Written by Marissa Greenberg, DVM

Marissa and Cramer

Many of you read Dr. Evans ™ article about fostering pets until they find their œforever home.   Dr. Evans ™ foster kittens came from one of the local shelters, but there is also something called breed rescues and they are often in need of foster homes.  Let ™s face it, though many of us like mixed breeds, there are those of us out there who have a particular breed they are fond of or prefer.   Or we may like a certain breed but don ™t want to purchase one from a breeder.  Breed rescues focus on rescuing a certain breed of dog or cat out of shelters.  They then place these animals in foster homes until they find permanent homes.  Breed rescues also receive pets from homes where that particular breed may not have worked out very well for the owners.  They often advertise the pets they have up for adoption on petfinder.com, where you can search for a particular breed, or through their own websites.  This allows people who are searching for a particular breed of dog, but aren ™t interested in going out and purchasing a puppy, to find dogs in need of forever homes.

As many of you know, I have an Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) named Mico.  But what you might not know is that he is my third cattle dog!  My first was named Tallou, and my family adopted him when I was in high school from a friend who couldn ™t keep him anymore.  I fell in love with the breed!  I then adopted Slink from our local animal shelter while I attended Cal Poly.  When I went to vet school at Washington State, I met a fellow vet student who was also an ACD fan.  In fact, he and his wife had started their own ACD Breed Rescue organization called Heeling Hearts.  They worked very hard to find ACDs that had ended up in shelters and got them out and into foster care.  These dogs came from all over WA and adjoining states, as well as from across the country.  I was fortunate to provide foster care for several wonderful ACD ™s, and was even more fortunate to be able to watch them go to their new owners. By getting these dogs out of the shelters and into foster homes, we were able to learn more about each dog ™s personality in a home environment, which helped to place them in the right permanent home.  I thought it would be difficult to say goodbye to these dogs after opening my heart and my home to them.  But, I was always so excited to meet their new owners, and knew that they would bring someone else as much joy as they had brought me in the short time they lived with me.  And whenever one went to a permanent home, it meant that I had the opportunity to foster another.


Like most breed rescues, Heeling Hearts has a selective process to be sure that these dogs are placed in homes appropriate for the breed.  If you are interested in a particular breed, contacting a breed rescue would be a good way to gain more information about it and see if it might be the right one for you.  Or if you already share your home with a pet, but think that you might provide a good foster home, consider looking into breed rescues.