After fostering 17 rescue dogs for Warrington Animal Welfare (WAW) since September 2020, in June 2021, Adam and Sarah met Jess, a six-year-old scruffy mixed-breed terrier who was to become their last after she stole their heart, and they knew they were not going to let her go.
At the start of the first lockdown, we were forced to close our doors to the public and adapt the way we work, but we never stopped helping animals in need. Due to people now working from home we were able to recruit some new people to foster animals in need.
“We had just lost our previous pets, two rabbits Sweep and Sooty, we were still terribly upset and weren’t sure if we wanted furry friends in our lives again full time.
We had always wanted a dog but were worried how they would fit in with our work but working from home made us realise that we were in a great position to foster dogs.
We didn’t want to get our own dog as we didn't know how long our working from home situation would remain in place.”
After being fully checked out by WAW, Adam and Sarah became approved fosterers, and took their first dog, Jack, followed by Sally, Savannah, Poppy, Bonnie & Kerrie, George, Zimba, Bosley & Odi, Nelson, Nala, Debo, Tilly, Luna, Snoop, Boo and finally Jess.
"We had never fostered before and were a little apprehensive at first as we didn't know what to expect.
“The support from WAW was there when needed, including advice on how to settle dogs in, allowing the overwhelmed ones to decompress, doing meet and greets with potential new owners, helping out with behaviour issues and with the vets were needed.
“We had foster dogs for a couple of days to a few weeks, it was lovely to see the personalities blossom when they stayed with us longer and got more settled."
It is not all been cuddles, Adam and Sarah have dealt with dogs getting ill, negative behaviours and sleepless nights but still believe that it has all been worth it.
“Seeing updates on our previous fosters settling well into their new homes was so rewarding.
“We also learnt a great deal about dog behaviours and about us, what we liked and what wasn’t for us. We found out that the breeds we liked before fostering where not a good match for us and that breeds, we had previously discounted, such as terriers were some of our favourites to foster.
“It was also great to be part of the rehoming process and the decision on who adopted our foster dogs, WAW valued our opinion and that made a real difference, as handing them over can be hard, but knowing they were going somewhere fantastic made it easier.
“The great cuddles and kisses were also fantastic!"
Even though Adam and Sarah are no longer able to foster for WAW, they remain part of the charity, as on-going supporters, providing advice and support for other fosterers.
Talking about Jess, Sarah said:
“It’s not been plain sailing with Jess, she took a while to trust us and settle in, she has few issues with separation anxiety, but we are working on it.
“Despite this we love her so much, she is such as special girl and has been through so much hardship in her life, we want to spoil her and make the rest of her life incredibly happy.
“We are returning to work soon, but we have changed our work patterns and involved our parents to make sure she is rarely left alone.”
Fostering really does change lives! In the wake of the pandemic, we are seeing more animals coming into rescue, those lockdown pets who no longer fit in with the return to work or have grown from being cute puppies or kittens. Pets who are too much like hard work. We are always looking to recruit new committed people, so please get in touch if you are considering fostering and helping animals in need. Click here to find out more.