HOME FROM HOME
By Ann Evans
We all know dogs are man’s best friend, and if we didn’t already know that having a dog around the home makes us happier and less likely to feel lonely, a new survey conducted by Dogs Trust has shown that 95% of dog owners in the West Midland say their dog makes them happier, 89% said they talk to their dog when no one else is around and 89% also say that they felt less lonely through having a dog.
Of course not everyone has the lifestyle, the time or the money to have a dog. The survey showed that 42% of non-dog owners don’t have time for a dog permanently and around third (30%) said that they could not afford a dog. And this is where Dogs Trust’s new Home From Home fostering scheme will be of benefit – to people and to the dogs.
The nationwide scheme looks to find loving temporary foster homes for the thousands of dogs in their care. Not only does it help get homeless dogs ready for the loving homes they deserve but it’s very rewarding for the fosters carers too with 73% of people surveyed admitting that caring for a dog has a positive impact upon their well being.
Dogs Trust explain that they receive a number of dogs that just aren’t cut out for kennel life. These may be puppies, older dogs, dogs with injuries or medical conditions or sometimes the rehoming centres just run out of space. The charity need foster carers who are happy to take a dog into their home until it can be found a permanent loving home. Families receive full support and advice, they will be equipped with everything they need such as food and bedding, and veterinary treatment is also covered by Dogs Trust.
Sabrina Holder, Home From Home Co-ordinator at Dogs Trust Kenilworth, said: “Spending time with a dog won’t cure all your problems but it could certainly make you happier, so we hope people will consider fostering a dog as a positive resolution for the new year. We have thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes across our 20 rehoming centres in the UK looking for temporary carers varying from older dogs who need some extra TLC, dogs recovering from illness and those who simply cope better in a home environment.
“Dogs Trust cover all fees and foster carers can go on to adopt their foster dog permanently should they wish. The average stay for a dog in a foster home is six to eight weeks, although some dogs can be fostered for several months.”
Margaret Gorman,is a foster carer for Dogs Trust Kenilworth, she had this to say: “Fostering has been an amazingly rewarding experience for me. I am retired and my husband is semi-retired but as we like to go on holiday, we knew we couldn’t commit to having a dog of our own, but we wanted a dog around for companionship when we were at home.
“Since I started fostering I have had the pleasure of caring for a wide variety of characters and all became part of our family no matter how long they were with me. Some dogs arrive a little nervous and unsure so it’s heart-warming to see how with plenty of TLC they start to relax and their characters emerge. There are few things more rewarding than seeing the dogs you have nurtured go on to find loving homes for life.”
For more information about taking part in the Home From Home scheme please visit https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/fostering
*Survey conducted in by Onepoll January 2017 with over 2000 respondents.
THINKING OF ADOPTING?
If you are thinking of offering a homeless dog a forever home, Dogs Trust care for over 15,000 stray and abandoned dogs every year through their 20 Rehoming Centres across the UK. The perfect dog could just be waiting for you to come and find him or her.
Perhaps your perfect dog is Titch, who despite his name is a big dog with a big heart. He is a six-year-old American bulldog who is constantly overlooked by potential adopters visiting the Kenilworth Rehoming Centre.
The Centre manager, Sandra Foulds, says: “All of us at the Rehoming Centre adore Titch as he is such a special lad with a huge heart and a lot of love to give. He’s a super dog with a fantastic personality but we think people are put off by his size. He walks well on a lead but is a large, powerful dog who needs regular exercise and stimulation so it is important that we find owners who understand the demands of owning a dog of this size and are in a position to offer him a life-long commitment.
“Titch would benefit from a family of experienced dog owners, especially of larger breeds. All of us at Dogs Trust Kenilworth are hoping, this Valentine’s Day, somebody out there realises Titch is their “pawfect” match!”
If you’re interested in rehoming Titch or any of the other dogs looking for homes, please call 0300 303 0292 or visit the centre at Honiley, Kenilworth, CV8 1NP.
For details of your nearest Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre, visit: http://www.dogstrust.org.uk