October 29, 2012
Be very careful when you foster a dog from MARS!! I'm military and i've fostered dogs all lover the world but I've never experienced anything like this. I completed the foster care application online Wednesday and subsequently I was instructed to pick up the dog at another foster's home on Saturday. However, there were several red flags, first there was never any home visit, the details I was given were not based on any qualified person that had conducted any form of temperament testing. I was told this dog was 3-6 months old, sweet, shy and submissive puppy that was "great" with other dogs but had been a shelter with his equally adorable sister (who was being fostered by the lady I picked him up from), no one could give me any basic information (if he was neutered, able to be boarded, etc). I picked the dog up alone and he was a lot bigger than described and seemed to be some type of pit bull mixed puppy, the kennel was huge and was being held together with zip ties and a defective door. The other foster and I noticed several issues with the paperwork-her puppy was listed as 6 months old and mine, her brother was listed as 3 months old, huh? This gave me concern because I have five children (one away at college) ages 21-9 and I have a one year old Jack Russell Terrier Shorty that is neutered (weighing 10 pounds). On the ride home he broke out of the kennel and was loose in my car, luckily I was close to home and I would later realize I was lucky to be alone in the car as well. So I did a basic assessment at home alone, I am not a trained professional but I was able to determine basic shelter behavior, lots of jumping, lack of muscle tone, food and toy aggression, problems walking on a leash, etc. What I wasn't prepared for was the aggressive behavior towards small children! He would be aggressive towards my 9 yo twin boys, who showed no interest in him, my other children are 18, 17 and he had no problem with them. But constantly growled and seemed to stalk my sons who were in the theater room (that's sound proof) playing a video game, and the dog was growling trying to get in. My neighbor is a firefighter and has actual animal behavior experience, even he noticed the stalking and went to the fire house to get me a safer kennel from there as a loner, even on a walk the dog showed an unnatural aggression towards small children. The dog spent the night in this kennel in my heated garage. The following morning I sent an email and was told it could take some time to find him a new foster. I informed them, I had agreed to foster a dog not endanger my children and if this dog was not picked up within hours I'd call my local shelter. I was given an address to take the dog to and my neighbor zip tied the kennel again and I dropped him off. This could've ended badly, he was also aggressive towards cats and small dogs only, please be careful.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?