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County seeks foster homes for dogs

County animal control personnel may have a tough time being heard above the clamor to aid 61 Finnish Lapphunds rescued from a Redding home last week and brought to Sonoma County in the care of the local Humane Society.

But even as the badly neglected dogs were on their way south, the Sonoma County Animal Care and Control Division was launching its own campaign to recruit foster homes for dogs in its care that are too sensitive for kennel life.

The county is seeking people who can provide temporary homes for dogs that become too stressed living in a kennel. Of 41 dogs currently ready for adoption at the shelter, about 10 need to be transferred to a gentler environment until they can find a permanent home, department director Brigid Wasson said.

“Some dogs are OK in every environment,” Wasson said. “They’re pretty bomb-proof.

“But they’re not all that way,” she said, especially high-energy herding dogs and other sensitive breeds that are too stimulated by the activity around them to thrive in the confines of a kennel.

Some will develop stress behaviors that will limit their changes for adoption. Moving them into a foster home where someone can provide additional love and training may be the only way they find a permanent home, she and others said.

Foster “parents” also are better able to get adoptable dogs out in the community, providing the exposure that may help the dog find a permanent family, Wasson said.

“For some dogs, being in foster care is the key to being adopted,” said Ann Joly, who supervises the county animal shelter. “Foster homes truly make a difference in the lives of dogs.”

Foster care works best when the provider makes a firm choice ahead of time not to adopt the dog in their care and understands the value of providing that interim place to land.

Anyone interested in becoming a canine foster parent should contact volunteer coordinator Greg Mortensen at (707) 565-7116 or by email greg.mortensen@sonoma-county.org.

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