Rescue and relocation groups across Northern Ireland are asking foster families to help them after hundreds of dogs have been returned in recent weeks.
They need volunteers to provide temporary services to some dogs, many of whom are mentally ill after suddenly finding themselves far away from everything they have ever known.
Short-term aid gives rescue groups some time to find permanent homes for these pets.
The Northern Ireland Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue does not have a choice of kennels, claiming that they believe their dogs do best in a home environment. But it creates a basic need – loving foster homes that have the time, energy, and the right environment to help a dog settle into long-term family life.
Julie Jenkins, who heads the NISBTR, said: “We are strictly a foster home rescue – we don’t have kennel facilities by choice, but that choice obviously means the number of dogs we can help in happy homes depends a lot on the number of foster families. families we have.
“While we know from experience that fostering can be difficult at times, and it doesn’t happen without the foster family making some personal sacrifices, fostering is one of the most rewarding that a dog or animal lover can do.
“Almost all reputable rescues offer full support to foster families and the NISBTR is no exception.
“The issues that arise for a foster home rescue when there is a desperate shortage of welcoming families to ensure a rescue dog is helped along the way.
“This is not unique to NISBTR and we have been enraged by the massive increase in the number of puppies born into this world by unscrupulous ‘breeders’ over the past two years, as well as the ever-increasing numbers of people. who have made uninformed decisions about bringing a dog into their home and not seeing beyond the first few months, let alone a few years.
“Foster care isn’t going to be right for many families even if their intentions are good, so we find ourselves making another appeal to those who could possibly help. For some families, fostering with the support of groups as outs is a perfect solution for them, and yes, some end up wanting to keep the dog they are fostering. “
And at Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary, the situation is the same.
A spokesperson said: “We still need dog homes. We need people to help provide a home for a dog in need while they recover or seek a new home. Others need a long-term foster family to help them while their owner is unable to provide care.
“Our sanctuary can only offer dog kennels, and we are currently full and we know these dogs need a home environment with people who can give them time and love.
“Breed types and origins vary and we don’t know who will need help next, but we need more people on our list so we have people to contact when needed. A Co Down animal group is looking for new foster families to help with their work with vulnerable animals.
Lost and Found Pets North Down / Ards also hopes to increase the number of trusted volunteers as the work continues.
A spokesperson for the nonprofit said: “Welcoming a dog is an incredibly rewarding experience and plays a fundamental role in helping the most vulnerable get back on their feet.
“It provides a space where we can get to know each dog and their individual needs, giving them a better chance to find their forever home.
“If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please send us a message starting with a few details about the dynamics of your household, your area of residence, other pets in the home, and any other details you feel are relevant, such as your previous experience. “
If you want to apply, you can send your details by sending a private message here, with the code: Fostering