Fostering for BARCS in Quarantine
Ariel R. has been fostering with BARCS for about two years now. In her own words, Ariel tells us about fostering during the COVID crisis.
I moved from New York to Baltimore in February 2018. I wanted to find a way to meet new people and connect on a shared passion and to also give back to my new community while volunteering for a cause that is close to my heart. I’ve grown up with animals my whole life, so it seemed natural for me to volunteer with an animal shelter. When I read the staggering number of admissions that BARCS takes in every year, I knew that that was the shelter I wanted to volunteer at.
When I began volunteering at BARCS, I was mostly doing events and dog walking. I remember I was by the volunteer office one day and overheard that our cat rooms were all filled up with new cases the shelter took in and they were looking to get a bunch of the kitties into foster homes. Standing right there, hearing how much the shelter needed space and the cats needed love, I turned around and was like, “Me! I can foster a kitty!” And I haven’t stopped fostering since.
Fostering for me is always wonderful, but especially now during quarantine it has added so much to my life. Having extra animals in my home allows me to make sure I get outside everyday for fresh air and provides me with a huge amount of emotional wellbeing (doggy kisses and cat head nudges!). In addition, giving animals an opportunity to decompress outside of the shelter and see what they are like in a home environment is truly rewarding. Watching them go to their forever homes is always bittersweet because I love each and every one of them, but knowing that they will be able to sleep gently in a home with loving parents each night always makes it worth it.
Since the beginning of quarantine, I have fostered five dogs (Rizza, Voyager, Hairtie, Lite Brite and Dorito) and one cat (Narwahl). Rizza, an older sweet and gentle gal, was slated to be a Pawject Runway model. Since the event had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, I kept fostering her until she was adopted. She was such a sweetheart, and I’m sure she’s glad to be home.
Hairtie was found with his sister tied up in a backyard, and for the first several days of being with me, he didn’t feel comfortable enough to lay down and would stand the whole time. Now he happily sleeps in his new mom’s arms!
Narwhal was a young female who was one of the last kitties to get spayed before elective procedures had to be put on hold. She was adopted by a graduate student who was looking for a companion; he grew up with animals and was missing that love. I’m glad to say he found it in Narwhal!
Lite Brite was a 10-month-old deaf puppy who came in through our partnership with Baltimore City Animal Control. She was sweet and playful, and she’ll definitely be spoiled in her forever home.
Dorito came in as a stray with unknown wounds to his face, legs and tail, but he maintained his high energy and kisses for every human he would come across. He charmed his adopter right away—and with that face, how could he not?
Voyager was brought to BARCS after his last owner could no longer care for him. After some time at my house, he was adopted by a large family where one of the adults had special needs. Voyager quickly warmed up to him and they got along very well!