This year, my boyfriend and I fostered 2 dogs, a Mother (Petal) and a Puppy (Pluto) from the Dogs’ Refuge Home in Shenton Park. Pluto was just under 4 weeks old when we got him and Petal was about 4 years old. They were both found in Broome and flown down to Perth by the Dogs’ Refuge Home and because of Pluto being too young to be permanently adopted, an email was sent out to the volunteers for an urgent foster carer.
We fell in love with them straight away of course, sitting on the kitchen floor for hours on the first night wondering how we were going to be able to leave for work the next day! Pluto was so tiny when we first got him, he was only just starting to walk and couldn’t eat any solids yet. Petal was very shy but still just wanted affection and both my boyfriend and I were surprised at how well behaved she was!
The thing I loved the most about fostering was the difference that you could see in the dogs as they started to become more comfortable and trusting, particularly with Petal, she has become so much more confident with people and just wants to play and cuddle all day long. Fostering is very rewarding but hard work as well, not just physically with looking after the dogs but also emotionally if you’re anything like me! We had Pluto for about 5 weeks in the end and I was a blubbery mess for about a week after he was adopted.
The Dogs’ Refuge Home is now celebrating 80 years of rescuing and re-homing dogs in WA and although they have been around for such a long time, they always need help and support from the community to keep everything running smoothly.
The refuge has four brick kennel houses where the dogs stay and although it may not be ideal for each individual dog, considering the amount of dogs they are able to shelter, it is a great use of space and each dog is cared for with all of the essential comforts. The dogs can end up at the shelter for numerous reasons, the obvious ones being abused or abandoned but there are also dogs that are voluntarily surrendered because of circumstances where the owners can no longer give them the attention and care that they require.
One of the best things about the shelter is that unlike some organisations they have a “no euthanasia” policy, meaning that if for some reason a dog never gets the chance to be adopted, the dog will still live out their entire life surrounded by the dedicated volunteers and the other dogs at the shelter.
The shelter doesn’t just home rescue dogs up for adoption, they offer a number of services. The shelter has boarding kennels, training facilities and an on site cemetery for dogs. Now a cemetery may sound a bit morbid, but it really just highlights how important dogs are to their owners and I managed to find a head stone from as far back as the 1930’s and the message back then is still the same, basically, that they are not just a dog, but a loyal companion.
From my time spent at the shelter as well as my time fostering Petal and Pluto, I would highly encourage everyone to adopt over buying from a breeder or pet shop because these dogs really are amazing and although they may be cautious to begin with, once you have gained their trust they will love you unconditionally and it is such a great feeling to know that even though they may not have had the best life in the past, you have the opportunity to ensure they have the best future.
If you would like to make a donation to the Dogs Refuge Home – Click Here
If you would like to volunteer at the Dogs Refuge Home – Click Here
If you are looking at adopting a dog – Click Here