Dogs Trust

National Volunteers' Week: Can you foster a dog at risk?

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is hoping dog loving locals in Greater London & Hertfordshire will feel inspired to register as foster carers this Volunteers’ Week to help dogs in desperate need.

The Freedom Project is an innovative pet fostering scheme providing vital help for people fleeing domestic abuse in Greater London & Hertfordshire. The scheme works by placing the dog at risk into the home of a volunteer foster carer who will care for them until they can be safely reunited with their owner.  

Dogs Trust Freedom Project Manager, Clare Kivlehan said:

“We are currently looking for foster carers in the Greater London & Hertfordshire areas who are around for most of the day and have experience of caring for dogs.

“Volunteering is hugely rewarding and fostering through the Freedom Project not only helps the dogs, but also enables their owners to flee abusive situations safe in the knowledge their dog will be cared for.

Our volunteer foster carers look after dogs for an average of six months and all the dogs’ expenses are covered by Dogs Trust, so it is particularly rewarding for dog lovers who aren’t able to own a dog on a permanent basis.

For more than ten years we have been supported by wonderful volunteers, who have fostered just over 850 pets, helping more than 570 families. Without them the Freedom Project would not exist, so we are hugely thankful for their amazing support.”

The Freedom Project is calling on volunteers specific to the Greater London & Hertfordshire areas to come forward and continue to support their project.

Volunteer Foster Carer Nigel from Hertfordshire believes volunteering with the Freedom Project has had a special impact on his life:

“I’m a lifelong animal lover and decided that I wanted to do something to help dogs after I retired. I began fostering for the Freedom Project 2 years ago. I made a conscious decision that in order for me to accept more dogs through the Freedom Project, I wouldn’t get a dog of my own – I’d much rather carry on helping dogs and people at risk.”

“Fostering is certainly a rewarding experience. To watch any dog arrive anxious and confused, and then develop into a confident and contented ‘guest’ is very satisfying, and easily compensates for the small amount of effort involved.”

“With every dog the most special moment is when you realise you have earned their trust. It might be as simple as them not opening their eyes as you stand to leave the room or nudging you for another back scratch. It’s difficult to explain how or when the moment will happen but when it does it brings a smile and makes everything worthwhile.”

 If you live in Greater London or Hertfordshire and would like to find about more about volunteering as a Foster Carer for the Dogs Trust Freedom Project, click here.

Click here to email the team, or alternatively call 0800 298 9199.