In January, we were contacted to help rescue 8 momma dogs and a puppy from a breeder. No two dogs’ roads to recovery are the same and fostering a momma dog from a situation like this can be more difficult than one may realize. These dogs didn’t ask to go through the pain, nursing and caring for their multiple litters of puppies. Since they have all lived most of their lives in small cages, they need time to learn how to be a “normal” dog and adapt to comfortable homes with people who love them. Thankfully, our amazing team of patient, compassionate foster families is giving all these sweet dogs a second chance to have happy lives!
There are multiple steps to take while fostering/adopting a dog from a situation like this:
Before bringing these dogs home, there is preparation that needs to be done:
Creating a safe and quiet area to let these dogs adjust to their new surroundings that are outside of a cage.
Setting up a playpen or small section of a room using gates filled with blankets, pee pads, etc., so the pups can acclimate without feeling overwhelmed
Learning how to gain the dog’s trust:
Slowly approach the dog when you go up to them or go to pet them.
Don’t force yourself on the dogs and avoid anything the dogs can find frightening such as yelling or rushing.
Positive attention and praise is important and helps the dog understand they are safe.
Being patient with the dogs:
It can be frustrating when they have multiple potty accidents in the house or that it takes time for them to adjust, but it is important to go at their pace while they learn
Things like stairs, going outside and interacting with other dogs should be done slowly as they learn these new experiences.
As one of our volunteers, Karen E. said: “You have to say to yourself, ‘You did this. You gave them their new life. Without me stepping up and raising your hand, she may still be stuck in a small cage with no hopes of living a better life.’”
Below are some quotes from our current foster parents of the Momma Dogs we have helped rescue:
“Abby finally gets to live her golden years. When she first arrived in her foster home, she was timid, unsure of everything and super jumpy. Since she’s been with us, she has not even seen the inside of a cage and she’s come out of her shell so much. She loves her stuffed animals, cuddles and even more importantly, loves to run around in the yard. There is much needed energy that she has been waiting to get out!” – Amber G. and Lala G.
“There were challenges the first few days, terrified to go outside and going up or down stairs. The foster parents had to carry her out the door and up and down the stairs. She now happily runs out the door and uses the stairs with no fear.” – Michele Q.
“There is nothing more heartwarming than watching a dog you know has never really had a soft, clean bed in their life crawl up, relax, and start their new life. After a week, Doris has interacted with other dogs, is curious about her surroundings and playing with toys!” – Karen E.
“Brenda has made wonderful progress being out of a cage. She wants to be held and is very interested in the house environment.” – Linda W.
“Molley the Husky is slowly coming around and getting along with her foster siblings. She is enjoying her time outside playing and actually running around.” – Bill
“Mica found her safe spot which was her foster mom’s bathroom instead of her plush set up she had made for her. And that is okay because she is slowly learning that we can be trusted.” – Ashley R.
Our resilient, sweet mommas have made leaps and bounds in their progress so far, and will be ready for forever homes soon. The most important thing to remember about these darlings is that they need families who will continue to be patient with them and give them time to feel safe. They have a lot of love to give the special families who help them blossom and find their confidence!
Written by: Lauren T