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TAILS in need of foster homes

Published: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Kyle Bursaw – kbursaw@shawmedia.com)
TAILS volunteers Lindsay Stager (front) and Jillian Gray put away items Friday from a recent pet food donation in a hallway with multiple dog crates in it. The crates in the hallway are just one way TAILS finds space to house more dogs when they take on large quantities at once, such as the 282 dogs from Oklahoma shelters that arrived in October.

DeKALB – TAILS Humane Society is seeking temporary and permanent homes for dogs as its leaders continue their push to save as many animals as possible from overcrowded shelters in Oklahoma.

After TAILS brought 282 dogs and puppies from Oklahoma shelters in October, only 12 remain for adoption, six of which are ready for a home today, executive director Beth Drake said. But the shelter is expecting to welcome 70 more puppies next week and needs foster homes to care for the various litters for about two weeks.

Drake said the northern Illinois region has a strong demand for dogs – shown by the shelter’s ability to place 127 of the 282 Oklahoma dogs over two days at adoption drives in Schaumburg and Elmhurst.

But the only way to accept the dogs that Oklahoma shelters desperately need to unload is by finding foster homes.

Drake said puppies cannot stay at the TAILS shelter at 2250 Barber Greene Road in DeKalb because of their higher risk of contracting disease, and adult dogs cannot stay long because out-of-state animals cannot displace local ones.

“The more foster homes we have, the more animals we can save from Oklahoma,” she said. “One more home means one more litter saved. That’s not to make it sound more dramatic – that’s the God’s honest truth.”

For those interested in serving as foster parents, Drake said litters generally include about five puppies. The shelter provides the crate, blanket, food and all other costs, with the foster family only needing to care for the animals and provide transportation to and from TAILS.

People can find more information about the foster program at www.tailshumanesociety.org.

The humane society’s participation with Oklahoma shelters increased during the fall after TAILS received $79,000 in grants from the Petco Foundation to purchase a new van and cover medical, transportation and food costs for more animals.

Drake said TAILS’ help is needed because those shelters are overrun from the lack of spaying and neutering in the state. She said it is frustrating to know highly adoptable dogs and puppies are euthanized because TAILS does not have enough foster homes or space to get them adopted.

“We can only take 40 to 60 at a time, which is a drop in the bucket,” she said. “They are just the nicest dogs and we know they would get adopted, but we just need to get them here.”

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