Volunteer Foster Dog Parents Team Up for Walk/Run for the Animals

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Most of the fundraising teams for the Humane Society for Southwest Washington’s (HSSW) Walk/Run for the Animals are dog and cat lovers – many who adopted their four-legged family members from HSSW. This year, however, dedicated volunteer foster dog parents came together to create the Walk/Run for the Animals’ first-ever Foster Dog fundraising team.

Some dogs who come to the shelter need special attention or are frightened by the bustling environment. When this happens, trained HSSW volunteers take the dogs into their homes. Volunteer Janet Luck took in her first foster dog, Zoe, last fall and she started the Foster Dogs team to raise awareness – as well as funds – for all of HSSW’s up-and-coming adoptive pets.

After Zoe arrived at HSSW from a Texas shelter, she was frightened by the noises. “She mostly stayed curled up in a ball, and my heart went out to her,” recalls Luck. “I feel like I’m a voice for Zoe, and the Foster Dogs team is a way to support the shelter’s efforts to offset expenses for all the animals. They help these animals in ways no one sees.”

Although this is Luck’s first foster dog experience, she has volunteered at HSSW for three years. She’s been impressed by the support HSSW gives Zoe through medical exams, vaccinations, periodontal treatments, and weekly Zoom meetings with an animal behaviorist who offers Luck advice on how to deal with extremely anxious and scared dogs.

“HSSW had 206 dogs go through foster care last year and we’ve been working hard to expand the program through our new Population Management department,” says Megan Dennis, Vice President and Director of Shelter Operations. “Some dogs and many puppies need more focused attention. We’re so grateful our volunteer foster dog parents provide loving temporary homes to help train these animals and build trusting relationships.”

Currently, HSSW has 29 active puppy foster homes and 67 adult dog foster homes.

Luck already has horses, three cats, and three dogs (one she adopted from HSSW shortly before she brought Zoe home) on her country property. She’s committed to seeing Zoe find her permanent home. “These animals have just as much to give as anyone else but sometimes it’s hard for people to see that when the dogs are scared. So many people at HSSW work to lift up the foster dogs and get them ready for the right placement. It would warm my heart to see the community support HSSW and this effort.”

Walk/Run for the Animals celebrates its 30th anniversary with a special socially distanced walking route through downtown Vancouver. The dog- and kid-friendly route will have fun stops with available food, giveaways, and entertainment. Masks are required for all participants. Runners can run a 5K wherever they choose the week leading up to May 1 and submit their time online.

Walk/Run for the Animals Event Details
Date: Saturday, May 1, 2021
Location: Downtown Vancouver, Washington
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Cost: Registration fees are $45 through April 25, $50 between April 26 – April 30, or $55 on May 1 (event day). Kids 12 and under are free with an adult registration.

For more information, including registration and fundraising, visit the Humane Society for Southwest Washington Run/Walk for the Animals online.

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