Foster homes now sought for dogs from flooded Texas

Mesa County could become a forever home for dogs displaced by Hurricane Harvey, if an effort to provide support to Texas animal shelters comes to fruition and they accept the help.

Roice-Hurst Humane Society, 362 28 Road, is building a network of foster homes for dogs, asking locals to apply to take in animals from hurricane-
affected areas if they are willing to house the dogs for the shelter.

The idea to have local homes effectively extend the capacity of the shelter came in response to appeals from animal-welfare groups around the country, according to Roice-Hurst Executive Director Anna Stout.

While her agency is near capacity from local needs and taking overflow dogs from Mesa County Animal Services, which is undergoing a remodel and has less than half its normal availability for animals, she had an idea.

If folks who wanted to help would sign up to foster dogs, and her agency could guarantee there was a place to put a dog from Texas, the humane society could offer to have a large number of dogs transported here to help.

The idea is to help alleviate the pressure the Texas shelters are feeling, with increased numbers of dogs displaced from homes, who have had owners who died or are unable to care for them at this time and need to give them up because the people themselves do not have shelter.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure we have a group of people here who are willing to receive them,” Stout said.

The dogs would be fostered by area homes until room at Roice-Hurst opened up, or until the dog could be adopted directly from the foster home with help from the shelter staff.

Roice-Hurst is accepting applications from locals who would like to foster dogs. The process includes a home visit to make sure the dog will be a suitable fit for the home and that the home is appropriate for the dog, too.

The agency is hoping to be able to arrange the transportation of a large number of dogs, perhaps via airplane, but the details are still being worked out, Stout said.

At this point, it could be a few weeks before any dogs arrive, if the shelters in Texas take 
Roice-Hurst up on its offer. Dogs placed in foster homes would be available for adoption through the shelter, but Stout said it’s not uncommon for people who foster dogs to decide they want to adopt them and keep them after getting to know the animals.

“This is a unique situation,” Stout said. “We don’t normally let people try out dogs.”

Stout said she has received at least 50 inquiries so far and hopes to have more applications from potential foster homes this week. 

The deadline to apply to become a foster home for dogs in this project is Friday, so Roice-Hurst can determine the number of animals it can arrange for transport. Call 434-7337 for information or visit rhhumanesociety.org.


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