Very few would argue that our country suffers from an inordinately high
population of homeless pets. Current estimates put the number of pets entering
shelters between 6-8 million. Less than half of these animals are adopted.
For the last few years, we’ve published monthly reports about small-to-medium
size rescue groups doing their utmost to deal with the crisis. Which is why it
brings us great pleasure to announce funding for an innovative rescue start-up
that seeks to change the future.
The Furry Foster gang, ready to spread their
hopeful message to UCSD students.
Founded by Margaret Choi, Furry Foster's goal is to put a stop to the practice
of euthanizing homeless pets, which currently number in the many millions every
year. Through ardent educational campaigns, they aim to enlist legions of new
fosterers. By significantly increasing the number of people willing to foster,
stress on traditional shelters can be alleviated and untold numbers of companion
animals saved from an untimely fate.
According to their research, every year approximately 17 million Americans
consider adopting a dog or cat but don’t follow through. Reaching out to just a
small percentage of this group could result in a massive decrease in the
needless killing of pets whose only crime is not having a home.
Established at the end of 2011, Furry Foster has already achieved significant
steps toward their goal. Through their online efforts, they now maintain the
largest online database of foster pets available in San Diego. Working with a
newly established network of local rescues, they’ve streamlined the
temporary-adoption process by creating a universal foster application, making it
easier than ever before for people to find a perfect match.
Unlike large web presences, such as Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet, Furry Foster
provides much-needed services, too. Their volunteers personally connect with
each potential fosterer to review their application. The flip side of this
service is that each candidate is pre-screened, meaning less work for the
rescues in their network.
Thanks to their groundbreaking model, fifty animals were fostered in 2012 who
would otherwise have languished in shelters. That number doubled in 2013.
Our grant was used to fund another of Furry Foster's initiatives … on-campus
events co-hosted by student organizations to promote fostering and volunteerism
by young adults. Our financial assistance subsidized an event on the campuses of
the University of California – San Diego in association with the pre-business fraternity Alpha
Kappa Psi. While on campus, workers did not waste any time, recruiting a
significant number of new volunteers and folks interested in opening their homes
- and their hearts - to foster animals.
Bodhi, a canine ‘ambassador’, takes a well-deserved break.
Joining them in their activities were two canine ‘ambassadors’. One is named
Bodhi, a three-year-old, Pitbull-Lab mix who was rehabilitating from a broken
leg and seeking a foster family. Also in attendance was Choi’s own foster pup, a
five-year-old Chihuahua mix named Sunny, who has since been adopted.
Their on-campus activities attracted a bumper crop of new recruits to their
cause - 46 new event volunteers and 20 potential foster guardians! Two students
each fostered two kittens and another fostered a dog.
Thanks to the event, Buster and Hobbes found their forever
The true measure of their success is in attitudinal changes, opening minds to
the idea of becoming a foster parent to a homeless dog or cat. Before leaving
campus, they also gave an inspirational presentation to 40 students about the
vital role of animal rescues. That’s 40 people who will adopt new attitudes
about fostering that they will likely remember for the rest of their lives,
sharing this important message with countless other people. It’s easy to see how
a small rescue can affect real change in a few short years.
Not content to rest on their laurels, Furry Foster has already begun planning
outreach to other collegiate organizations for the upcoming spring and fall
semesters. With valuable feedback from UCSD students, they are also developing
brochures, flyers, and event materials targeted at college and graduate-school
students, improving the chances that they’ll be even more successful at future
If you or someone you know lives in or near San Diego and would be interested in
helping shape the future of fostering in America, we encourage you to contact
Furry Foster (furryfoster.com). You never know … you could end up finding your
new best friend!
Dr. Jane’s Foundation has provided funding to animal rescue groups all over
America since 2007. Our non-profit wing could not have achieved what it has
without the continued patronage of our customers and the contributions of
individual donors. On behalf of the animals who are now living in new forever
homes thanks to Furry Foster, we thank you for caring enough to make a
If you’ve had experience with an animal rescue organization worthy of special
recognition and financial support, please forward this post, to let them know
that our non-profit is actively seeking grant applications for 2014. We
encourage interested parties to call us toll-free at 877-387-4564 … one of our
customer service agents will be happy to share application details.