BY JANET McAFEE
Bonded by their love for dogs, Tami Jay and Joan Pendley are a foster team dedicated to saving the lives of homeless shelter dogs. They take their foster dogs into their hearts and home, providing the training and loving care that prepares them for their adoptive homes. In some cases, they help heal the emotional scars the animals suffered from neglect and abuse. This amazing mother and daughter team have fostered 33 dogs for Loving All Animals, a Palm Desert animal welfare organization.
Joan first became aware of the plight of homeless animals while working at the Colmac Energy Plant located on Indian tribal land in Mecca. She was involved with the rescue of two stray dogs, Missy and Bowser, and took them to Animal Samaritans for vetting and spaying. Joan wanted to do more to help animals, and she and Tami started getting involved in local rescue groups.
In 2014, they attended Loving All Animals’ Super Pet Adoption Fair and learned how fostering can save animals that otherwise might be euthanized. Joan was now retired, and suggested that her daughter, who has a large home with a back yard, take in one or two foster dogs at a time. They “team foster” to ensure that their foster dogs’ needs are met. Tami works full time at a local hospital. Joan lives near Tami, and goes to her house several times a day to walk and socialize the dog. Working together as a team, they provide excellent care for their foster dogs.
Summer is almost here, and the snowbird fosters have left the Coachella Valley for cooler regions. 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. More foster homes are needed!
Fostering “expands the walls” of our overcrowded public shelters. Fostering provides a loving home environment for animals who may be frightened in a shelter. Foster parents provide vital information about an animal’s temperament in order to ensure a good adoption. A strong foster care system is a key ingredient to reduce euthanasia and help the Coachella Valley become a “No Kill” community.
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 veterinary care including spaying and neutering. Most of the dogs are quickly adopted. Dog trainers are available to help with training tips.
You might worry you will feel sad when your foster dog gets adopted. But consider how heartbroken that animal feels being discarded at a shelter, alone, behind bars and afraid. Fostering is the perfect option for folks who travel too much to own their own pet.
Joan encourages others to try fostering. She states, “It’s about saving the animals. When I get to meet the people adopting our foster dog and realize what a great home they are getting, it brings me even more happiness.” Tami adds, “The foster dogs are such great company when I get home after work. They show how grateful they are, and are full of unconditional love.”
Call Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000 for more information about fostering a sweet dog. Fosters for cats and kittens are also needed. “Dogless” homes and homes with other pets are welcome. You can view their adoptable animals at www.lovingallanimals.org. As Tami and Joan will tell you, when you open your heart and home to a homeless animal, your kindness will also bring great joy into your own life.