Lapdog Rescue of New Mexico is looking for people to help foster dogs.
East Mountain resident and President of Lapdog Rescue, Brian Spence said they are a foster-based rescue with no brick and mortar facility. He said group fosters small dogs from all over the state including the East Mountains, Albuquerque, Belen, Santa Fe and Cuba.
Spence said the dogs they take in are predominantly from shelters, and said they also work closely with shelters in the Eastern part of the state because they are really rural areas that don’t have large facilities to house animals. Sometimes owners surrender their dogs to them as well.
A private Facebook group is set up for the fosters, where pictures are posted and people choose the animals they feel they can take on. People doing the fostering are responsible for wellness checks and spay or neutering of the animals if needed.
Spence said once they have a pet ready for adoption, another picture is posted to the social media group and their website. People who want to adopt must go through an application process first.
The fosters decide who the best adoption candidates are, and try to make selections that will be long-lasting.
After the application process, the fosters do a home visit, and if everything is in order, the adoption goes through. Those adopting are required to return the pet to Lapdog Rescue if for any reason it ends up not being a good match.
Spence said the rescue could really use some people who want to be fosters. He said, “People think its glamorous but its a lot of work. Its easy to get burned out because it never ends.”
He said it is difficult to get people who want to foster to stick around. For every 10 new fosters, two or three of them will stick around long-term, he said. The rescue group now has about a dozen fosters but they have had as many as 35 to 40 at a time helping out. He said the ideal situation for most people is one or two dogs per foster home.
Because there is a constant need for foster homes, for Lapdog Rescue to continue to take on more animals, they will need more help. Spence said another issue they have currently is that the veterinary hospitals they use are all “very busy right now.”
He said its tough to get a dog in to be seen because it’s very limited when they can go in. He also said two or three of their foster homes have mama dogs with puppies.
“We need new, fresh and energetic people!” he said. According to Spence new foster homes get “easy dogs” because they don’t want to overwhelm people and want to give them the opportunity to get an idea of how it all works.
They also have a new foster mentorship, which gives new people access to a seasoned foster home if they have questions or concerns. He said the rescue also has a high expectation for their foster homes.
He said despite being a fairly small rescue operation last year they adopted out 495 dogs and have had over 600 adoptions in one year.
“I am pretty amazed,” Spence said, adding, “Normally finding fosters is pretty tough but we had an overwhelming response to our Facebook post and we have several applications to go through now.” He said ideally if the rescue group could find 5 to 7 more long-term foster homes that are willing to take any dog and work with them he would be “thrilled.”
He said the best types of foster homes are people who are willing to take on any dog and take the time to work with them. He said getting to know the dogs is important too. The best long-term adoption scenario is a situation where a person or family is chosen because they meet the specific needs of the dog.