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In this post we return to our series on the Fostering of dogs and puppies. As many of you know, I have fostered two dogs through this program since the beginning of the year. One sweet little terrier-mix went to a home on the other side of town and the other, well, let’s just say he didn’t go too far! More on that in my next post. The mantra of National Dog Week has always been, “Responsible Dog Ownership,” with a goal to give every dog the kind of loving home they truly deserve. I hope that some of you reading will give Fostering serious consideration. Please feel free to contact me with any questions: email@example.com.
The following is Part One of my interview with Lynne Fowler of Oodles of Doodles Rescue Collective.
Please tell us a little about yourself. I am a teacher of social studies in an inner city alternative high school. I taught at the high school for 10 years and moved to the Alt School 3 years ago. I am a mom to 18 year old twin boys who are in college, are Eagle Scouts and New Firefighters. I am a wife of 20 years and doggie mom to 4 Doodles and several fosters and unadoptable Forever Fosters.
Why did you become involved in the fostering and rescue of dogs? After my beautiful black Standard poodle, Magic, was killed by tainted dog food in December of 2006, I wanted another pooch and thought it would take a long time to find one so I put out feelers for a white poodle and was contacted within a week to take a Labradoodle from a hoarding situation in Philadelphia. I had no idea what a Labradoodle was in 2006 but fell in love with the “breed” and soon had a second doodle from the same rescuer.
Hooked on how much time, patience and love it took to get my rescued doodles to love and trust, I started posting and blogging about rescuing dogs on a couple social forums. Tainted dog food, what’s really in dog foods, the plight of beautiful full breed dogs waiting for families in kill shelters and issues with bringing home a rescued dog were favorite topics. I began a feature on a couple Doodle Social Forums called “Rescued Doodles” where we discussed these and many other issues and then added a listing called “Doodles in Need,” where we listed doodles looking for homes in shelters around the United States and Canada. I had befriended a couple gals and we became friends and very involved with this listing service. It soon became apparent that the listings were too large to be within another website, so we decided to move it to its own site. The website, http://doodlerescuecollective.com was born on Jan 19, 2009. When I purchased the website and url’s, I had no idea what was involved to running a website but quickly learned what it took to make one successful. Today, the website has 5000 members and is placed very high in a google search for people looking to adopt or learn about doodles of all mixes.
As a rescue, we began to pull dogs from shelters and find homes for them in June of 2009 but after in less than a year, the partnership dissolved and I reorganized, with the help of some wonderful people, under the name Oodles Of Doodles Rescue Collective, in May of 2010. We incorporated in the state of NJ in Nov 2010 and achieved 501(c)(3) Non-Profit status after one year of incorporation. (My ex-rescue partner has made allegations against me but none are true. The proof to her deception can be found at:
As a rescue, to date, we have rescued or helped to rescue over 400 dogs. The majority were from Southern Kill Shelters that we tagged, pulled, vetted, transported, fostered and found wonderful homes.
What is the mission of Oodles of Doodles Rescue Collective? http://www.doodlerescuecollective.com/page/mission Oodles of Doodles, Inc Rescue Collective is a not-for-profit rescue devoted to rescue, foster and finding loving permanent homes for Oodle Dogs: Poodle-mixes, Doodles: Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Cockapoos, Schnoodles and Fuzzy Terriers from shelters, other rescues and rehome situations.
Who are your officers or major volunteers? How large is your group? Kelly Allen, Gail Reese, Dennis Fowler, Sharon Parlatti, Adrienne Shapiro, Lisa Elmo are the main decision makers and of course, myself. There are a few others I rely on as a sounding board, trustees, if you will.
From where do your dogs to be fostered originate (regional areas)? Most of our dogs come from Southern Kill Shelters, Owner Surrenders and Rehomes. We pull from as far South as South Carolina and as far West as Missouri.
What are the circumstances surrounding most of these unhomed pups and dogs? Many are strays, some surrendered, some rehomes
How do they get from one region to here? We are approved to transport from several volunteer transport groups and will use a paid transport when needed. We also have a retired gentleman who drives between our VA partners and us.
How long does a foster dog typically stay with its foster family? The average stay is a few weeks to a few months. I have a few unadoptables at my home as they are fearful, abused and biters. I work with them, love them and if they need to stay forever, they will.
What are typical costs to the foster family? What happens if a dog needs medical attention during the Foster period? There shouldn’t be any costs to the foster except for maybe food. The rescue covers all vetting, grooming and costs. I will even send food via PetFlow if needed. Fosters submit receipts or oftentimes they will call me from the vet or groomer and I pay over the phone with the rescue credit card.
What is the typical adoption fee? How is this established? Why is there a fee? Our adoption fees are based on the age, breed and vetting needed. Puppies generally are $250 up to $425 is the highest we ever charge. Sometimes we have helped to rehome a dog and have asked for a bit higher as one had extensive therapy dog training and another had extensive behavior training. The extra went to cover the charges to the trainer. But generally, $250 to 425 is what we ask.
There is an adoption fee to help offset costs and enable us to save the next one. However, there are many times when the adoption donation can never cover costs. I had a HW+ Pomeranian who came from SC awhile ago and not only did I not know she was HW+ when I tagged her, but her papers said she was already spayed and she was not. Her heartworm treatment and spay cost the rescue over $1500. Another was a dog with a broken leg that had healed incorrectly. The surgery to fix her leg was $3200.
All our dogs, except for young puppies, are fully vetted before going home. They are spayed or neutered, given all their shots, a Health Certificate is required for transport and grooming. Puppies are wormed and go through their 3 rounds of puppy shots. Puppies who cannot be spayed or neutered will be adopted on a S/N Contract and a deposit that is returned when the family sends us the certificate showing the pup was fixed. We follow up to ensure this is done as we do not want to have more unwanted dogs in the world.
Thank you Lynne. We will pick up on this last item in Part Two of our interview…
I want to thank those who helped out on the occasion of my 2nd Annual On-Line Birthday Wish Fund for Laura Pople of Seer Farms held last Sunday. I recently learned that Laura has been appointed to serve on a new long term Hurricane Sandy Recovery Committee. I think this was a great choice as Laura knows how to get things done for both humans and their Companion Animals. If you wish to contribute to Seer Farms, here is their link. http://www.seerfarms.org/donate.php
Also, I extend a huge thanks to Lynne Fowler and her terrific group Oodles of Doodles Rescue Collective. They have placed several dogs already in the new year, including mine, an adorable little Shih Poo named Teddy that I was supposed to foster but instead he captured our hearts and now calls this place his home. My interview with Oodles and my own “Foster Failure” experience will be presented shortly. Although I have failed, I do hope to return to fostering in the spring!
In honor of the Inauguration of our President, I present a post that was supposed to run in late October through election day. Due to certain catastrophic weather events, it remained stored on my computer. Today, I thought it would be fun to present Chuck Sambuchino and his book on canine politics. The following is a brief, but fun interview with the author:
Please tell us a little about your background in the writing industry. I work for Writer’s Digest Books in Cincinnati. I edit the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog as well as the CHILDREN’S WRITER’S & ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET. I love working for WD and helping people get published. I love writing about the craft and business of writing. And I like writing my own humor books, too. I eat, sleep and breathe this stuff, and have for years. If people want to know more about, simple things to do is to find me on Twitter (@chucksambuchino), befriend me on Facebook, or check out my website http://www.chucksambuchino.com
Why do you enjoy writing in the Humor genre? Do you find it a challenge keeping up with writing about the Agenting Industry? I’ve always been a sarcastic guy — I wasn’t class clown, but I was runner up. (But I’m not bitter! No way!) Writing humor books gives me an outlet to make people laugh besides my wife. Writing humor is also nice because humor books are often bought as gifts. It’s interesting to see how your writing is given as a gift all over the country. Everyone loves to laugh.
Writing about the agenting business is tough because it’s always in flux. Agents retire; new ones pop up. Nowadays, with the rise of e-publishing and the slow evolution of the role of agents, I need to know what’s going on more than ever.
What inspired Red Dog, Blue Dog? My wonderful and flabby dog, Graham. Since I got him five years ago, I’ve become known as “that dog guy” by people at work because I talk about him too much. I also talk about politics too much. Mixing the two was my wife’s idea. That’s how RED DOG / BLUE DOG http://www.reddog-bluedog.com was born.
Tell us about your own experience as a dog “owner.” Graham is the best. He does absolutely nothing but beg for treats and we love him anyway. I can’t believe that I fought my wife on getting a dog for years. His addition to the home has been so wonderful for us in the past five years. He has also put quite a dent in our savings due to his penchant of nonstop eating…
Many former US Presidents knew that dogs were a powerful resource when attracting good press and Good Will. Do you think President Obama is using his full “Bo-tential?” No. Lots of people are dog owners, and Bo is ripe for being used as a zinger or punchline in a debate.
Do you think a dog can ever be President and if so, what qualities would make them a good leader of our nation? You would need a dog who understands the canine middle class. This dog would have to find a way to get more parks for running and bathroom time. This dog would have to promise to lower taxes on milkbones. This dog would have to explain that we should be rewarding Americans who give more belly rubs, not outsourcing those belly rubs to China. I could go on and on about this…
Thank you Chuck. I apologize for the delay in posting this, but I’ve learned to “roll-over” with the punches and go with the storm surge! Best of luck to you with all your writing ventures and thank you for the help you provide for so many authors.
Last year, on the occasion of my birthday, I sat down and created a Face book event to raise money for Project Pets and their Spay and Neuter initiatives. It was such a success that I decided to do it again. I contacted an animal advocate I greatly admire who works out of his home in the Midwest and invited him to be the fund’s recipient. He declined and said, “Do something to help the displaced pets of Hurricane Sandy.” I knew that Laura Pople of Seer Farms in Jackson, NJ was doing just that. So, as I turn 40 (again) I am asking my friends to help us all out here on the East Coast. The storm may be gone but its “Legacy” endures and will for some time to come.
I thank my Midwest advocate friend for his generous spirit and for what he accomplishes for many animals in need on a shoe string. He wishes to remain anonymous. Many of our large “helping” organizations could learn a lot from him. So many of you ask me how they can help those who are trying to recover from the Super Storm. Here is an easy and simple way.
I have created a Face book event, but here is the Chip In Link for Seer Farms. Please earmark your donation with the note, “LBK Birthday Fund.” Thank you for anything you can give. http://www.seerfarms.org/donate.php
Now here are a few words from Laura:
For Hurricane Sandy victims, their pets are all that many of these families have left of their homes. Seer Farms has been working to keep these families intact since the days immediately following the storm. To date, more than 200 displaced Sandy animals have found temporary refuge at Seer Farms while their families rebuild their lives and their houses. Already more than half of these animals have returned home.
Seer Farms is a nonprofit organization in New Jersey that was established in 2008 to help families whose lives have been shattered due to natural disaster, homelessness, abuse, catastrophic illness, and other major life crises. We are located in Jackson, in the heart of Ocean County, one of the hardest hit counties in NJ by Sandy. Super Storm Sandy has destroyed so many homes in New Jersey. Seer Farms is helping to ensure that it doesn’t destroy families as well. And we are doing so even as we continue to provide temporary care to families impacted by other life crises as well.
Since Sandy first struck the Jersey Shore, Seer Farms has been getting calls and emails from families with pets who cannot return to their homes. Or whose homes are no longer there to return to. Families who can seek temporary placement for themselves through FEMA or family often cannot have their animals join them in the temporary housing they secure. These families are overwhelmed by the enormity of the change wrought upon their lives by Super Storm Sandy, and the thought of losing their beloved animals is often too much to bear.
For some families with no place to go, they are choosing to stay in inadequate housing conditions, but want to make sure their animals are safe. These animals have been through traumatic events that, in many cases, stress their immune systems and compromise their health. They need the attention of an organization that understands their medical risks, and works with veterinarians to return these animals to good health. At Seer Farms, they get that attention.
Our focus is on helping these families keep their animals in their lives. Our current census is now at 135% what it was pre-Sandy. We are placing as many animals as we can within our current facilities and extending our foster network to accept the overflow. Another dozen animals are scheduled to arrive at Seer Farms within the next week, and we expect to see even more as families reconcile with the devastation SuperStorm Sandy visited upon their homes and lives and are forced from FEMA housing into new, often less pet-friendly housing arrangements beginning next week.
One Seer Farms’ client, whose Jersey Shore home was essentially washed away by the storm, gives this chilling account of her Super Storm Sandy experience: “My animals are my family. I could not leave them. Four times [before and during the storm] rescuers came to my house and asked me to leave. But they wouldn’t take my animals so I stayed behind. The storm hit and the water rushed in. Soon everything but the top of my mattress was under water. It was pitch dark as the water kept rising. I heard a splash and realized that one of my cats had fallen into the water. I started thrashing in the water to find her. When I did so, my dog launched into the water after me. Now I was trying to pull both animals from the cold water. After both animals were rescued and safe, I realized I couldn’t let myself fall asleep. I had to stay awake in case anyone else fell in. Sure enough, two more times throughout the night I had to pull my babies from what would have been certain drowning if I had not stayed.”
This woman loves her pets; she risked her life for them. Seer Farms is helping her put her life back together by providing a safe place for her pets to stay until she can rebuild and reclaim them.
Thank you Laura, for all you and your organization do! I hope this helps.
We are happy to hear the news that our little foster pup Gingerbread is resting happily with her new human and answers to Ginger in honor of a carbo-free name and her healthy new start in the new year! I look forward to seeing her when her little “bear cub” face gets fuzzy again. She was so matted when she was found; they had to shave her muzzle.
I am heartened and impressed by the way these foster dogs all come to find new starts in happy and safe homes. It always strikes me that much like their human counter parts, some puppies are born wanted even before they enter the world. Some are fortunate and live a happy life with their original owners, some start out okay, but life and circumstances change and they fall upon an uncertain future. Some are abused outright, others neglected. Some wander form home and no one bothers to look for them, yet others are deliberately dumped on highways, in parks or outside of overcrowded shelters.
Each homeless dog has a unique and moving story; unfortunately, those trying to help them can never truly know what they have gone through. Those who rescue just do their best to heal the physical and emotional “baggage” they inherit.
When I brought Ginger to her new home, I managed to keep it together. My “Foster Coach” who walked me through my first delivery even mentioned how calm and cool I was for a newbie. I was, until I got into my car and fell apart for a moment.
Because of personal reasons and travel, I figured I would give fostering a rest until the springtime. But as fate would have it, another photo of an owner surrendered dog caught my eye and my heart just jumped a beat. With a quick “PM” on Facebook, I was back in the running. As I write, I am hoping to welcome a lovely three-year old terrier mix into my home for my second fostering experience. I will share this in my next post.
Coincidentally, a friend on Facebook had just completed her first fostering experience. I asked Pat Needham, an Animal Advocate from Kentucky, to share her experience, too.
“I work with a rescue group in Morehead (Rowan County), Kentucky. Their name is S.T.A.R., Saving the Animals of Rowan. I mainly do fundraising. Recently we had several small dogs rescued from a puppy mill. When it was posted that the little dogs were cold in the kennel and fosters were needed, I couldn’t not foster. I had never fostered before. When Midnight, a black Chihuahua was brought to me she was very afraid and loved to be held. I had her for three weeks and she had just started coming out of her shell when she left for Pennsylvania. She was adopted by a family and I saw a picture of her with her family and it was so wonderful to see her just being a dog. She was pictured with another dog and lying on the man’s leg, just relaxing. It was one of the best things I did in 2012. To have a small part in seeing a dog that was scared become a happy being. I would and will foster again. Every rescue group is in need of fosters.”
Thank you Pat for sharing.
In the fostering process of Ginger, the experience literally brought me over to the other side of town where I “discovered” a neighborhood I did not know existed. After saying goodbye to my little friend, I was in need of a little drive time. I wandered through a hilly section of town where gracious homes stood on high points with beautiful views of the river and beyond. How could I live in a place for almost 17 years and not have ever known about these parts?
This spoke to me on many levels. In doing something new and a little “challenging” such as fostering a dog, my world expanded in different ways. What other new places, people or “things” are we capable of discovering, if we allow ourselves to wander off the beaten path once in a while?
Happy new vistas to you all.