Chester Gilbert and Hampton

Pulled: Monday June 20, 2011 (Gilbert) and Sunday June 26, 2011 (Hampton) from Sandy Crest Kennels/Middle Mutts

Adoption commitment: Tuesday June 21, 2011

Meet Cooper and Romeo, my Chesters Gilbert and Hampton. I had run into some problems with fostering: (1) I had not yet found a home for Chester Edisto, and Scott’s rule is one foster at a time; and (2) My whirlwind fostering was starting to be a painful financial commitment.

When I started this, I had hoped to be able to pay the adoption fee ($73 at City of Columbia Animal Shelter, and $150 at the local rescue organizations) and to then give the animal, free of charge, to the adoptive parent. Whitney cautioned me against this, saying that owners become more invested in their animals if they have to pay for them. Still, I knew that all the adoptive parents were spending money on their new fur babies; they were getting them established at vets, they were buying toys and beds and treats and food.

Whitney was absolutely right, though, when she pointed out that if she did the same thing, she would not be able to save nearly the number of animals that she does. She just wouldn’t have the resources to do so.

Still, Scott and I try to give 10% of our income to various charities; Heifer International, Help Us Adopt, Somaly Mam, Akshaya USA, and the Animal Welfare Institute are a few of our recent favorites. I’ll count this as a donation, a more active form of donating to the Animal Welfare Institute, I reasoned. (And, besides, I had gotten a few donations that I had put toward adopting the next dog.)

But Scott was worried. Since I wasn’t paid for the first part of the summer, though I still used daycare occasionally for Jack, Scott said that our finances had entered “DEFCON 1,” whatever that means. I assume that it’s bad.

Then Scott went away for the week, to participate in a Salkehatchie service project. As Jenny Rhoad said, he should have known better than to leave me unsupervised. I heeded his warning about finances, though, and looked to rescue from a place that offered financial assistance, or wouldn’t charge a pull fee. Because we still have Edisto, I was also on the lookout for a dog I knew I could place, preferably BEFORE Scott got home.

Enter Cooper and Romeo, two poodle mixes. Since I had received the most interest in Clover, my other poodle mix foster, I thought that I’d be able to find homes for Cooper and Romeo in no time. They were listed as Poodle/Havanese mixes, although some other people I’ve talked to have identified them as Poodle/Schnauzer mixes. And, of course, there could be all three in there.

They had both been pulled from a High Kill Shelter. I had assumed they had been pulled from Chesterfield, since they were at a temporary holding kennel in Chesterfield, but they were pulled from Marion County.

Whitney contacted me about them. She pulled them, and she said that she had difficulty finding a rescue for them, because they *seemed* to be vicious little dogs. Both she and I knew, though, that they were terrified out of their minds. They were rescue dogs in the truest sense of the word, having been pulled from the euthanasia room. Whitney told me that she would not charge me for the expense to pull them, if I would only come get them and find them good homes. “Done,” I said.

I knew I would have to get them vetted, but this time, I would save the receipts and ask the adoptive parents to reimburse me as they could.

More specifics about Gilbert and Hampton, the most challenging and rewarding little fosters to date, in upcoming posts.

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