These people extend their hearts and their homes to help animals in need.
A proud mama poses with her pups in the Spencer family’s backyard in Draper (Emerald Spencer)
The Spencer family looked down on the new mom, who was curled up in a makeshift bed with her nine healthy, week-old puppies, with pride. As part of a fostering agreement with Nuzzles & Co. Pet Rescue and Adoption, the Spencers took in the dog soon before she gave birth. The family is one of many who welcomes homeless dogs into their homes and hearts.
Since joining Nuzzles & Co. last summer, the Spencers have fostered a total of 23 dogs. We've always had dogs in our house, Misti Spencer explained. I desperately wanted to buy a house so we could acquire a dog. All I need now is a dog in my life. I guess I'll be fostering for the rest of my life!
Nuzzles & Co. is continuously looking for foster parents for their pets. Since its inception in 1990, the organization has grown by leaps and bounds, and currently comprises a pet adoption center in Park City as well as a Rescue and Rehab Ranch. Nuzzles & Co. collaborates with the Navajo Nation and the Ute Reservation to care for and rehome the reservation's numerous homeless dogs and cats. In the year 2020, the charity will have saved 1,863 dogs and kittens.
The Spencers opted to take on the challenge because there is a significant need for people to foster pregnant or nursing pets. We help the parents get back in excellent health, socialized, and used to living indoors, Jonathan Spencer added. We're assisting them in becoming a popular family pet.
We show the moms a lot of love, and they get a lot of attention, Ronan Spencer, a Corner Canyon High School student, said.
Most of the mothers are in poor health, Misti explained. They believed the first mother we picked up was going to die because she was so unwell. It was great to be able to resurrect her. She recalls how happy she and her family were when they saw their first foster dog playing with her puppies in the backyard. That dog was eventually adopted by a Murray family, and the Spencers were delighted to see her again when she was brought to Draper Dog Park by the family.
The Spencers are not responsible for finding the dogs permanent homes as a pet foster family. When the puppies reach the age of eight weeks, they are returned to Nuzzles & Co. to be adopted. The family, on the other hand, frequently finds methods to keep in touch with their former canine companions. Emerald Spencer, a Utah State University student, explained that a family friend adopted two puppies they had fostered. We get to see them still, which is great! she exclaimed.
Emerald explained how her family helps socialize the dogs by teaching them to walk on a leash and taking them for walks. She explained, We invite the neighbors over to play with the dogs. The kids bring their friends around so the dogs grow used to teenagers, Jonathan explained.
When you're a pet foster parent, having older kids who can help care for the dogs is a plus, according to Misti. She also stressed the importance of flexibility when it comes to being a successful foster pet home. You have to be able to solve problems, Misti explained. Each dog has its own personality and problems, and their requirements are vastly different. Every litter of puppies has its own set of requirements.
This batch is going to have some interesting characteristics! Jonathan expressed his feelings about the roly-poly puppies who are currently in their care.
Rescue dogs have a bad reputation, he continued. However, these are good dogs who will love you forever because you provided them a home. We've always had rescue animals as pets.
purebred dog costs a lot of money,Misti explained. There are a lot of great dogs out there. Dogs have such a profound effect on people's lives. That's why I enjoy it so much.
Dogs, according to Ronan, can become an important member of the family. I feel a connection with cats, he said, adding that while he appreciates helping to care for the family's dogs. I have to go up to a cat and pet it if I ever see one.
Many others, particularly those who foster cats and kittens, share this passion for all things feline. Since October 2020, the Day family has fostered nine kittens.
Becca Day noted, I had thought about fostering for a long time." When her mother discovered a little stray kitten lurking in her garage, she decided to become a foster cat parent. The kitten was cared for by Becca and her family until it was adopted by a family acquaintance. We'll still get to see it, she remarked, a smile on her face.
Becca became a member of Celestial Zoo Pet Rescue, a Bluffdale-based Facebook group. Celestial Zoo, unlike Nuzzles & Co., does not have a physical location. For individuals who foster cats and dogs, there are distinct Celestial Zoo Facebook pages. The good part about the online community is that we can identify other kitties who need aid, Becca explained. They help stray cats a lot. If a cat shows symptoms of being a nice pet, we will foster him or her. Cats that are truly feral end up as barn cats.
The Celestial Zoo community frequently organises foster care for homeless cats and kittens found in southern Utah's rural areas and transports them north, where they are more likely to find forever homes.
The Day family fostered the first two kittens from Celestial Zoo, which came from a big cat colony in Utah County. Jiji, the black kitten who subsequently became known as Jiji, was initially terrified of humans and hissed when approached. Ben, Becca's husband, sat with Jiji to help socialize him and soon got the kitten feeding off his hand. It helped me relax, Ben stated. I offered him the chance to create a bond with humans and earn their trust.
Oliver Day, fifteen, is afraid about becoming too connected to the kittens, although he enjoys playing with them. He stated, "I truly enjoy cats.They're always adorable! I enjoy the process of nurturing them and finding them a suitable home. You get to have the experience of having a lot of pets and, if you like one, you get to keep them, Oliver says of fostering kittens.
The Days are currently fostering a young gray and white cat that has developed a bond with their elder pet cat. The family is considering adopting him, labeling him a foster fail. It's difficult, Becca acknowledges, not to retain all of their little feline pets. Sending kittens to a new home can be a difficult decision. Of course you'll be sad in the end, she said. It's because you care, says the narrator.
Celestial Zoo foster cats and dogs are available for adoption through Petfinder, and the group holds weekend adoption events at PetSmart locations in Sandy, West Jordan, and Orem. Celestial Zoo is very concerned about who adopts the cats, Becca said. Prospective owners must fill out an adoption form and meet with the pet's foster parents for an interview.
It's important to make sure that a potential pet owner isn't getting a pet on a whim, as well as to figure out what kind of household environment the pet will be going to. Not every dog or cat is suited to living with small children or other pets. If the adoption doesn't work out, Becca explained, the kitty goes back to the foster. She maintains contact with a few of her adoptive parents.
If others have the time and capacity, Becca encourages them to foster pets, but she also points out that there are other ways to aid homeless creatures. Perhaps you could volunteer to transport animals or donate, she suggested. Keep a watch on your neighborhood and contact a rescue organisation if you spot a cat that is clearly not someone's pet or find a litter of kittens.
Both Nuzzles & Co. and Celestial Zoo are looking for volunteers to foster animals and help in various ways. The Outlets, 6699 N. Landmark Drive, Suite B-103 in Park City, is where Nuzzles & Co.'s Pet Adoption Center can be found. For more information, call 435-649-5441 or go to www.nuzzlesandco.org. Celestial Zoo Pet Rescue also has a website, which you may discover at www.celestialzoo.org or on Facebook.