Fosterer Polly gives our dogs a great start in life

Polly and her fiancée from Penrith, found love through fostering dogs.

Polly a Dogs Trust foster carer, sitting on a white chair, smiling in a lovely green garden with sunflowers in the background.
24th April 2023

Polly found just what she was looking for, and more, by helping local four-legged friends find a forever home through fostering. 

"I wanted to get my own dog one day, and though I couldn’t commit full time, I had so much love to give,” recalls Polly, a foster carer in her 20s based in Cumbria.

“I was so excited when I saw that I could foster dogs. I wish I’d known about it sooner, otherwise, I’d have done it years ago."

Polly says she’s loved every moment of offering a short-term home to dogs at a schedule that suits her.

“You don’t know if work flexibility might go and it might not be suitable to have a dog long term, so I thought at least I could help by fostering.”

Due to working remotely and living away from family, her furry foster friends provide brilliant company and get her up and ready to start her day. We provided everything needed to support Polly’s fostering experience, from a bed or crate, and food, to behaviour and training support.

“My favourite thing about fostering with Dogs Trust is that they’re always there at the end of the phone, happy to help with any issues I’m having. No question is too small.” 

Polly says fostering is much more than offering a home, it’s providing a precious opportunity to get to know the dog outside of the rehoming centre. “You're always trying to see what their character is like, what their preferences are, what their behaviour is like,” she explains.  

One of her favourite parts of the experience is seeing the change in her foster dog. “Sometimes you don’t realise how much they aren’t themselves when they arrive. It’s not until they get near adoption you see the difference.” 

Whether they stay with her for a few days or weeks, Polly really gets to know the dogs in her care, which helps us to find their forever homes. Polly says it’s always hard to say goodbye but making the dogs’ adoption more successful with the progress they’ve made makes it all worthwhile.

“They've already started to learn from their training and got more used to the house environment, which gives them the best start to what’s next.” 

Polly has fostered many different dogs so far, and each experience has grown her confidence with breeds of all shapes and sizes.

One pup stands out for special reasons; “Lola, the beagle, was out on a walk in Scotland with us one day when I got proposed to, which was really special. I’ll always remember her for that experience.” 

Fostering also gave Polly’s fiancée the chance to get a taste of life as a dog owner; “My partner had never had a dog, so it helped that we didn’t have the full commitment.” He quickly fell in love with having a dog in the home, with each fostered friend “stealing his heart” and getting a nickname from the couple. 

Polly’s advice to any would-be Dogs Trust fosterers is: “If you’ve got the time, the space, the love, do it – sign up, and don’t wait!” She says being a lifeline to dogs in need has changed her life; “I’m so glad I signed up; it’s been the best thing I’ve done all year!” 

Fostering with us

Since signing up as a foster carer, Polly has adopted one of her foster dogs, Minnie, and hopes to return to fostering soon. 

If you have been inspired by Polly's story and think fostering could be for you and would like for information, please visit our page below to start your journey! 

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