THE THOUGHT of a dog spending life in kennels will pull at the heart-strings of many – but animal lovers unable to offer a permanent home can help.
The Dogs Trust rescue centre in Kenilworth is calling for residents to foster long-stay dogs and offer them a break from kennel life.
The new initiative – called Home from Home – gives people who can’t keep an animal permanently the chance to have a pet in their lives while preparing the dog for home life.
Carers could help a dog or puppy who has not had a good start in life enjoy a loving home for the first time, or even give an older dog who has been made homeless the chance to experience family life again.
And with the number of dogs coming to the centre on the up, the charity hope at least 50 dogs a year will be fostered for anytime between one week and nine months.
Carers will be provided with dog beds, toys, food and vet bills will be covered.
A spokeswoman told the Observer: “While the number of people wanting to own pets has dropped due to busy lifestyles, the number of dogs coming to the trust has increased due to the economy.
“Foster carers could be dog lovers who work away from home frequently or someone who is often abroad and can’t keep the dog permanently. Then there are teachers who have summer breaks and those who work from home and enjoy the companionship of a dog.
“We really are a nation of dog lovers and we need residents to help us care for the thousands of unwanted dogs we take in each year. We are often full to capacity and there will always be more dogs in need of our care. We hope the scheme will be a wonderful opportunity for our dogs to experience love away from kennels.”
Fosterer Rachel Mann from Stratford has family commitments meaning she can’t have a full-time dog of her own.
But she has been caring for May, a seven-year-old Lurcher who needed time away from the kennels while she recovered from an operation.
Rachel said: “I decided to foster a dog because I couldn’t take one on full time.
“It’s such a great thing to do and you really feel like you’re part of a team with Dogs Trust. They give you all the information you need and lots of tips about caring for a dog.
“May needed some time away from the rehoming centre in a home environment as she was recovering from an operation. It was so much fun looking after her, and from a personal perspective it was a really social experience. I met so many people when I was out and about. It’s been a wonderful thing to do and a real adventure, I’m looking forward to fostering my next dog.”
To find out more about fostering call 01926 484 398 or visit the centre in Honiley.