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Fostering Saves Lives

I first began fostering for PAWS in mid-March of 2014. Previously, I fostered for Community Pet Center (CPC) for over a year. On a nice warm spring day, I went over to CPC to do some volunteer work. As I pulled into the parking lot, a friend pulled in. She had two dogs with her. One was a small black Chihuahua mix and the other was a small Dalmatian mix. Of course I ask her what she was doing there with the dogs. As it turned out, she was in a bad situation and couldn’t keep the dogs anymore. So she was at the “pound” to drop them off. I most certainly could not stand for that! So instead of going into CPC to do the volunteer work, I got the two dogs and put them in my car and drove home with them. I had NO idea what I was going to do. I contacted the Humane Society along with volunteers from CPC to see if we could find rescue for them. Everyone was full at the time and couldn’t take them.

Charlie front                                     Sasha3

I had just previously learned about this new group called P.A.W.S (Pets Are Worth Saving) of Rutherford County. So I looked up the number and got in touch with Janice Mitchell.  After explaining to her the situation with the dogs, I ask her if PAWS could take them. She said, “As long as you can foster for us, yes we can take them”. I agreed! Luckily, I found a home for the black Chihuahua mix, but Sasha, the small Dalmatian mix, became the first dog for PAWS to rehome and I officially became the first foster for PAWS of Rutherford County!

I have fostered an estimated 20 dogs for PAWS. I have loved every one of my fosters, but some have tugged at my heart strings more than others.

One of those very special fosters was a Basset Hound/Golden Retriever mix. He looked just like a Golden Retriever but was short and long like the Basset Hounds. He was such a funny dog. He was placed on a Facebook yard sale site called One Man’s Junk of Rutherford County. His family was moving and could no longer keep him. So I drove almost to Columbus, NC to get him. I found out really quick that he was a VERY strong boy! When I met the family to pick him up, I decided I needed to walk him before I put him in my car. He wound up walking me! Charlie turned out to be one of the best foster dogs I ever had! He played really good with my other animals and got along great with my kids! He loved to go for walks and walked nicely on a leash! I cried tears (of joy) when he left me to go to his forever home!

Charlie side       Charlie        Sasha 807x688

Charlier full

A lot of people ask me how I do it? How do I foster and am able to give up the dogs when it’s time. Yes, I do cry a LOT when my babies leave me. But they are tears of joy. I know that I helped a dog get out of a bad situation where they were not loved, abused, and would have most likely wound up being killed at the pound had I not fostered them. I know that when one of my fosters leaves, there is always another one waiting to be saved! I have to “give them up” in order to save more lives! Plus, I know that each foster, when adopted, is going to the very best of homes that will love them for the rest of their lives!

I love my “job” as a foster and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything! I have learned a lot and still have a lot more to learn, but I pray that I am still doing this for many more years to come. My goal in being a volunteer and foster for PAWS is that one day our services will no longer be needed. I hope that we can continue spaying and neutering animals so that there will never be a need to rehome unwanted animals and there will never be a need for a “high-kill shelter”!

— Tracy Terry Tesseneer

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