Volunteer foster carers go the extra mile for dogs in need

Dogs Trust Merseyside is saying a big thank you to its volunteer doggy foster carers who have continued to go the extra mile for their four-legged friends in recent months.

This week (1-7 June) is Volunteers’ Week, an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. Currently Dogs Trust Merseyside volunteers aren’t able to help out at the rehoming centre, but volunteer foster carers have been keeping busy doing their bit to help dogs most in need in these uncertain times.

Kim Rowlands, Home from Home Co-ordinator at Dogs Trust Merseyside, says:

"Dogs that go into the loving homes of our foster carers are usually only there for a short time, revelling in their home comforts until they can find their forever homes.

"But because of the current situation, they have been there for a while longer than anticipated and we want to say a huge thank you to our dedicated foster carers who have continued to give them all the love and care they need."

The Home from Home fostering scheme was established at Dogs Trust Merseyside in 2016. There are currently 21 foster carers signed up to help provide temporary homes to dogs that the team feel would particularly benefit from continuing to enjoy their home comforts until they find their forever family. Nine dogs are enjoying receiving lots of TLC in foster homes during lockdown, and one of those is 17-year-old Patterdale Terrier, Max, who is being fostered by Leigh and Jenny Merritt who have fostered 36 dogs since they became fosterers in 2016.

Leigh says:

"We absolutely love fostering. We signed up after our elderly dog passed away and we really missed having a dog in our lives. It’s great to be able to help lots of dogs and get them ready to head off to their forever homes. We have fostered everything from a German Shepherd and a Husky to a King Charles Spaniel and a Whippet.

"Now we have lovely Max who we have thoroughly enjoyed looking after during lockdown."

Volunteers are a vital part of the team at Dogs Trust Merseyside but they aren’t currently able to help out on site with the usual tasks of everything from dog walking to cleaning kennels and laundry.

Kim says:

"We can’t wait until we have our volunteers by our side at the rehoming centre once again and we know they are raring to go, but in the meantime we want to say thank you to all of them for their continued support, and to our foster carers who are doing such a fantastic job."

Dogs Trust Merseyside has been overwhelmed recently with members of the dog-loving public offering to become foster carers. As a result, the centre has temporarily paused applications.

Dogs Trust Merseyside is still closed to walk-in members of the public. However, recent changes in the government guidance means that from 1 June the team can now book appointments for those dogs who can’t be rehomed using our new ‘handover at home’ process. Potential new owners will be able to meet the dog they are interested in rehoming at the centre in an outside play area, or in a spacious area that is separate from the main rehoming centre such as a training barn, whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.