Sacramento County’s Bradshaw Animal Shelter
intakes thousands of pets in the community each year. Most of these pets are reunited with their owners or are able to find loving forever homes to be adopted into. However, some shelter pets have a difficult time finding a normal adoptive home which is where the shelter’s foster and rescue program comes in. The foster and rescue program
works with local foster and rescue providers in the community to help shelter pets that need a little extra assistance on the way to their happy ending.
Foster care providers provide temporary care outside of the shelter to animals such as those too young for adoption, needing to recover from an illness or injury, for behavior modification, or just because they need a break from the stresses of shelter life. Rescue group partners are also a huge help as they pull shelter animals who otherwise have a difficult time being adopted due to age, medical condition or the need for behavioral modification that cannot be resolved in a foster home.
Shelter dog Dora, who arrived as a stray in 2016, was having a difficult time finding a forever home. Fortunately, shelter staff was so impressed by her high-toy drive that they contacted the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation
(NDSDF). The NDSDF is an organization based in Santa Paula, California that strengthens disaster response across America by rescuing and recruiting dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. They have been a long-time rescue partner of the Sacramento County’s Bradshaw Animal Shelter.
“Groups such as NDSDF give dogs that have no chance of placement in a normal pet home an opportunity for a great outcome and a chance to truly thrive in the world,” said Shasta Stratton-Quirk, who works on the shelter’s foster and rescue team. “Because some dogs are not able to be adopted out through normal routes, it is the job of the foster and rescue team to find an outlet where they can reach their true potential.
Dora’s natural abilities made it clear that the NDSDF made the right choice in bringing her on the team. Six years later, the rescue partner is happy to report Dora is working diligently with the San Diego Fire Department and California Task Force 8 alongside her handler, Joe Zakar, and has truly gone from rescued to rescuer.