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New program aims to get dogs into foster homes to curb overcapacity at shelters

The initiative is called Project Dog Foster.
Posted at 11:18 PM, Apr 04, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – There are plenty of eyes and wagging tails greeting people visiting the kennels at the San Diego Humane Society.

One of them is Gus Gus, a German Shepard, who is looking for a foster family and, hopefully, a forever home.

“Fostering is great because not only do you get to provide a dog with a temporary home, but you also get a companion,” Gracie Chen, who has previously fostered dogs, said. Dog Foster

Chen is one of the many the San Diego Humane Society is hoping will come to the shelter this April electing to be a foster for a dog in their care.

“For the last two years, we’ve been overcapacity,” Nina Thompson with the San Diego Human Society said. “Now, everyone’s overcapacity so that’s unprecedented. It hasn’t been the case before that everybody’s been full. So now we have to think about the alternatives.”

The alternative is Project Dog Foster.

“This is the first time we’ve seen something like this happen in San Diego,” Thompson said. “This is a collaborative campaign between six shelters and rescue organizations in San Diego County.”

The six groups taking part in Project Dog Foster are City of Chula Vista Animal Services, Frosted Faces Foundation, PAWS of Coronado, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, San Diego County Department of Animal Services and San Diego Humane Society. The goal is to solve the overcapacity crisis at the shelters. 

“I think that’s saying that in a big picture we’re all the same boat. We’re all struggling with the same things and we really need our community to come out and support every single shelter in the County,” Viviana Castellanos, Chula Vista Animal Services, said.

San Diego Humane Society said between the six groups, there are more than 1,100 who could use a break from the kennels through fostering.

“It will make such a difference. It’ll be lifesaving for that animal. But it’ll also help other animals in the County by opening up shelter space,” Thompson said.

Food, supplies and medical care are provided by the shelter with fostering, for however long you are able to do so.

“What you provide is the space, the love and the care for that animal,” Thompson said.

Project Dog Foster is all in hopes of moments like Wednesday afternoon when Chen arrived to foster Gus Gus and bring him to her home.

“He seems like a really sweet dog and he’s super friendly and energetic. And he’s been at the shelter for 3 months now. But we think that it’d be great if we can bring him on,” Chen said.

“There is nothing better for a foster pet - of course other than adoption - than to land in a temporary foster home because a shelter environment is difficult,” Thompson said.

For more information head over to projectdogfoster.org.