Fostering is rewarding when you see an animal change before your eyes.  When dogs are surrendered to the shelter, either by previous owner, or a stray that was found and dropped off, it can be very overwhelming to a dog.  A shelter can be noisy, chaotic, so many new smells, sites, and sounds for a new dog who only knew a quiet home most of the time.  Everything has changed in an instant for these dogs and they are plopped right into a new environment.Eli

We introduce you to a stray hound named Eli.  Eli’s story starts with an animal control officer finding him wondering in the woods.  They saw that Eli had an eye injury and brought him to the shelter for care.  Nothing was known about Eli other than he needed to be cared for to help with that injured eye.  Eli had his eye removed, and now he looks like he is always winking at you, which isn’t all that bad given his adorable expressions.  Eli is our typical energetic hound whose job it is to rid his local area of squirrels.  He wasn’t doing well in the shelter environment and went to a foster home.  He went to his first foster home to heal from his surgery to remove his eye, and unfortunately, it was not a good fit in that foster home.  He was returned to the shelter, and the eye that was just operated on, was not doing well.  In walked one of our very dedicated foster parents who takes on some tough cases.  Eli, with all of his energy and injured eye was a tough case.  Eli went to stay with his new foster family Natalie & Josh, who know how to deal with the hounds and quickly got to work with Eli.  Natalie and Josh turned his manners around and provided him the much needed structure, exercise and discipline that he needed to get him back on track.  He learned how to behave in a home and be one of the pack in a respectful manner.  He calmed down nicely with the support and help from his foster family, Natalie and Josh.  Each Sunday, Natalie and Josh bring Eli to the FREE Sunday Socialization and Behavioral classes that are provided from another non-profit to support new adopters and foster families with dogs needing behavioral help.  Eli started behaving himself again in no time, and is currently waiting for that special family that understands hounds and will continue to work with him.

In walks Queen to our shelter.  Queen was surrendered to our shelter on April 1st.  Pit/mixes are another breed that can have lots of energy and most likely will need someone to understand how valuable boundaries exercise and disQueencipline is to dogs like Queen and Eli.  She wasn’t very social, and did not seem to do well around other dogs.  She was not thriving at the shelter, there was no way to relieve all of her energy and prospects of having her adopted were looking slim, as she just did not show well in her kennel at the shelter.  Natalie and Josh did it again, and they came and retrieved Queen and took her home.  With the wisdom of all that is taught in the Sunday class, Queen became a very social girl and was very respectful around Eli, and his two other fur siblings.  Pictures are worth a thousand words, and in these pictures, you can see the sweetness of the two friends enjoying one another, the hound and the pit, who would have thought?

Queen and Eli wait patiently in their foster home for someone to notice them.  If you are interested in adopting either Queen or Eli, you will know more about their behaviors by asking their foster family.  Foster families are a great source of information on how to introduce your new dog to family, friends and other dogs.  Our foster families work tirelessly with their foster dogs to get them ready for their new home.  When you adopt a foster dog, you adopt a dog that is most likely potty trained, crate trained, knows how to behave and walk calmly and nicely on a leash and one that is social around other people and dogs.  You will not see what these dogs looked like or behaved like when they first came to our shelter, but you will benefit from them being in a home and learning their manners.

If you would like any information on fostering, speak to one of the Humane Society of Charles County foster families for information on what it’s really like to be a foster.  The rewards you receive watching a dog go to a new home, and even assisting and helping the new owners through the transition period is truly a remarkable experience.  I’m sure Natalie and Josh will be happy to answer any questions you might have on fostering, as well as a handful of other fosters.

Email if you are interested in attending one of the Free Sunday Training Sessions.