2/21/2019 | Von Young

Is there anything better than a big, mushy, block-headed land-walrus laying across your feet on a cold evening? Or how about a velvet-hippo acting as the little spoon during your Netflix binge of Law & Order? Or a go-getter that wants to keep your New Year Resolutions in check by going for a long-sunset walk?

Big dogs offer big love, and the Fredericksburg SPCA is working hard to break down barriers and give big dogs a better chance at finding a home.

We have adopted certain criteria within our organization that allows for people to come in and test out what it will be like living with a large breed dog. We have implemented these strategies, so our dogs can find homes quicker, and be less affected by mental deterioration and kennel stress.

We have rolled out our new Foster-To-Adopt Program, which allows potential adopters to try out any animal that is 7 months and older for a 7 day period.
Kristen Auerbach, Director of Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson AZ  says:“Even people with great intentions aren’t always ready to make a lifetime commitment to a big, bouncy dog without first seeing how that dog fits into their home. We offer to let people decide if foster or adoption is the right choice for them and many people choose to foster before adopting. We have the exact same process for adopting and fostering our dogs. Visitors meet the pet they’re interested in, fill out a questionnaire, meet with a placement counselor and in most cases, take the dog home that same day. Once a dog is in foster, our foster volunteers check in weekly to find out if the foster is ready to permanently adopt the dog they’re fostering. “

Our Foster-To-Adopt program, has seen to an increased number of successful placements. We often hear people say if it doesn’t work out, they will feel bad bringing the animal back to a shelter environment. We have completed studies and collected data with our friends at Maddie’s Fund to prove that Sleepover Fosters and getting out of a shelter environment for as little as 24 hours gives these dogs a great mental break, social interaction and mental stimulation. The dogs are better for it, their positive kennel presence increases, and we can even include more data in their profile that we don’t see at the facility! ( “Loves snuggling with my kids, did not care for the cat, is scared of bicycles on the path, adores the couch!” )

Whether it comes to adoption, hanging out with a big dog through our Adventure Tails Program, fostering a sick, injured or long stay resident – we try and have minimal barriers to keep you from enjoying the big love these animals have to give!

Read more from PACC on how to “Save More Big Dogs In Shelters”