Rescue Road is looking for volunteers to provide short-term care to shelter dogs

All of the dogs featured in this article, including Kataya, pictured here, are waiting for foster homes so that they can eventually find their forever home.

Rescue Road is looking for foster homes in Arkansas for shelter dogs. The program manager of the nonprofit organization in Stuttgart, Babe Free, said the group is saving dogs from high-mortality shelters.

“Stuttgart has a safe haven to kill, so we are trying to save as many dogs as possible,” Free said.

Since the inception of the program in 2012, more than 6,500 dogs have been rescued. In Stuttgart around 70 dogs have been rescued so far this year. Pine Bluff, Hazen, Little Rock, Dewitt, West Memphis, and Carlisle are also dog rescue sites.

Program officials select dogs from animal shelters that would be good pets. The dogs are then vaccinated and tested for heartworms. Then the foster homes take care of the dogs until they are taken with their families forever.

“We need foster families to step up and keep a dog for two to three weeks until it is transported,” Free said. “If they have heartworms, the treatment lasts up to three months. If you can just keep them long enough to take them out for a few weeks, then we can usually find another place to put them.

The main need for Rescue Road is to increase the number of people to provide acute care. Free said anyone wishing to help can qualify to become a Rescue Road foster parent.

“Anyone willing to step in and take in a dog would be eligible. We require that you have a fenced yard. We can even work with this in some scenarios where your yard may not be fenced in, but you can keep them indoors all the time and walk them on a leash, ”Free said.

The group’s partnered rescues are based in the New England area. Free said the group does not make local adoptions to ensure the protection of the dogs.

“We know that once they get up there they’re going to be taken care of because there are laws that basically prohibit dumping animals and mistreating animals. Arkansas has very few animal control laws, ”Free said.

In the North, there are too many homes and not enough dogs. Free said the partnership helps redirect dogs from overcrowded Arkansas shelters and allows loving families to find an adoptable dog.

“We literally have people lining up to adopt the dogs once they’re there. They go through a huge verification process. They make a home visit and they have to pay a deposit. They pay around $ 500 to $ 600 for each dog for adoption, ”Free said.

Some dog lovers are reluctant to adopt because they fear getting attached to the dog.

“We always say to people, ‘You don’t need the dog, the dog needs you.’ Everyone buckles up, but it’s not as hard as you might think to let go of one because there are a lot of dogs waiting, ”Free said.

Free said there are nine Arkansas County Rescue Road foster homes, but more homes are needed to deal with the growing number of shelter dogs.

“Rescue Road’s number one need is for people to welcome dogs,” Free said.

Rescue Road provides the cost of vaccination, treatment and veterinary bill. Homes should only provide shelter, food, and love for the dogs they welcome.

Households can complete an application on the Rescue Road website. There is also a way to donate on the site.

Free encourages anyone with questions about Rescue Road to contact them by calling 870-672-2333.

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