Half Way Home

Foster owners temporarily welcome rescue dogs into their homes to offer love, training and socialization until they are adopted.


Sheila Dobbie has opened her home to all kinds of dogs, including Bobby, who has medical issues stemming from life with an animal hoarder, and Queenie, a shy, heartbroken dog dumped by a family that didn’t want to deal with the medical issues that came with aging.

“I’ve fostered seven dogs,” Dobbie says. “I’m glad I’ve been able to make a small contribution in helping combat the problem of abused and neglected dogs.”

Foster care allows a dog awaiting adoption to live in a home and be cared for by a family. Both shelters and rescue organizations depend on foster homes.

For shelters, moving dogs to foster homes frees up space, a potentially life-saving measure at overcrowded facilities. For rescue organizations, which often lack kennel buildings of their own, foster homes are the only way to house the dogs.

“The more foster homes we have, the more dogs we can help,” says Melissa LaMere, president of Border Collie Rescue of Minnesota, which fosters dogs throughout the greater Minneapolis and St. Paul area. “We placed 130 dogs last year and look to place around 200 this year.”

Another benefit is that the foster owner comes to know the dog’s true personality, activity level and housetraining habits. This valuable information helps place each dog with the right forever home.

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