Fostering Pets: Helping Animals While Bringing Joy To Yourself

Commentary By: Olivia Armstrong, Follow South Jersey Intern

Foster pup, Cheddar, enjoys a break from playing. Photo credit: Olivia Armstrong.

Nothing brings more joy and happiness than a puppy, so why not foster one when there are so many that need homes. The Riley Rescue is an organization run by volunteers that accepts donations and has many dogs available to foster or adopt. Their mission is to “Rescue dogs from challenging situations, and provide them with a second chance at a happy healthy life.” 

I myself felt like I was going through a challenging time, with school, work, social life and holidays around the corner and I thought to myself, I think I need a dog. I came across The Riley Rescue Facebook page and saw hundreds of pictures of puppies that need a foster home, or need to be adopted and instantly applied. A few hours later I got a text saying I got approved and to pick up Cheddar the following morning. 

I picked up a lot of supplies that night for Cheddar and couldn’t wait to pick him up. I arrived at 8:30 in the morning at the location I was told to go to with very little information. I pulled into a parking lot with a van full of puppies and a line formed around it. I hopped into line and showed the people in charge a picture, they handed me Cheddar, a bag of food, a collar, told me he was neutered and up to date with his shots, and I was on my way. When was fostering or adopting a dog this easy? 

While I was there I met a couple in line and overheard them talking about how these dogs were rescued and just arrived from South Carolina and they do this every weekend to save the dogs lives. I got lucky with an eight pound, two month old beagle mix puppy who might be the cutest dog I have ever seen. So many people in line even asked if that was Cheddar, I was like is Cheddar famous?

I picked Cheddar up about a week ago and my heart has been filled with joy ever since, I mean he’s a puppy who prances around, I could stare at him all day. Not only that but I know I am doing a great thing with fostering him and this experience is making me want to foster more to save them. 

House training and crate training to everyone seems like the toughest battles when it comes to a puppy, but so far my experience has been good! He has had a few accidents but is slowly learning to only go outside, giving him treats after he goes to the bathroom outside helps him understand that what he is doing is right. The first night that he was here he cried all night long in his crate which woke me up every hour of the night, but how can I be mad at him when he gives me the puppy eyes? Those really do always work. That was the only night he cried in his crate and he never did it again. 

Cheddar is the kind of puppy that just wants love, attention and to be in someone’s arms. Don’t let that fool you though this eight pound puppy thinks he’s bigger than anyone. But he is a great snuggle buddy and overall such a loverboy.

To find your Cheddar or interested in donating, or for more information on The Ridley Rescue, click here. To visit their Facebook page, click here.

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