There’s a new movement afoot – or should that be a-paw – in the world of animal fostering, and it all started with one person’s inspiration from the ASPCA’s end of life fostering program.
As a part of their comprehensive pet fostering program, the ASPCA sponsors a fospice (foster + hospice) program for animals who are either too young, sick, or injured to go to a forever home. While some of those pets will eventually recuperate and be adopted, there are those who are at the end of their lives due to age or terminal illness. They deserve love and care at the end of their lives – doesn’t everyone?
Foster Dogs NYC
Sarah Brasky of New York decided that this was a truly rewarding idea and took the fospice concept and ran with it. She founded Foster Dogs NYC which finds and sponsors foster parents for dogs who are living out their golden years in less than optimal conditions. These sweet pooches may be in a shelter, at a rescue, or in danger of owner surrender. Sarah believes that these dogs deserve all the love, dignity, and medical care that a real family offers and her organization provides them with just that.
Foster Dogs NYC started out in 2009, when Brasky was fresh out of college, as a way to help connect rescue dogs with foster families that could give them temporary haven in order to save them from euthanization. Then, in 2013, Brasky added the Fospice program, specifically designed to address the needs of older and terminally ill dogs who need a place to live the rest of their months or years in comfort and peace. She took the ASPCA concept and embellished upon it, making it her own and adding some twists.
How It Works
When a foster parent takes a dog in through Foster Dogs NYC, the organization provides the animal with veterinarian care, supplies, and an array of fun and indulgent gifts from local NYC vendors. When you sponsor a pet through this amazing organization, you’re facilitating:
- Assistance finding a dog in need a fospice family
- A dog bed donation from Harry Barker
- A private photo shoot for the dog and its foster owner so that the owner has a memento to remember his or her foster pet by
- A 6-month subscription to BarkBox – a service that sends treats and toys to that special pet
Every company that Foster Dogs NYC partners with is based in New York, because supporting local business matters to Brasky.
In order to qualify for the fospice program, the animal must be elderly and/or terminally ill, in the custody of a non-profit 501(c)(3) rescue organization or a shelter, or be in danger of losing their home due to owner surrender.
Foster Dogs NYC doesn’t just serve the animals, they serve people too. The organization offers free Foster Workshops in order to help potential foster parents learn about fostering as well as dog health and care. These workshops are also open to anyone who wants to learn how to be a better dog owner. As a bonus, adoptable pooches also attend the workshops in order to socialize them and allow the attendees to see up close and personal how beneficial the program is for the animals.
Brasky’s group is always looking for volunteers to help spread the word and assist with adoption events, fundraisers, shelter visits, and educational workshops. Those who have the ability to assist with things like photography, event planning, and marketing are always in demand. If you’d like to help out you can check out their volunteer page here.
While Brasky’s fospice program was only able to sponsor five dogs per year in its first couple years, the organization obtained 501(c)(3) status in 2014 and has now been able to place over 20 dogs (and counting!). The worthy cause is growing every day and giving dogs without much time left the love, pampering, and care they deserve.