May 30th
Importance of medical fosters to our Humane Society

“Fostering is a rewarding experience, even more so when it’s a pet with medical needs,” says Nan Chapman, who has been fostering dogs at the Humane Society for over three years. “There is no better feeling than seeing animals become their best selves and getting adopted into their loving forever homes.”

Nan has been a volunteer dog walker with the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth for 16 years. After her beloved pet dog passed away, Nan decided she wanted to foster dogs to bring some joy into her and their lives. “I wanted to open my home to dogs to give them a stress-free environment,” she says. Since 2020, Nan has fostered six dogs, all needing a little extra attention and medical care.

When Nan heard about Jayce, she knew she had the home that could provide her with the love and medical care he required to heal. Jayce was hit by a vehicle in the Millbank area in Perth East, and he was severely injured and needed emergency surgery to amputate one of his legs. 

 At the Humane Society, we are always looking for foster families that would help an animal in need of medical care and attention. And foster parents, such as Nan, are hard to come by! A foster dog with medical conditions requires extra medical care or treatment due to an illness or injury. Foster parents provide them with the care they need to become healthy before they can be placed in their forever homes.

Fostering is one of the most rewarding jobs in rescue. You have the power to transform a dog's life by providing adequate exercise, mental stimulation, nutritious food, stability and love – possibly for the first time. With a dog with medical needs, more so! They may have specific diets and medications. For some dogs, physical therapy might be necessary.

For Nan, it was the stress-free environment that she could provide Jayce. "I think seeing the dogs in the kennels definitely made me want to get them into a more comfortable environment with less stress. Jayce needed that calmness and an environment where he could heal."

For any dogs with medical needs, all necessary medical expenses are covered by the Humane Society. All dogs receive deworming and flea/tick meds when they arrive at the shelter, and Heartworm prevention is given during warm months. Regular health check-ups and medication is covered by the Humane Society as well.

While it’s not easy to foster a dog with medical needs, seeing their personality shine and the unconditional love they shower on you is well worth the effort! “It’s not easy to foster a dog that needs round-the-clock medical care. It’s challenging at times. Jayce needs his medication every 12 hours. He cannot go on long walks, so I have to be mindful of how much exercise he can get. He is also receiving physiotherapy, but that helps us bond. It’s not an easy path to travel, but seeing him do better every day, fills my heart with warmth.” Nan adds that one needs to be mentally prepared to care for a dog that needs lots of medical care and attention.

“Most people tell me they can’t do it because it’s difficult, or they get attached, and separation is too hard. And, I agree. It’s a bitter-sweet moment when they get adopted. But there is no better feeling than seeing a dog have his happily ever after!”