Pass It On: Pet Friendly

Pass It On: Pet Friendly

A woman fosters dogs so that their homeless families don't have to give them up.

An artist's rendering of a dog house with a Welcome sign

My dogs are my family—I can’t imagine being separated from them. So when I discovered that people checking into the Yakima, Washington, homeless mission had to give up their dogs, I decided to find a way to keep these families together.

There was enough room in my house for two more dogs. Maybe I could foster people’s dogs while they got back on their feet. I ran the idea past the shelter’s director, and he was gung ho.

Normally the dogs stay for just a month or so while their owners are at the mission. Sometimes my fosters stay longer. One mission resident qualified for a nine-month lease, but the place didn’t allow pets. His dog is living with me until he saves up enough for a pet-friendly apartment.

I take my four-footed guests to visit their owners a few times a month. When I pick up the dogs in the evening, their people look heartened and ready to take on whatever challenges the next day might bring.

While I’ve become good friends with a few of the owners, I’m glad that most move out of the mission and on with their lives—with their canine family members in tow.

Like this article? Sign up for our Your Weekly Inspiration newsletter, and get more stories like this delivered directly to your inbox