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Project Dog Foster begins countywide campaign in April

With shelters over capacity, community members can make a lifesaving difference by fostering a dog

SAN DIEGO – Six members of the San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition have joined in a countywide campaign to find foster homes for the dogs in their care in hopes of solving a common problem: being over capacity. Project Dog Foster is intended to make it easy and fun for the community to step up and help, even if just for a short period of time, no matter where in the county they live.

"Unfortunately, more than 40% of our dogs have been available for adoption for 30 days or longer, and we currently have five dogs who have been in care for more than a year," Carl Smith, interim director at the San Diego County Department of Animal Services, said. "Fortunately, when you foster with any of our organizations, we provide all the supplies, so there is no cost to you while fostering."

Project Dog Foster was created pro bono by marketing and media management companies CSBimpact, and Simple&Simpler, Their approach is lighthearted and fun, to capture awareness, consideration and a smile. It includes a multimedia effort, including TV, radio and out of home digital ads.

"The lifesaving benefits of fostering cannot be overstated," Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society, said. "Temporarily opening your heart and home to a pet offers the personal attention and vital security that our shelter animals need. We also learn characteristics about that animal that will help find a better match when speaking to potential adopters."

Participating organizations include Chula Vista Animal Services, Frosted Faces Foundation, PAWS of Coronado, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, San Diego County Department of Animal Services and San Diego Humane Society.

"Many pets don't show their true personalities in a kennel setting," Mikalla McFadden, director of foster programs with Rancho Coastal Humane Society, said. "In a foster home, pets can decompress and blossom into a loving companion that potential adopters are looking for."

Between the six organizations, there are more than 1,100 dogs who stand to benefit from a break from the hectic shelter environment. The most urgent need is for medium to large dogs, many of whom are experiencing kennel stress after more than six months in care.

"Fostering a senior dog might be easier than you think," Andrew Smíšek, co-founder of Frosted Faces Foundation, said. "They often have lower energy levels and require less exercise. If you'd rather take a nap with your dog than take it on a run, consider fostering a senior dog."

For most dogs, any length of time out of the shelter is beneficial, so no long-term commitment is needed for prospective fosters. The organization you choose to foster for will provide food, supplies and medical care. And as an added benefit, fostering is a great way to trial if you are ready to become a pet parent.

"Fostering a dog is rewarding in so many ways," Ashley Milo, deputy director of animal services of Chula Vista, said. "You get to see them enjoy life through play, exploration and cuddles. Capturing their goofy escapades and inspiring awe with the soft and cuddly moments, you get to tell their stories. You also give them back a sense of normalcy, all while helping them find a family to call their own. What can be more rewarding than that?"

For more information about Project Dog Foster, visit

Submitted by Project Dog Foster.


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