FOSTER FOCUS

Foster families are the heart of our rescue. Without them, PMAR could not exist. We hope you enjoy meeting some of the members of our team, reading their stories, and perhaps consider becoming a foster yourself!

Dana C.

August 21, 2015

 

Dana C. is one of our dedicated volunteers who, with the support of her family, does an extraordinary job loving and caring for the Perfect Match animals she fosters. Her current foster dog is "Carly." Dana brings out the best in her foster dogs, who typically have not had the best start in life. After their stay with Dana, the dogs have a new lease on life - they are happy, affectionate and ready for their new lives to begin in a Forever Home. Thank you, Dana! We appreciate all of your hard work. Here is Dana's story:

 

"I have been fostering pets for over 14 years in the Memphis Area. I currently have 5 personal dogs and 1 foster dog. I have four cats of my own +6 foster cats. Every pet I have is a rescue from some dire circumstance or another. What started all this for me (as I have always been an animal lover), was when I moved to Memphis, TN from Fall Creek, Wisconsin in 1992. I just could not get over how many stray animals I saw and the horrible "shelter" situation this city had. It really bothered me, so I felt I had to do something to help these poor animals. Animal Rescue brings me great joy, and heartache - sometimes at the same time. It's an emotional rollercoaster. It is challenging to keep the goal in mind and not keep every animal that comes to our home to be fostered. It is challenging to keep the damage to my home and shoes to a minimum... LOL! It is challenging to find the energy to care for just one more animal when I am feeling lazy.... BUT the most rewarding feeling that brings me pure joy and happiness is when I see an animal that was once completely unloved and unwanted in this world, join a family that loves him like crazy. I feel a joy inside me that no expensive gift or any amount of money could every give me... To be a part of saving the life of one of God's creatures."

Nichole R.

August 28, 2015

 

Nichole joined the Perfect Match family in early 2015 & jumped in with both feet! She has fostered many dogs, from puppies to big German Shepherds and more! In addition, she is a tremendous help in PMAR's behind-the-scenes rescue efforts at MAS. When a dog needs to be pulled at the very last moment, Nichole is one of our "Go-To" volunteers, always ready & happy to help with the paperwork and transfer of dogs. Thanks for everything you do, Nichole! We're delighted to have you on our team! Here is Nichole's story:

"I was born and raised in Memphis, TN. I always had pets since I was little, but for years of living in an apartment, I went 10 years without any. That all changed in August 2014 when I rescued our first pup, Rucker, from MAS. He's been wonderful! He gets along with all dogs, he is that dog that doesn't meet a stranger! He's bonded our family even closer. Since then, we have adopted Wilbur (a foster failure :). He has a big personality despite his tiny size being the runt. Rucker has been an excellent big brother to him!

Back in 2015, I contacted PMAR with my interest of wanting to foster. Within the week I had my first foster, Nalla, who I pulled in her last hour at MAS for Perfect Match! Since Nalla was a handful and space at the time was limited, we weren't able to foster additional dogs. So I helped where I could assist - completing the paperwork to save dogs at the last minute, picking dogs up from MAS to watch until their foster was free to get them, or helping with transport. I always have felt if I am free and able, I have no reason I can't help with something!   I've since gone on to foster many more dogs and it's so rewarding!

I love being able to help. I know I can't save them all, but I can help save at least one or a few with the work of others. I get excited when the dogs I have try something new for the first time that most family pets do on a regular basis. Strays with a history unknown to us who have never experienced playing fetch or tug, enjoying a chew bone on a soft bed. Learning a trick and being rewarded with a spoonful of peanut butter. It's the little things I love doing with these dogs as I show them they are safe now and are loved, and will continue to be loved. 

 

Fosters leaving the home is the one part of fostering that nobody looks forward to experiencing. But knowing that they will be going to join a new family and freeing up a space in our home for the next dog who needs our help eases that time for me."

Kerri H.

September 6, 2015

 

Kerri, with the support of her wonderful family, is one of our dedicated fosters living in New England. There are a tremendous number of homeless dogs in the South, and there are a limited number of adopters to take them in. Perfect Match pulls these homeless dogs from Memphis shelters and local families foster the dogs until they are ready to travel North. That's when volunteers like Kerri step in! She networks these wonderful, highly-adoptable dogs and finds them loving homes in New England, where they become cherished members of the family. Without the commitment and enthusiasm of fosters like Kerri, Perfect Match would not be able to save the lives of 100+ dogs each year. Thank you Kerri, Rob and Gavin for going the extra mile to help such deserving dogs! Here is Kerri's story:

 

"My family consists of me, my husband, Rob, my son, Gavin, our pack, Fenway, Buddy, Cash and Maizy, and my horse, Nadia (although she doesn't really take part in the fostering process, I couldn't leave her out). All of our dogs are rescues, and Cash and Maizy are both PMAR pups (and foster failures).

 

I've always loved dogs and the reality of wonderful dogs being killed in shelters is painful to my heart. I found MAS on Facebook through the posts of Memphis Pets Alive. I would just stare at the pictures of the unfortunate dogs who found themselves in such an awful place. I felt helpless and depressed looking at their faces. I didn't share the pictures with my friends for fear of being "unfriended" for sharing such sadness. Day after day, I would just stare at the posts and read the threads, thinking about these dogs and finding it more and more difficult to sleep at night as a result. Then there was a shift- I kept reading a post that said "Liking doesn't save lives. Sharing does." I decided the friends who would "unfriend" me for sharing were worth losing if I could help save a dog or two...And the sharing started. I shared, and shared, and shared... My number of FB friends started to dwindle, and some people let me know that they were sorry but they had to block me - my posts were "just too heartbreaking."

 

But then I started gaining new friends who loved dogs as much as I do and I also found that some of my original friends didn't "unfriend" me, some of them had even started sharing, too. One of the posts I shared was for a dog named "Ricky", a 6 year old, heartworm positive, depressed, black lab dumped by his heartless owner. The post was a plea from Perfect Match Animal Rescue, asking for a foster which would save his life, and to my shock and utter elation my great friend, Kelly Bilodeau, stepped up and offered to help. My share had truly helped save a dog and had motivated a friend to foster. Kelly told me how wonderful Lesley and Perfect Match was to volunteer with and I wanted to be part of this group. So in essence, my share was partially responsible for Kelly's volunteering to foster, and Kelly's willingness to take that giant step was the motivation I needed to do the same.

 

I got my first foster a year ago this past March and I've been fostering ever since -- And when I say "I've been fostering ever since", I really me "we"-- Everyone in the family does their part, including "the pack." Fenway is our brilliant enforcer who makes sure every new foster knows the rules before they walk thru the door, and if they step out of line he reminds them of the many reasons why rules are so important. And then there's Cash, he's been coined by a good friend as the "Ambassador of Goodwill" and I cannot think of a better title for this kind-hearted soul . After Fenway lays down the law, Cash lays out the welcome mat and helps our fosters to settle in and feel safe. And once sufficiently welcomed and comfortable, Maizy steps in to educate them as to which "rules" are meant to be broken. For the most part, Buddy just watches and sleeps --He's the union guy.

 

Of course there are challenges that come with fostering, saying good-bye undoubtedly being the hardest part. But as hard as good-byes can be, watching a once forgotten dog leave to start their new life with a wonderful family is far too awesome to be sad; and knowing that my fostering played a part in their second chance is a remarkable gift to my soul. Perfect Match has allowed me to do what I can to make a difference for a cause that means so much to me, while at the same time introducing me to a group of dedicated animal lovers who I am so immensely proud to call 'my friends.'

Lexi K.

September 12, 2015

 

Lexi K. is one of our terrific fosters from Massachusetts, with a heart of pure gold. She takes in dogs of all ages and breeds - from puppies to seniors, from Pit Bulls to Labs. Lexi loves them all and treats each of them as her own, until their forever families adopt them. Thank you for all that you do for homeless dogs, Lexi! We are proud to have you on our team! Here is Lexi's story:

 

"I have always had a passion for animals and started riding horses when I was 5 years old. I always had dogs growing up and loved them so much. About 5 years ago, I adopted my first dog, Khloe, from a local shelter and that opened my eyes to all of the dogs in need. I started fostering for that shelter and loved it. One day I came across Perfect Match on Facebook and decided to apply to foster with them. I can honestly say, it was the best decision ever! I've fostered 4 dogs so far from Perfect Match and it is SO rewarding. My current foster is Shelby and she is amazing! I can tell that Shelby and I have a special bond and it is going to be very hard to bring her to her new home, but I know she will be in great hands. I love all of my fosters and hope to foster many more. I also bought a horse last year and my foster dogs love coming to the barn with me and running around the farm. Sometimes fostering can be challenging, but it is also so very rewarding and worth it in the end. You can tell how grateful these dogs are that we are helping them. I wouldn't trade fostering for anything in the world! In addition to fostering for Perfect Match, I also find local dogs that need to be re-homed and I foster them and get them the care that they need and then adopt them out on my own. I've rescued and re-homed about 10 dogs locally. Most dogs that I rescue on my own are Pit Bulls because I have such a soft spot for them. I share them on Facebook and have wonderful homes for all them!"

Veronica K.

November 8, 2015

 

Tonight, the focus is on Veronica and her journey into being involved with Perfect Match. It was definitely meant to be. I always knew that Lily (her first foster) was special. What I didn't know, was that she would lead us all to Veronica and her family and a very special legacy, helping save more dogs just like her. Thank you, for all you have done and continue to do. I'll let her tell the story now.... ❤

 

"I'm Veronica and I was born & raised, and currently reside in the Lehigh Valley, PA. I am married to a wonderful man named Todd, who shares my crazy love of animals. We have four cats and a dog named Rocky - all rescues. I started volunteering with a local animal shelter in early 2011 and began fostering kittens that Spring. Over the next three years, I fostered and found homes for over 60 beautiful kittens. I found it very rewarding to give love, attention and a warm place to sleep to these babies, until their forever families could be found. In January 2014, we adopted our dog Rocky, who was estimated to be around 10 years old. He is a German Shepherd / Border Collie mix and he brings us so much joy every day. His body may be a bit worn, but his mind is very sharp. In the almost two years since he joined our family, he has completed classes in Basic Obedience, Rally Obedience, Advanced Rally, Scent Detectives, Nose Work, Advanced Nose Work and more! He loves using his nose and has earned two Titles in Scentwork. Rocky is proof that you CAN teach an "Old" Dog new tricks! Don't ever underestimate the ability of a senior dog or hesitate to adopt one!

 

In the Summer of 2014, we decided that Rocky could use a companion. After an extensive search, we found a dog named "Casey" who was being fostered in TN with a group called Perfect Match Animal Rescue. We instantly fell in love. She was an older German Shepherd who had some health issues, but was a gorgeous girl who deserved to spend her remaining time with a loving family. We wanted to be her family. So in August 2014, Casey made the long trip north to PA. She was like a beautiful flower, finally being able to blossom, and so we re-named her "Lily". Rocky and Lily enjoyed each other's company and would stroll around the yard together each day. Sadly, our time with Lily was limited. After a short, valiant fight with cancer, Lily passed away in November 2014. Today is the one-year anniversary of her passing. As I reflect back on the past year, I'm thankful that we were able to be Lily's True Family. After a lifetime of neglect, she deserved to have a real family that loved her. It's not days or months or years that count - it's moments. Lily and I shared more genuine moments together than many people spend with their dogs in a lifetime. I have no regrets, only beautiful memories with her.

 

After Lily's passing, I began thinking more about the wonderful volunteers at Perfect Match. Here was a group that was willing to pull a senior dog from a city shelter and save her life. They were able to see beyond her silver muzzle and into her dark brown eyes, and realize that she wanted and deserved to know love. This was a group that I wanted to belong to. And that is how my fostering with Perfect Match began. In April 2015, we took in our first foster, Summer. She was a young, energetic yellow lab-mix who was an expert at fetch. Next was Toby, a sweet little Yorkie-mix who was a certified snuggle-bug. Currently, we are fostering Riley, a cattle dog-mix with handsome speckled ears and an adorable personality. Each dog is different and yet they all share one thing in common - they were all once "throw-away" dogs - unloved and uncared for. And now they matter to someone. They matter to me. They are deeply loved. This is why I foster. Of course, having an extra dog is a little more work. And, of course, I shed many tears when one of my foster dogs leaves to start his new life with a new family. But I also know there are countless more dogs out there, longing to "matter" to someone. I feel privileged to be a part of their journey. And I'm thankful that Lily led me to this wonderful group of rescuers at Perfect Match.

 

I urge everyone to foster - even if it is only one dog a year. Or one dog in your life. You will never regret the experience. It will make you a better, stronger person. You will dwell less on the trivial, day-to-day pressures of life, and you will make a world of difference to that one dog.

 

I miss you, sweet Lily. Thank you for everything you taught me."

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