If you have room in your heart and space in your home for a canine, even just temporarily, Dog Rescue Newcastle desperately needs your help.
With private surrenders on the rise and the local pound at capacity, the team is struggling to save and look after in-need dogs and puppies across the region.
Marketing manager and volunteer Jesse Reinhard says they’re calling out for foster carers.
“Over the past couple of weeks we’ve noticed that we’ve been inundated with private surrender applications,” he said.
“That pretty much means that people are not wanting to take their dog to the pound or the pound is full.
“It’s just been crazy, we’re receiving five to six submission per day from people who can’t keep their dogs anymore whether that’s because of behavioural issues or change of circumstance.
“We’re seeing the back end of the COVID-19 adoption frenzy, where in April and May last year people were adopting dogs because of lockdown.
“Now, that they’re getting back to normal and back to work we’re getting a lot of behavioural issues around dogs needing people home all the time.
“It’s creating anxiety and people have realised they haven’t been doing the work and can’t commit to having a dog anymore.”
He adds most people who are giving up their animals want what is best for the dog even though there are some cases involving abandonment and domestic violence.
“So you pair that with what’s happening in the rental housing market, where there is such a shortage of rental accommodation not just for people but also for people with pets, it’s almost like a perfect storm of problems,” Jesse said.
“We’re literally getting emails from people choosing between having somewhere to live or keeping their dog and living in their car.
“We also have the fact that RSPCA have just announced that they’re pulling out of the impoundment service.”
The volunteer-run community-funded organisation is seeking solutions for what it hopes is a short-term problem.
“We don’t have enough foster carers for these dogs, a lot of these animals are perceived as broken but a lot of them can be saved,” Jesse said.
“They just need people who have time to work with them and give them the patience they never got at the start of their lives.”
While becoming a foster carer may seem daunting, Jesse says it’s not as hard as most people think.
The commitment can range from a couple of weeks for emergency foster placements to anywhere from three months to a year while you wait for the dog to be adopted and rehomed.
Former foster carer Kyle Boddan says it can be one of the most rewarding things you can do.
“If you can handle it, why not give a dog a home until they can find someone who can adopt them?” he said.
“Even if you can only do one dog, that’s one dog saved.”
If you can’t foster, the team is grateful for any assistance you can provide.
“What we say is if you can’t adopt then foster, if you can’t foster you can donate; if you can’t donate, you can volunteer; and if you can’t volunteer you can advocate, there are so many different ways to get involved,” Jesse said.
“Whether it’s big or small, there is always something you can do and it is better than not doing anything at all.”
All the information you need to support Dog Rescue Newcastle or become a foster carer can be found on the service’s website.