Fostering a dog is a great opportunity for dog lovers who are currently unable to have a dog of their own. We cover the essential costs and you’ll be playing the most important role, giving stability, love and care to a dog in need as you prepare them for life in their forever home.”

Vikki Robbins from Telford started fostering dogs for Dogs Trust Shrewsbury just before Christmas last year after her own rescue dog, 13-year-old Collie Cross, Jimmy, passed away.

Vikki sys: “I was absolutely heartbroken. He died in July but I was still grieving and really missing him. I kept looking at the Dogs Trust website, but in reality I wasn’t ready to get another dog and then I read about fostering.

“It has been wonderful. It has distracted me from pining for Jimmy, I have the joy of having a dog in my life and knowing I am helping dogs that have lost everything is wonderful.”

Vikki has fostered three dogs so far including six-year-old German Shepherd, Tess, who was nursed back to health by Vikki after being diagnosed with pancreatitis.

She says: “Tess was my first dog and sadly whilst she was with me she became very ill. After she was diagnosed she was put on a special diet and medication and she did brilliantly.

“She was beautiful and coped really well. I looked after her for two months, but I was concerned that she’d never get her fairy tale ending with her being poorly, but she did. She is now called Maggie and living her best life in a new home! That’s what it’s all about and knowing I did my bit to help her is lovely. As you say goodbye it’s emotional but it’s a comfort to know you can now go on to help another dog, or dogs.”

Since the Home from Home scheme was launched at Dogs Trust Shrewsbury in 2015, almost 700 dogs have been cared for by foster carers. Currently the scheme has 43 foster carers but with a waiting list of dogs needing to come into Dogs Trust, Rebecca is asking local dog lovers to get in touch as soon as possible and welcome a dog into their life temporarily.

Speaking about the fostering scheme, Becky says:

“We have dogs who are ready to be fostered anywhere from a few days to several months and we can be really flexible. We know life can be unpredictable, so we make sure foster carers can always take a break when they need one.

“Our foster carers give our dogs valuable experience of home life, and they get to know what makes them tick; they can tell us everything from what are their favourite toys and treats to the kind of walks they enjoy to where they like to sleep. All that information gives us the best chance of ensuring our gorgeous dogs find their ideal forever home when the time is right.

“So, if you think you can open your heart and your home to help a dog get back on their paws, please get in touch.”

If you would like to apply to become a volunteer foster carer, please go to dogstrust.org.uk/foster or call 020 7837 0006.

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