By Janet McAfee
In a nation that treats dogs like family and delights in the joy of lively puppies, there are still countless litters of these little creatures rendered homeless by a variety of circumstances. Groups of abandoned and neglected dogs and puppies suffer in our desert heat, laying huddled together for comfort. They are subject to heat stroke, parasites, and a variety of deadly diseases. Some will perish. Some litters of young puppies end up in large public shelters that simply cannot accommodate their frequent feedings, including possible bottle feeding.
One local woman making a difference is Marie Marcinko, Loving All Animals’ extraordinary foster mom, who specializes in fostering precious homeless puppies. This amazing woman has fostered a total of 122 dogs for Loving All Animals. Sometimes Marie fosters a mother dog with nursing puppies. At other times she fosters just the little orphaned ones which may require bottle feeding. This summer Marie fostered a tiny underage kitten, bottle feeding her around the clock, saving the tiny creature’s life until their regular kitten fosters returned from vacation.
Loving All Animals rescues dogs from public shelters that euthanize, they also rescue abandoned strays, as well as animals whose humans can no longer provide care. This summer Marie fostered a stray underage kitten, bottle feeding her around the clock, saving the tiny creature’s life until their regular kitten fosters returned from vacation.
A retired nurse, Marie began fostering 11 years ago when she volunteered at the old Indio shelter. Wanting to provide a warm and loving environment where the dogs could thrive, Marie found fostering to be the perfect solution. She began taking the dogs into her home, helping the frightened ones experience love, and helping them all become trained and socialized.
Marie enthusiastically exclaims, “I love fostering! It gives me a purpose, it keeps me motivated, and it brings me the greatest joy imaginable! I love knowing that my efforts often save a life. Fostering is such an important part of my life that I can’t imagine not doing it. Sometimes people question whether it makes me sad when the foster leaves. Sometimes it is a bit sad, but I get to meet the adopters, and the sadness turns to joy when I see them getting a great home with smiling adopters. Sometimes I keep in touch and get updates. Fostering fulfills a need within me that is hard to explain in words. I encourage others to give fostering a try, take just ONE dog or cat, maybe an adult animal that’s less work
Why does she favor fostering puppies? Marie explains, “I originally started with puppies because one of my dogs, Annie, doesn’t always like every adult dog. However, Annie always reacted favorably to young puppies. My approach to each group of puppies depends on their age and whether they come with mom. Mothers and puppies are easy as the mother dog provides much of the care, and I provide food for the mom and a quiet resting area. Orphan puppies require more care and frequent feedings. The youngest puppy I had was just 2 weeks old, and I had to feed him puppy formula. It’s so much fun to watch the puppies grow.”
Loving All Animals provides foster parents with food, supplies, and the support they need every step of the way. Loving All Animals pays for the vet care the puppies require, including their vaccinations, deworming, microchipping, and spaying/neutering. They have extensive social media contacts that quickly find wonderful adopters.
The crisis for homeless animals is even greater than usual this summer. Some of the people who happily adopted animals while at home during the pandemic return then when they go back to work. Some animals have separation anxiety, and impatient owners don’t explore options to help them cope. The snowbirds and Canadians who foster and adopt dogs and cats haven’t returned. Other Coachella Valley residents, now free to travel by plane and train, are enjoying overdue vacations.
Your phone call today enables Loving All Animals to go out tomorrow and save a despondent dog who just lost his family. Fosters for medium and large size dogs are greatly needed. Some of their shelter pups need a calm place to recover after surgeries. Others need some extra TLC because they are frightened. They work with you to learn about your preferences. Call Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000 or visit www.lovingallanimals.org to find out how you can become part of their life saving foster team.