Foster home needed for mom, seven pups |

Foster home needed for mom, seven pups

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Smokey and her seven puppies are looking for a temporary home until the pups are old enough for adoption.

SUMMIT COUNTY – A homeless mother and her seven 3-week-old babies are looking for a place to stay. Right now, they’re staying at the Summit County Animal Shelter, but Smokey, the female Lab mix, and her young puppies need a foster home until the pups are old enough to be adopted.The puppies were born at the shelter the night after Smokey arrived a few weeks ago. Nancy Ring, executive director of the Summit County Animal Shelter, said these puppies will need about five to six more weeks with their mother before state law will allow them to be placed in new homes. Puppies and kittens in Colorado cannot be transferred, sold or adopted until they are 8 weeks old, at which point the dogs can return to the shelter to become available for adoption.Some of the shelter’s regular foster homes are currently being utilized, so it’s in need of some new foster home volunteers. Other situations that would require foster care include animals that have behavioral, physical or medical issues that can best be dealt with in a home as opposed to a kennel.”It’s a very specialized kind of volunteering,” Ring said. “It’s a good opportunity for people who don’t have a lot of other pets in the home and have time and are home enough for the individual need of each animal.”In the situation with the mother and her puppies, Ring said, a good foster care provider would be someone who is home frequently to let the mother out and has a room in their home that’s conducive to a safe, cleanable space for Smokey and her growing puppies.

“Someone who wants eight warm, fuzzy faces to wake up to every day would be who we’re looking for,” she said. For the purposes of a mom with a litter, the shelter is also looking for someone with a fenced-in enclosure.Foster care providers can buy food for the pets if they want, but the shelter will provide it through the Science Diet shelter food program.The foster program is separate from the shelter’s volunteer program, so orientation isn’t required, but an application is.Those interested in providing foster care for Smokey and her puppies or other animals can call the shelter at (970) 668-3230.The shelter is also taking names of people interested in fostering animals rescued from Hurricane Katrina.For those just looking to volunteer their time at the shelter, a volunteer orientation is being offered 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Ways to become a successful foster parent for pets– Give your foster animal lots of attention and affection.– Learn as much as you can about pet care.– Be prepared to make a financial commitment– Make your home pet-friendly.– Keep your pets up-to-date on their vaccinations.

— Keep foster animals away from your own pets.– Recognize your limits of both time and energy.– Return the animal to the shelter on time.– Understand that some foster animals will not survive.- Humane Society of the United StatesJennifer Harper can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 248, or at

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