Foster programs really do save lives.
Many animals who come in to shelters like The Anti-Cruelty Society are not given the best start to life, leaving them sick, injured or in poor physical and emotional condition when they arrive in our care. That’s why having an active and robust foster program is so important! With the help of foster providers, who open their hearts and homes to animals in need, we can help cats and dogs get back up on their feet and ready for their permanent home.
Hercules and Layla are two pups who would not have made it if not for the Society and our amazing foster team.
Hercules and Layla came in to the Society in early June. Staff were immediately struck by how weak, feeble and skinny these two puppies were upon arrival. The two Boxer American Bulldog Mixes were brought in by a by a family who claimed they could no longer care for them. When asked why the puppies were so thin, the owners replied “they don’t like to eat”. We were shocked and skeptical. Staff immediately brought the dogs foods and they vacuumed it up immediately. Digging deeper, our staff found that the owners were breeding and selling puppies, and could not find any buyers for these last two. Claiming they had run out of money to continue their care, the decided to bring them to the Society for re-homing. When asked if they would be bringing in the mother, to have her spayed to prevent further litters, they replied “no” and explained that they planned to continue breeding in the future. Our Field Services team is investigating this claim.
Both Hercules and Layla were extremely emaciated when they came in but showed an incredible amount of spirit. At 4 months old they were only a fraction of what a healthy pup should weigh – so we knew we had our work cut out for us.
After spending two weeks in our direct care, our veterinary team decided that the pups were stable enough to go out into foster, where they’d receive the individualized attention they’d need.
After hitting our Foster Candidate list Hercules was swiftly scooped up by foster mom Lauren, who worked round the clock with our clinic to stabilize his health. In the meantime, his sister Layla’s condition suddenly declined, with the pup coming down with kennel cough, adding further strain to her already delicate system. Rather than put her immediately into foster care as planned, staff fostered Layla on-site with weekend trips to staff’s homes until her condition stabilized. Once she started to put on weight and her lethargy dissipated, we sent her to the home of Megan, a new foster recruit, where she could stay long term as she bounced back to health.
In the meantime, Layla’s brother Hercules, who had begun to thrive in foster care, was selected to debut at an off-site adoption event and was immediately scooped up by an adoptive family. And after only three weeks in foster care, Layla, the once skeletal puppy, had filled out, grown up and became as happy and giddy as could be! Bonding as closely as she did with this previously frail pup, Layla’s foster Megan made the decision to adopt her herself, joining the ranks of our beloved “foster failure” team. Both puppies have been in their adoptive homes for two weeks now and are continuing to flourish.
Hercules and Layla’s story is a prime example of how a community of animal lovers can come together to save lives. Coming to The Anti-Cruelty Society, where they received specialized medical care and TLC, and then going out to foster where they could be nurtured one on one, these pups were lucky to have so many people rallying around them to ensure they’d make it through.
We’d like to once again thank Hercules and Layla’s foster parents, as well as Society staff, for going above and beyond in the care of these two incredible pups. Thank you for all the wonderful work you do for the animals!
If you’re interested in learning more about The Anti-Cruelty Society and our foster program visit our website here to learn how you can get involved.