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For Paula Jacobs, fostering dogs can bring great satisfaction.
“It’s a good feeling when you can take them out of a bad situation and into a space they can be taken care of,” she said.
She is currently fostering Molly — thought to be a mixed Husky breed, who injured one of her front paws in a fox trap.
Fostering is something her family used to do when they lived in Prince Albert, Sask.
Jacobs first provided a temporary home to a kitten she thought would be company for their cat. But it didn’t work out — her dogs wanted to chase the kitten and the kitten and cat didn’t get along.
Her family now lives in Stephenville, and they’re on their sixth foster pet since last fall.
Her son Nicholas started volunteering at the Southwest Coast SPCA, which got the family re-introduced to fostering.
It’s Jacobs’ project at home, but her husband Mike and Nicholas and also lend a hand.
From what she has learned about Molly, she was an outdoor dog left to roam. The tips of her toes are gone from being caught in the trap.
Now when Molly goes outdoors, Jacobs has to cover the injured paw with a bag to prevent infection. She says Molly is getting used to the indoors and seems content to see outside, so she’s kept by the patio door.
Molly goes to the vet next week to see if her anemia is cleared up, and she still needs to be spayed, and after that she’ll be eligible for adoption. The length of time animals stay with a family depends on their medical issues and whether they are ready to be adopted.
Jacobs said with Molly and other animals she’s had in her care that were neglected or abused, it’s a good feeling to see them come around, though fostering doesn’t always work out, as her experience with the kitten showed. She acknowledges that one of her dogs was also a “foster fail.”
She says when Molly first came into her care she wouldn’t wag her tail, but she does now and is excited to see any member of the family.
“To see her lay with one of my dogs, her trusting us, it’s little things that make this fostering so worthwhile,” Jacobs said.
“Molly’s so sweet. She hasn’t shown a bit of aggression, despite not liking some of the things we had to do with her,” she said.
Ted White, a co-director with the Southwest Coast SPCA, said it’s unfortunate there are abused pets like Molly, who was brought to them by the RCMP. He said there have been instances in the area where kittens were discarded outdoors in the cold in cardboard boxes.
He said it’s people like Jacobs and others who foster pets who help keep the SPCA going.