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Name: Rhoda

A little about yourself:
I’ve been working in animal welfare for about 30 or more years, and am very proactive with animals. I’ve nearly walked into the jaws of hell to pull out a creature from the pit. I’ve been screamed at by horrible people, and seen terrible things done to poor little creatures, but I’m still going….still saving….still loving those beautiful 4-leggers….

How and when did you start fostering?
Met someone in the street with a few dogs, we talked, she fostered, gave me her card, I called….and the rest is history.

What’s the best thing about fostering?
It’s just like being a grandmother, you can love them to death, and then glow as they go to their wonderful forever homes knowing it was you who gave them that chance.

What’s hard about fostering?
Obviously it’s parting with some of the extra special ones…where you keep saying “if I wanted another dog, this would be the one”, and then letting go, knowing you’ve done what needed to be done to give them back their lives.

How many animals have you fostered?
Probably hundreds over the years.

Have you had a favorite (and why)?
They’re all my favorites, but the foster I have now is absolutely the best and most gorgeous. Sad story gone good, with a face that’s to die for.

Have there been any big surprises while fostering?
Many surprises, and I’ve stepped in some big ones early in the morning. Well, not that many surprises, just sadness at first because of what’s been done to them, and then joy at seeing them turn around under your nurturing.

What’s the funniest moment you’ve had with your foster pets?
I had a foster who took all the toys out of the toybox and lined them up in a perfectly straight line, from one wall to the other, then looked at me as if to say….well, what do you think of that? I still have a picture of it somewhere.

What would you say to someone considering fostering?
I would say, go for it, It’s one of the most gratifying things you can do. Saving a life and nurturing it, and bringing it back from the brink of something terrible. Nothing could be more fulfilling.

What makes it all worth it for me is:
Seeing all my babies going to homes where they’ll have love and attention, and getting those Christmas cards, pictures, and little stories every several months for years and years.

Is there anything else you want to say here about fostering?
What you’re doing is actually saving those lives. Most of these little creatures have lost the homes they’ve loved, even if they were awful homes. They’ve been battered and then thrown away, they’ve wandered the streets hungry and scared, been picked up by animal control and thrown in the back of a truck, then taken to a shelter and poked, prodded, and then thrown into a cold steel cage. Their fear knows no bounds. We, the fosters, are their first link to love and trust. We are the ones who mend their wounded bodies and broken spirits, and get them ready to move on into a happy and loving life.