The touching story of a Baltimore, Maryland man and his dog who were separated by tragedy then reunited shows us that even in the darkest circumstances there is hope. In October of 2020, an explosion in the home that the man and his dog, Barak shared nearly killed them both. According to ABC11, EMTs arrived at the scene and rescued the man and his dog. When the man was en route to the hospital, he pleaded with the ambulance crew to save the dog.
A tragedy that inspires hope
This was a heartwrenching story with a happy ending. When the victim of the catastrophe arrived at the hospital he was put in a medically induced coma. Barak had to be taken to a temporary shelter. As luck would have it, a pet foster family took the dog in to provide him with long term care until his pet parent was released from the hospital and healthy enough to once again care for him. It took a while for the Maryland man to secure a new home. In time, he moved into the new home and Barak joined him, thanks to the caring foster family that made good on their promise to care for the dog regardless of how long it took.
The value of pet fostering
This story underscores the importance of pet fostering. Families who are willing and able to open their homes as a chance for shelter animals to survive can make a tremendous impact in the lives of the animals they care for and in some cases, families who are trying to get back on their feet. As in the case of Barak and his owner, the dog was not placed in a shelter because he was abandoned or a stray. He had a loving owner who was concerned about the dog’s well-being, but he was physically unable to care for the pet and he had no home for them to live in. Because of the kindness and compassion of the pet foster family, Barak received the love and care he needed until his owner was able to bring him home again. According to Katc.com, several pet shelters have opened up pet fostering programs to help animals who have nowhere to turn until they can be adopted or returned to their owners. The average fostering period is between two to four weeks, but in some cases, the care can be provided for longer periods. This buys the animals more time to be placed in loving homes. When more people step up to the plate and open their homes to these animals in need, it allows shelters to increase their efforts to rescue and care for even more dogs and cats and to find suitable homes for them.
Fostering increases the chances of adoption
Pets that undergo the fostering process learn how to behave in a household setting. The experience can help these animals to become socialized and ready for their adoptive homes when the time comes. It’s a valuable experience for both pet foster families and the animals they help. Many perfectly healthy and beautiful animals have a lot of love to give if they have the opportunity to do so. The fostering situation can help to increase the odds of an animal being adopted by helping them to become more trusting of humans and conditioned to living within the family environment. While not everyone is equipped to deal with the unique needs of a homeless animal, those who are become a part of the solution to a problem with epidemic proportions.
The need is great
According to One Green Planet, it’s estimated that there are 7.6 million animals that are taken into shelters annually. Many of these pets are placed in foster care homes. This gives the shelters additional room to take in more needy dogs and cats that would otherwise be left to suffer out in the cold without food, shelter, or medical attention when needed. Some of the animals that come into the shelters need extra special attention, particularly those that are timid or injured and required more one on one attention. Individuals who work with these shelters to provide temporary homes until adoption are providing a service that is worth its weight in gold.
Benefits of fostering
While some animals are more emotionally damaged than others, one of the benefits of foster homes is that the care providers have the opportunity to watch their foster pets grow and develop. As they learn to trust, their personalities begin to shine through their fears. Overcoming fear and mistrust is a big issue for foster pets in most cases. They enter the home with confusion about what is happening to them, but with patience, understanding, and work, they can learn trust and can begin to feel at ease in their new surroundings. Even animals that have been through the most intense trauma situations can overcome their scars to learn how to give and receive love in a family environment.
Barak and his owner are good examples of how pet foster homes can make all the difference in the lives of people and their pets who are going through challenging circumstances. Single pet owners who have health issues, surgeries, financial setbacks, or other life challenges can find themselves unable to care for pets that they love like their children. During these times, pet foster families can provide the care and support for a vulnerable animal that can help to bridge the gap between times of struggle and when life starts to come together again. Sometimes all that is needed is a respite and a temporary care situation to help everyone get back on their feet again. The rewards can be immense when you know that you’re helping a family get back on their feet. The reunions are joyous occasions and pet foster homes play a vital role in helping to create happy endings instead of sad ones.