Foster First was launched just before Christmas last year and thanks to the exceptional dedication and compassion of Ana Cossart, our Foster First Co-Ordinator, and the overwhelmingly positive response from smaller rescues across the UK who are already involved in this initiative, there are dogs, cats, rabbits and other homeless animals beginning their journeys to happier new lives. Our spotlight on fostering as a lifeline for rescue pets initially came about in preparation for the greater numbers of puppy farm breeding dogs being surrendered as a result of Lucy’s Law. We know from personal experience that in order to start the rehabilitation process, these special dogs need to be in a home environment, normally with a calm resident dog, so that they can start learning how to be dogs and living the lives that should always have been theirs.
But of course, this is only one aspect of the vital work fostering animals fulfills. From companionship for the elderly who are increasingly isolated, to helping provide a safe haven for animals so that human victims of domestic abuse can flee to safety, to freeing up valuable kennel space for a pound dog that may otherwise be euthanised, fosterers are amazing people and the small rescue world would collapse without them. And there’s another key reason for Foster First. We want to encourage potential first-time puppy purchasers to stop and think before they leap into a purchase they may regret. To give first timers a taste of what having a dog in your life really means, how it affects your daily life, your routine, your environment and your finances – we are urging anyone who thinks they want to buy a puppy to foster a dog or puppy first – before making that huge, life-changing commitment. With one in ten pups being surrendered to rescues within a month of being purchased, we are committed to doing whatever we can to get people to stop and take a breath before taking home the ‘dream’ and then using local rescues as recycling depots when they decide their cute fluffball is a noisy, destructive, pooing, weeing nightmare – or whatever excuse they decide to come up with in order to ‘get rid’ of their costly mistake fast. Yes, there is still a great deal of work to do in order for Care And Respect to Include All Dogs. But this is our name and this remains our aim.
For nearly ten years we have been working tirelessly to bring about an end to the suffering caused by the exploitation of dogs and puppies through puppy farming. And we will continue to do so. But our work has always included a focus on adoption and supporting the work of small local rescues wherever we can as well. In creating Foster First our aim is to provide a resource for rescues to use to help them in their own vital work. With the majority of our work carried out behind the scenes it’s great to be able to share one of the highly visible ways your donations are helping us to make a tangible difference to our animal friends. We have other initiatives in the pipeline which will come to fruition if, or when we have enough funds. We’re so very grateful to the small number of supporters who have set up monthly direct debits, and to those groups and individuals who donate to us from their amazing fundraisers. This is what makes it possible for us to plan campaigns and make them a reality. We do all of our creative work and design in-house which means there are no costs involved there, but printing, packaging and postage for campaigns like Foster First are costly. So, if you’d like to support an organisation that always puts the real needs of dogs first, and you like what we’ve done over the years, please help us do even more by setting up a monthly direct debit now, or by making a one off donation. We promise that with your help we will continue to make a difference – https://cariadcampaign.co.uk/donate/