Dogs Trust Leeds has helped 500 dogs enjoy their home comforts in foster care before heading off to their forever homes.
The York Road rehoming centre runs a Home from Home fostering scheme for dogs who they feel particularly benefit from being in a home rather than kennels, whilst they are waiting to find a forever family.
One such dog was Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy, Winston, who was the 500th dog to be placed in foster before finding a forever home.
Winston was found as a stray just four weeks old so after being taken to the rehoming centre by the dog warden, he was immediately placed in foster care with Dianne Ellener and Mick Johnston from Leeds.
Amy Ripley, Home from Home Co-ordinator, said: “Dianne and Mick have been fostering for us for three years and Winston was the 18th dog they looked after. They had care for puppies before so when beautiful Winston came to us, I immediately called them and without hesitation they said they’d take care of him.
“Winston proved to be really resilient puppy and thanks to the love and care of Dianne and Mick, he was ready to head off to his forever home a few weeks later.”
The scheme was set up in 2013 and as well as young puppies, the dogs that are looked after by foster carers tend to be poorly or pregnant dogs, strays and older dogs and those that might find life in kennels a little overwhelming.
Dianne, who has adopted two dogs after fostering them – eight-year-old Chihuahua Bridget and 18-month-old crossbreed Darcy who she and Mick hand reared, said: “I am a qualified veterinary nurse, so we are often asked to look after older dogs or those that are poorly, or young puppies like Winston. We have hand reared puppies too and fell in love with Darcy when we were hand rearing, he so adopted her.
“We love knowing that we are helping so many dogs go on to a better life. Looking after them means they can continue to enjoy being in a home and for us it means we get out and about if we have a dog that needs walking.
“It gives you a wonderful purpose to every day, especially seeing older dogs just relax or puppies get stronger and stronger. Also, you really feel part of the team at Dogs Trust and everyone is so happy when dogs find their forever homes. I would recommend fostering to any dog lover.”
If you would like to find out more about becoming a doggie foster carer, you can visit www.dogstrust.org/fostering.