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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Put a little pup in your heart

    In the midday heat, Glenda lies sprawled on the grass on the UA Mall.

    With her deep brown eyes and gentle spirit, many students stop to give her a pet, maybe a little scratch on the chin, on their way to class or lunch as they pass the Foundation for Animals in Risk booth on the mall.

    The young pit bull-boxer mix loves to be the center of attention and immediately puts people at ease.

    Still, Glenda knows that at the end of the day she has no place to call home.

    No one has offered to foster her while she waits to be adopted, so she spends her nights at a boarding kennel.

    Still, Glenda is one of the lucky ones. She was saved by FAIR hours before she was to be euthanized.

    With more than 19,000 dogs and cats euthanized in Pima County last year, rescue groups such as FAIR rely more than ever on volunteer foster homes to save as many pets as possible before it’s too late.

    Lane Davidson, a business marketing senior, opened her apartment last summer to several dogs and a litter of puppies through FAIR’s foster program after learning about it as a volunteer.

    “”I’ve grown up with animals,”” Davidson said. “”But I’m college student, and I just don’t know where I’m going to end up. It’s easier to foster since it’s not so permanent.””

    For all foster homes, FAIR provides food, veterinary care and anything else an animal may need while staying in someone’s home, including beds and puppy play pens.

    Helen Tardibuono, a member of FAIR’s board of governors, said that even though fostering animals can be extremely rewarding, foster volunteers have responsibilities.

    Foster volunteers must take their animals to an adoption center at least once a week as well to veterinary appointments when needed, Tardibuono said.

    “”FAIR is providing everything you need,”” Tardibuono said. “”The only thing you’re providing is your home, heart and your time.””

    Yet after all the love and attention, the hardest lesson some fosters learn is letting go when their animal is adopted.

    Davidson had a particularly hard time letting go as she watched the seven puppies she raised and trained from three weeks old find permanent homes.

    “”You just have to understand that in the end that it’s not your animal,”” Davidson said. “”I get really attached.””

    FAIR foster volunteer Maureen Hickey said fostering is ultimately rewarding, even when it’s time to let the animal go.

    “”It can be a real rush to know that you saved that life,”” Hickey said. “”That your animal would be dead had you not offered to foster. And then you look to forward to fostering again and to saving another life.””

    Fostering animals may be a good fit for responsible students willing to commit to taking care of pets but who are OK with a temporary situation, Davidson said.

    As college students “”we don’t know where we’re going to be in three or four years.”” Davidson added. “”But this is simple. You can take an animal and really help it.””

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