May 25, 2018

Guest Column

Why I foster animals

July 21, 2011

By Angela Woodbury

I have heard many times, “How can you do it? I wouldn’t be able to let them go.”

As soon as I tell them what these animals go through if I don’t foster them, they change their minds. I need to think of them — not myself — and give them 100 percent of the love and attention that they deserve. Fostering is a great way to get to know a pet, even if you are not planning to adopt one. It helps the pet and gives your family a greater understanding of how much a commitment a pet is, whether it is taking out a pup every two hours or making sure the cat has water. Many shelters in the south do not have room to take on more animals. Because of this, many shelters need to euthanize these poor animals almost as soon as they come to the shelter.

Are two days long enough for someone to get information out to others? That is what these dogs face when they are dumped in certain shelters. In many southern shelters, two days is the length of time for a dog to be in a shelter before they are put to sleep; that is, if they make it to a shelter. Many pups and dogs are abandoned on the side of the road at just a few days old. Those “lucky” enough to make it to a shelter are faced with overcrowding and heat. By the time someone finds out that they are in the shelter, it is usually too late to save them. They have been euthanized, with a high probability that it was done in an inhumane way.

The use of a heart stick and gas chamber are two of the cruelest way to euthanize an animal. Unfortunately, this type of euthanasia happens far too often. It takes a pup or dog six to eight minutes to choke to death in the gas chamber. They fumble around trying to find clean air to breath.

This is where a foster comes in. Many people feel that they cannot be strong enough to give up a dog when they foster. The pup or dog would likely lose its life if its not fostered  — only 25 percent of animals in kill shelters find homes. By being able to understand what happens to the pup or dog if there isn’t a foster and knowing you are the step to help them find their forever home makes it easier to let that pup or dog go. Fosters have the pup for a few days, few weeks, or a few months. I would rather have a broken heart for a few days because I have given a pup or dog 100 percent of my love than have them put to sleep. You may cry when the family leaves your driveway with the pup you have been fostering, but the family will likely send along pictures and updates.

By fostering, you are giving this pup or dog a second chance and time to find his or her forever home. If someone is looking to adopt, fostering is the way to go because you are able to see if the pup is compatible with your household. You can keep fostering until you find the right canine companion.

Based in rural Tennessee, Circle Of Hope K9 Rescue has helped hundreds of companion animals find loving forever homes across the country and in Canada. Our rural pets who often find themselves in life-threatening situations are wonderful loving animals that often only need love, compassion and training to make them an incredibly awesome family pet or best friend. Volunteers across Vermont and New England have joined together to save animal lives in danger. Although COHK9 focuses on dog rescue and adoption, we will help any companion animal within our ability to help.

Our dogs come almost exclusively from Gibson County, Tenn. They are removed from kill shelters, country roads, abandoned homes, wooded areas and many other places where they are left to fend for themselves. We begin with a quarantine period of no less than 14 days for a puppy coming into our program. During this time they are watched, loved and cared for. Vaccines, de-worming and socialization are begun and any medical needs are met.

COHK9 does not have a facility. We work solely from volunteer foster homes. This limits us on space for incoming animals in need and we often must refuse an animal in need. We are always looking for foster homes. We have wonderful transporters and volunteers to get the canines to the northeast, safe and sound.

Angela Woodbury is a volunteer with Circle Of Hope K9 Rescue and lives in Castleton. If you would like to foster, adopt, or donate to the organization, contact Woodbury at 802-468-5298 or email COHK9 can be found online at


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