By Debbie Dargan
Many people dismiss the idea of adopting a dog as they feel they cannot
take on such a commitment.
But there is something you can do instead: you can become a foster carer.
By Debbie Dargan
Many people dismiss the idea of adopting a dog as they feel they cannot take on such a commitment. But there is something you can do instead: you can become a foster carer.
So often, I hear people say, “We'd love to have a dog, but we can't afford it,” or, “We go travelling a lot so can't make a permanent commitment”. Rescue centres are full of abandoned animals but, unfortunately, many do not have the facilities for raising very young kittens and puppies. Yet it is at this stage of their lives when so much development takes place, so it is imperative that they have the input they need early on. This is why foster carers are vital to care for them and work with them until they are adopted or are old enough to return to a shelter.
Established carer Beccy McMahon regularly fosters dogs for Lagos and Portimão kennels. Two years ago she saw an advert for someone to look after a puppy until it was old enough to travel to its new home and as she said, “I was hooked from therein”. She is currently fostering puppy Millie from Lagos kennel.
Another local carer is Yulin Sun, who got into fostering after joining the Friends and Volunteers of Lagos Canil (Kennel) FaceBook page. Her first fostering experience was back in 2019 when she cared for two cats, then she took on dogs too. Her latest foster pup was Gus, who recently moved to his new home in London. She hopes she will get to see him when she can travel to the UK.
Ina Teysch, blessed with parents who are animal lovers, has been looking after waifs and strays since she was a kid and has cared for over 30 dogs and 10 cats. She now fosters for the Pata Ativa Associação.
Not all foster parents live permanently in Portugal. Cecilia and Carman Penner are Canadians who were in Portugal for the winter. “We wanted to do something meaningful with our time away,” they explain. “When we heard the canil (in Lagos) needed some foster homes, we thought it was the perfect opportunity.” They first fostered two puppies, then took on Sable who was struggling with living in a canil environment. They worked with her until she went to her new home with Amy and Kristian Geiger.
Amy believes that for timid little Sable going into a foster home was crucial: “Otherwise, she may have been in the canil so much longer, adding to her timidity. Fostering gave her more opportunity to interact with humans on a one on one basis. For Sable I believe that was critical for her to be fostered.”