Man’s best friend is needing a helping paw in finding a home as Dogs Trust in West Calder issues an appeal for possible foster carers in the area to step forward.
The Home From Home scheme is giving local dog lovers the opportunity to step up and help their furry friends by offering a home to them until a permanent owner is found.
The scheme proved very successful when it was launched south of the border two years ago and after two months of running in Scotland, the West Calder centre is hoping more canine carers will put their name forward.
Sean Brunton Home From Home co-ordinator for West Calder said: “As everyone knows, Dog’s Trust is about saving dogs and giving them the best life possible.
“This scheme will help us achieve that in two major ways.
“By some dogs moving out of our kennels and into loving homes it frees up space and allows us to save more dogs.
“We have limited room so if we have 16 foster carers, it means we have 16 more spaces in our centre for dogs.”
Home From Home will also move dogs who may be struggling with life in a kennel.
Sean said: “From puppies who may need constant attention and care to older dogs who may find it hard to adjust to life in a kennel the Home From Home initiative aims to help mutts of all ages.”
Dogs recovering from surgery are also included in the scheme and the benefits have already been proved by one-year-old collie German shepherd cross Dakota.
Sadly she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and was placed on the Home from Home scheme after her operations as the kennel was not a suitable environment for recovery.
She was taken in by John and Liz, one of Dog’s Trust’s Home from Home foster families from East Lothian. They agreed to care for Dakota and help her through her recovery while the charity continued to work to find her a forever home.
Liz said: “Dakota is a lovely dog. She is very loving and affectionate and is always on the move.
“She has great fun playing in the garden with her toys.”
Liz said it was amazing to watch the improvement in Dakota’s hind leg as she recovered.
She said: “Dakota was slow with her walking to begin with, as she had not long had her operation. Now she is walking a lot better and has no problem running around in the garden.”
Sean said that without the help of John and Liz, Dakota would have struggled to recover as quickly as she has.
He said: “She had the comfort of a home and a loving family to help her through her recovery.
Dakota is now almost fully recovered however she is still looking for her forever home.
People wishing to become a foster family for a dog should contact the centre or email Sean.
Staff will then explain the ins and outs of the foster Home From Home scheme and if still happy a short application form is filled out.
Sean said: “This just gives us basic information about your work, your home and if you have any other dogs already.”
Once completed Dogs Trust will visit your home to inspect the garden if there is one and explain more about how the scheme works.
Then the family is added to the register and soon a dog will be on its way to a loving family.
Sean said: “We will only match dogs with suitable owners.
“If someone feels a big dog would be too much trouble then we will wait and give them a smaller dog to look after.
“We are all about making sure the dog and the foster owner is happy.”
The dog will then be delivered to its new home and Dogs Trust will continue searching for a permanent owner.
Sean said: “We will also give the dogs a yellow bandana or jacket to wear while out on walks which will let the public know they are still looking for their forever family.”
Sean promised Dogs Trust will be there every step of the way with foster families to ensure the dog is given the best life possible.
He said: “If you decide that it is not working out then all you have to do is phone the centre and we will arrange for the dog to be transferred to a new home.
“Or if you fall head over heels for the pup and decide you want him all to yourself forever, then again contact the centre as soon as possible and we will take him off our list.
“We are here to help from day one with any problems, issues or questions so do not be afraid to get in touch.
“The aim of the scheme is to give dogs the best life possible so if you feel you can give a dog a home until a permanent owner is found contact us.”
Anyone interested in becoming a foster family for a dog contact Sean on 01506 874 023 or email him at Sean.Brunton@dogstrust.org.uk.