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Los Angeles Animal Services is partnering with the Best Friends Animal Society for “Five to Thrive,” a program launching in January asking the public to take home a long-stay pet for five days or longer.
While many dogs available for adoption at Los Angeles Animal Services are young, healthy and great with people and other dogs, it can still take a long time for the department to find permanent homes for them, said Brenda Barnette, general manager for Los Angeles Animal Services.
“Large breed dogs can be a challenge to adopt in Los Angeles, often due to rental or homeowners association restrictions,” Barnette added. “We have a lot of fabulous dogs who end up staying in a kennel for weeks to months or longer. They really need a break from shelter life. Sometimes we find that foster volunteers are key to finding their charge a new home just during walks in the neighborhood.”
“Five to Thrive” foster opportunities are available at all six Los Angeles Animal Services centers, as well as the Best Friends Lifesaving Center and through more than a dozen NKLA Coalition partners including Angel City Pit Bulls, Kitty Bungalow, Michelson Found Animals Foundation and Pacific Pups Rescue.
“Fostering is a great new year’s resolution if you want to make a big impact in a short amount of time,” Barnette said. “It’s so rewarding, for both the foster and the dog.”
Fostering can help shelter dogs in several ways, according to Jennifer Pimentel, executive director of Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles.
“It gives dogs a chance to enjoy time outside of a shelter and fosters can give us information on what that dog is like in a home, which can be very valuable in helping us in finding the right adopter in the future,” Pimentel said.
That was the case for Boo, a pitbull terrier that originally came to Los Angeles Animal Services as a stray before being transferred to Best Friends Animal Society. Boo was highly stressed in the kennel environment and wasn’t showing well for potential adopters, so he went to a foster home. Within a short time, Boo started to improve. His foster owner discovered that Boo was a sound sleeper who didn’t bark much and loved affection. The notes from his foster helped Boo find a home shortly thereafter with Meg and Erik Sedrakyan, of Los Angeles.
“A foster is often the gateway for a dog to find its happy ending, which is a beautiful process to be a part of,” Pimentel added. “Of course, if a foster falls in love and wants to adopt the dog, we’re totally fine with that, too. A foster failure is the best kind of failure to be.”
For information, visit laanimalservices.org and bestfriendsla.org.
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