October is Adopt a Shelter Pet Month, and we want to take a moment to talk about one of our favorite rescue organizations: All Paws Rescue. It’s no secret to any of our regular customers or friends that we love animals at Lilygrass! Alicia brings her rescued dogs to the store every day and has rescue cats at home. Also, she has been fostering kittens, cats and a few dogs - (a few dogs) because she foster-failed on the last one :) for All Paws Rescue since November 2016, and she loves working with them.
If you’re considering adding a dog, cat, or other furry friend to your family, we highly recommend All Paws Rescue! And if you’re not sure about the commitment of adopting, fostering is a great way to help the organization and do a trial run for your family.
Foster-based animal rescue for all small animals
All Paws Rescue is a foster-based animal rescue group in the Oklahoma City metro area. They’re run entirely by volunteers, and they work to save stray and abandoned companion animals. They love connecting people with animals in need, because they know it benefits both the animal and the people.
They’re unique in the fact that they don’t just work with dogs and cats. They also take in other small critters as long as they have an available foster. That includes guinea pigs, ferrets, rabbits, birds, and reptiles. There have even been times they’ve helped rescue hermit crabs, hedgehogs, rats, gerbils, and fish. All paws… and sometimes even animals without paws!
Supporting foster homes for animals
Since All Paws Rescue is a foster-based organization, they can only pull an animal from the shelter if they have a foster home ready to take them. They are always looking for additional foster homes so they can rescue more animals! In most cases, a foster commitment can be as short as a few weeks while they ensure an animal is healthy enough for spay/neuter surgery before they’re eligible for adoption.
The foster family must be able to house the animal inside their home and transport them to the clinic for surgery or any other appointments, such as vaccines or tests. They also ask that the foster family keep in mind any special needs, such as puppies that need potty training. All Paws Rescue covers the cost of all medical treatment and will typically provide a crate, toys, and food. The one item they don’t provide for cat or dog fostering is cat litter.
Finding animals forever homes through adoption
If you’re interested in adopting through All Paws, you need to fill out an adoption application that includes both personal and vet references. Their adoption counselors go over the application with the potential adopter and discuss any concerns.
Once they find a good match between you and a pet, the counselor will discuss the adoption contract with you. Once the adoption fee is paid, most animals are ready to home right away. All Paws also follows up after the adoption to ensure the animal is settling in well and to see if the family has any questions or concerns.
The beauty of fostering and adopting
Kirstin Smith, a member of the All Paws Rescue board, said her favorite part of the work they do is freedom rides. That’s the moment when the organization pulls an animal from the scary chaos of the shelter they’re in and that animal realizes they’re safe. She said everything changes when they realize that, and those are the moments when rescuers really love what they do.
Kirsten also enjoys involving her entire family in the fostering experience. She has a six-year-old daughter who attends All Paws events and gets the opportunity to learn about responsibility, kindness to people and animals, and the importance of volunteering.
A final word about fostering and adopting
Alicia has adopted multiple rescue cats and dogs in addition to fostering and believes that every pet owner should go through adoption. Animals end up in a shelter through no fault of their own and have so much love to give a family! They actually love more because of the trials they had to go through to get to you!
Also remember to spay and neuter your pets so you don’t contribute to the problem of pet overpopulation. And when you do adopt a cat or dog, be sure they have proper identification (microchip and collar with tags) so they can be returned to you safely if lost.
All Paws loves volunteers! If you have a heart for animals, they have a job you can do to help. You don’t have to foster to make a difference for animals. They have many other volunteer opportunities available.
Learn more at http://www.allpawsrescueok.org
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7101 nw expressway, ste 400, oklahoma city, ok 73132
(405)721-1813 phone * (405)721-1106 fax * (800)248-4858 toll free