Animal Tails

Winter 2012

For the Love of Puppies

It was a hot August day when a woman walked through our doors carrying a large bucket. She put the bucket on the floor, and we peered in to find... not two... not five... but ten tiny puppies. The lady soon walked back out the door, saying she'd found the puppies on her doorstep and had no information on them.

So it was up to us. The helpless, squirming brood – just three or four weeks old – depended on Northeast Animal Shelter for its very survival. As the area's largest no-kill shelter, we weren't about to turn our backs on these helpless animals. We never do.

Foster Care to the Rescue

The puppies weren't ready for adoption – they should have still been nursing – and didn't have their vaccines yet. In such a vulnerable state, we had to isolate them from the other shelter animals. That's when NEAS' Foster Care Program came to the rescue.

Our foster parents are wonderful people who open their hearts to animals who need a little time in a home before they can find their forever families. Foster families are especially important to animals that arrive with no information about their breed, socialization, or care history. For the ten tiny puppies, special care was required. They needed high-quality puppy food with extra nutrition. Without all their teeth yet, the puppies also needed their food pureed while they learned to chew.

Our foster caregiver, Rich, took half the puppies home to his family, and one of our wonderful volunteers, Dawn, took the other five. For six weeks, these foster parents, their families, and their pets looked after the puppies and showed them the ropes.

A Very Happy Ending

As they grew, the puppies appeared to be a charming mix of beagle, lab, dachshund, and probably a few other breeds. And like all puppies, they excelled at playing, running, and making friends. They also discovered how great it is to be snuggled before a nap. It was no surprise that, within a few weeks of their return to our shelter, all ten puppies found new homes with families that couldn't wait to scoop them up.

Each day, we are seeing more and more rescued pets in need of special care. Our Foster Care Program is the vital bridge between healing and finding our pets the forever loving homes they deserve. If you live near our Shelter in Salem, MA and would like to help, please contact or call (978) 745-9888, ext. 327.

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