By Janet McAfee

Lynnette Poole says, “I would have fostered a rescue dog sooner if I’d known what a wonderful experience it is!”  Lynnette is pictured here with Tucker, one of the two dogs she is fostering for Loving All Animals.

The snowbirds that foster homeless animals have long left the Coachella Valley for cooler regions.  Other foster parents are leaving on summer vacations to escape the desert heat.  But the homeless animals keep coming.  Some are dumped in the scorching desert, others left behind in empty homes, and some are discarded in shelters by their uncaring humans.  The week of July 4th, with animals running from fireworks, brought more overcrowding at our public shelters that must start euthanizing if there is no more kennel space.   More pet foster homes are needed to save lives.

Will you join Loving All Animals’ team of life saving foster parents?  Loving All Animals provides pet food, supplies, training assistance, and pays for all vet care including spay and neutering.    Homes are needed for both cats and dogs.  You can specify what type of animal you would like, including size and breed.  If you need to take a vacation, a substitute foster home will be located.  Foster parents are welcome to bring their animals to adoption events, or a volunteer can transport.

Lynnette enthusiastically explains, “It has been fun and rewarding to foster two pups in addition to having my own dog.  Janet and Tracy at Loving All Animals make sure the dogs get their vet appointments, and they follow up to see that all is going well in their foster homes.  I’ve been a supporter and contributor to animal welfare groups for many years, but opening up my home to foster dogs has brought me and my dog a whole new level of joy.  The dogs’ personalities thrive in a home environment, and fostering makes their transition into their forever home easier.  If you open your heart and your home to a foster dog, you will make such a difference!”

Fostering a homeless dog or cat “expands the walls” of our overcrowded public shelters.  Fostering provides a loving home environment for animals who may be frightened while kenneled in a shelter.  Fostering increases the adoptability of these animals as they are socialized and trained.  Foster parents provide vital information about the animal’s temperament in order to ensure a good adoption match.  A foster home network is a key component to reduce euthanasia and help the Coachella Valley become a “No Kill” community.

You might feel sad when your foster animal gets adopted, but you are also part of a happy ending.  Consider how heartbroken that animal feels being dropped off at a shelter, sitting behind bars and bereft of the humans they loved.  Some foster parents shed a tear when they see their animal drive away with a new family, but they eagerly await the arrival of the next sweet creature in need.

“Foster failure” is a term used in the rescue community when the foster parents fall completely in love and decide to adopt.  This is a happy ending for the humans and the foster pet.  Fostering is the perfect option for folks who travel too much to own their own pet.  Fostering is a great option for families with children home for the summer, as well as for seniors who benefit from their loving companionship.

Sharon Wren has fostered 28 dogs for Loving All Animals.  She involves her grandchildren who live nearby in their care.  Sharon states, “My grandson, Deegan, helps with the dogs, and they in turn teach him about love and compassion.  I make sure each dog is socialized with people and other dogs to ensure their new family will be happy.  It is hard to say goodbye, but knowing the pups will have a great new life is a joy and a blessing to me.  I say a little prayer for each of my foster pups that they will be blessed in their new life.”

Call Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000 for more information about fostering a sweet dog or cat.  “Dogless” homes and homes with other pets are welcome.  Check out their website at .  As Sharon and Lynnette will tell you, when you open your heart and home to a homeless animal, your kindness brings great joy into your own life.