Anyone that follows me on social media knows that I live and breathe helping animals. It is the reason I became a vegetarian and it just feels good to be able to do my very small part to make this planet that much more a place of love. In fact, I try and live my life according to this simple verse, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mahatma Gandhi
(This is Patsy who is being fostered thanks to Louie's Legacy and is also waiting for her forever family!)
And the truth is since doing social media for Louie's Legacy and attending their weekly meet and greet events and yes even dipping my toe into the foster parent arena- I have seen NOTHING but unconditional kindness and such a strong a level of support from their network of foster parents who are all committed to helping these furbabies for no reason other than most of them will simply tell you, “it is just the right thing to do.”
The bottom line is this: There is a tremendous need to find temporary housing for the thousands of orphaned dogs and cats in the Staten Island area. So to help encourage new fosters, the ASPCA has issued a generous grant to Louie's Legacy Animal Rescue to launch its first ever “Pawster Parent Search” this month.
This is Lily! Her Louie's Legacy foster mom says she will need a little time to get used to her new family and surroundings. During that time, her forever family will have to be patient, yet firm and gentle with her. Do that and you will have her undying love!”
The greatest reward from fostering is watching the transformation that takes place in an animal after it receives love, training, medical care and safety for the first time. But, of course, fostering an animal presents unique challenges. Caring for pets with special needs isn’t always easy and then saying goodbye as the pet transitions to their forever home can be particularly difficult.
So if you think you are up for the challenge? Keep reading about Louie's Legacy and why becoming a Pawster Parent will be the greatest gift you can give an dog or a cat. It is truly the bridge between life and death.
Through a grant from the ASPCA, Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue is launching its first ever Pawster Parent Search this month to help find foster parents for orphaned pets. Started by founder Emily Gear, the organization hopes to find temporary housing for thousands of dogs and cats in New York and Cincinnati, many of who will be euthanized if left in animal shelters. “Adoption is a wonderful thing. You save an animal,” says Ms. Gear. “But how many lives can a foster save? There’s no limit. Fostering a pet is not a lifetime commitment. It’s a commitment to saving lives.” Those interested in becoming Pawster Parents can apply online now at www.louieslegacy.org/foster.
And check out Emily on WKRC in Cincinnati Ohio.
“The greatest reward from fostering is watching the transformation that takes place in an animal,” continues Ms. Gear from her Staten Island home. “Pets are forever changed by the love, training, medical care and safety offered them. As a Pawster Parent, you know you saved the life of a loving animal.”
Anyone can be a foster parent, but what Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue specifically looks for in potential fosters are people who are eager to learn, willing to try new approaches, are levelheaded and responsible and are willing to do what it takes to give the pet the kind of environment it needs to flourish.
Often, it simply means implementing basic boundaries so pets learn to be happy and balanced. Other times, it means dispensing medications and bringing animals to vet appointments. While the rescue pays all doctor bills for the animal, the foster must be a team player and be in it to win it with their foster pet.
“It’s a serious short-term commitment that lasts until he or she is adopted,” confirms Gear.
That could be two weeks, two months or longer. Puppies, kittens, and young, small dogs are usually adopted out quickly while large breed and senior pets may take longer to adopt. Gear recommends beginner Pawster Parents start easy with shorter length fostering and work their way up to saving animals with greater needs.
“Fostering has its challenges,” she adds. “Especially when its time to say goodbye.”
She advises new Pawster Parents not adopt their first fosters. “Get past that initial desire to hold on,” she says. She recommends keeping an aunt or uncle relationship with the pet, remembering that this pet is not your baby; you are taking good care of her for her forever family.
It's also advisable that Pawster Parents give the foster pet space. “Don’t allow them to sleep in your room or bed. They will adjust better in a crate or a bed in another room.”
In the end, meeting the wonderful forever family chosen for your foster pet will help to make the transition easier. “Still, most of us still get a little misty eyed when the long timers go,” Gear admits.
She, herself, is a foster parent. She usually takes the more difficult cases: parvo puppies, kittens with panleukomenia, dogs with heartworm and senior pets in hospice.
Until recently, she had been fostering two adult dogs: Carter, a two-year old Basset Hound/St. Bernard Mix she has had since December and Amelia, a Siberian Husky that moved in with her three weeks ago and has since been adopted. “I knew Carter would be a longer placement because he needed to learn how to “dog” properly,” she explains. Carter’s previous owners never socialized him.
Gear began rescuing animals in 2006. It all started with Louie, a rescue she credits with helping her to overcome her undiagnosed and untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Louie had come from a shelter with a kill rate in the 90th percentile. Emily realized how close the two had come to never crossing paths. When he passed, Emily decided to honor the special animal that saved her by creating a rescue organization that would save animals.
In September 2009, she incorporated Louie's Legacy Animal Rescue in New York and then in Cincinnati. At any given time, the rescue cares for approximately 350 cats and dogs. They are of all breeds, sizes, ages and needs. All receive vet care, are micro-chipped, spayed or neutered and evaluated for temperament and social skills before being placed in forever homes.
“We will save 2,000 animals this year and we have set the bar higher for 2017.”
Louie's Legacy Animal Rescue is partnering with the ASPCA, Maddie's Fund, the Petco Foundation, PetSmart Charities and others to increase their adoption efforts. They would like to branch out into areas outside of New York City and Cincinnati, but are in need of additional vets, trainers, volunteers, adoption locations, and most urgently, foster homes.
“Consider becoming a Pawster Parent,” Gear urges. “I promise you it is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer.”
Still not convinced? Check out some of our Louie's Legacy Fosters here- whose lives were saved because regular folks like you just STEPPED up to offer their home and love.
This is BOSSY was surrendered by her owner because she was “lazy and too obese”. It is almost incomprehensible to think that BOSSY's former family of six years would actually think that she became this weight all by her doggone self :0( she is ready for her forever family to adopt her!
So- feeling ready to SAVE A LIFE? apply to be a pawster parent with Louie's Legacy right here!