Fostering the Underdogs

It’s Foster a Pet Month!

To celebrate, we’re highlighting some of our awesome foster families, like Kim’s. Learn how you can foster, too!

For Father’s Day, Kim and Bryan officially added a new member to their family: a three-legged dog named Tatum. Tatum joined a household of felines, including rescue cats Shadow and Simon, a cat and three kittens the family is currently fostering, and three more cats belonging to one of Kim and Bryan’s sons who just moved out of state (he’ll be back for them soon).

Tatum, the lone dog in the family, is a foster fail. The two dogs Kim and Bryan adopted from Anderson Humane years ago both passed away last year within a couple months of each other. The couple wanted to fill that void, but weren’t yet ready to commit to another pet. So, they decided to try fostering dogs.

They’d been fostering cats and newborn kittens with Anderson Humane for years. The newborn kittens require bottle feeding and round-the-clock care, but it’s usually only a two to three week gig at a time. Once the kittens reach two pounds, they’re ready to be spayed or neutered and then adopted into their forever home.

When Kim and Bryan agreed to take in dogs as well, Kim decided to foster those who are older or have medical needs – in other words, the dogs who take a little longer to find their forever home and could use a little extra love in the process.

Tatum is one of several amputees they’ve fostered. “They think she was shot,” Kim said, explaining the amputated leg. “It’s likely she wasn’t treated right away and that there was still metal in her leg, which led to arthritis and then amputation.”

Tatum also tested positive for heartworm, a condition that requires several painful shots over many months. After loving her through all of these procedures, Kim and Bryan realized they couldn’t let Tatum go. The adoption was Kim’s Father’s Day gift to Bryan this year.

In addition to amputees, they’ve fostered dogs that have been hit by a car or older dogs who simply needed a break from the sometimes-chaotic environment of the shelter. “These animals just need some love,” Kim said.

While it sometimes take a while for that love to reach the animal, Kim says she enjoys watching them come out of their shell. “It’s amazing watching them learn how to play, how to be a dog or cat, watching them bloom,” she said, pausing as tears filled her eyes, “then getting them into their forever homes.”

One of the most memorable moments from her years of fostering was when a pregnant cat gave birth in their home when her grandkids, ages 9 and 7 at the time, were there. “We all watched her give birth. It was really special,” she said. “The kids thought it was just awesome.” They also enjoyed getting to name the kittens, choosing names such as Snow White and Luna.

Kim estimates they’ve fostered as many as 50-60 animals over the years. She likes meeting with the adoptive families, sharing a bit about the dog or cat’s journey thus far as they get ready to join their new home. After that, she doesn’t know what becomes of the animals, but has peace knowing “They become quite spoiled and loved while they’re here, for however long we have them.”

A sign on Kim’s wall says it all, “Rescued is my favorite breed.”

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