Why foster a dog? When Emmie was brought into Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, CA, burns covered most of her small body. Veterinary staff believed it was a chemical burn but weren’t sure how it happened or what the substance was. What the shelter did know was that their “super foster” of five years, Peggy Coppin—she’s fostered over 100 dogs to date—would provide the temporary home Emmie needed to recover.

Emmie's medical treatment was made possible with a lifesaving grant from the Petco Foundation, but the little dog would need continuing care while recuperating. Peggy, a retired cardiac nurse who specializes in fostering dogs with medical needs, was able to provide Emmie with the extra care she required, changing her bandages daily while the pup recovered for two-and-a-half months in her home.

Emmie got her happy ending when she was adopted this May by a local Sacramento family with two fur-siblings. A joyful, tearful Peggy sent her foster dog to her new home with four outfits as Emmie will always need to protect her skin from the sun.

In a beautiful full-circle gesture, Emmie's adoptive parents have decided to have sweet-natured Emmie certified as a therapy dog so she can visit children in the pediatric burn unit at a local hospital.

Become a Foster Hero

While some dogs, like Emmie, need extra care in a home environment because of illness or injury, there are lots of pets with lesser needs who can benefit from a foster situation, whether for just one night or several months. Here is how fostering a shelter pet can lead to a no-kill nation:

Why Foster a Pet?

According to the Petco Foundation, Petco’s non-profit arm that has invested more than $250 million in lifesaving animal welfare work, if less than two percent of pet-owning households in the U.S. fostered one pet a year, we could eliminate unnecessary euthanasia in U.S. animal shelters tomorrow. 

According to the ASPCA, there are an estimated 1.5 million pets euthanized in shelters each year. But if just two percent of the estimated 85 million pet-owning households fostered a pet, that equals 1.7 million pets fostered—problem solved! If you’d like to get started fostering, simply reach out to your local shelter or rescue group.