BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) ––– To help relieve pressure on shelters and potential pet owners, Friends of the Animals makes pairing up with a pup easier through fostering.

Friends of the Animals pulls dogs from seven shelters in the Greater Baton Rouge area. They bring the dogs to their adoption house for people to meet and foster until they find their forever homes. 

Nicole Falkenheine was interested in fostering, but with two dogs of her own already, she was worried about the financial and time commitments. She said Friends of the Animals made the process easy.

“They provide you everything that you need for the dog,” Falkenheine said. “So it’s all the fun of having a puppy at the house without any of the major responsibilities.”

Friends of the Animals paired her up with Janie. To make the fostering decision easier, they provide you with everything you need.

“I was given a bag with toys, a leash for her, and all of her food and treats,” said Falkenheine.

The two have been together for about a month and are learning much about each other.

“She’s very athletic. She is very smart. If you cannot find her, try to have a seat, and she will beat you to your seat,” Falkenheine said.

According to Executive Director of Friends of the Animals Paula Schoen, that is part of their goal.

“You can’t always get that in a shelter situation. You really get a feel for what the dogs like, and a lot of very shy dogs come out of their shell,” Schoen said.

To get more face-to-face time with potential adopters, foster parents drop the dog off each morning at the adoption house.

“It’s like doggy daycare. They’re here all day, so they get out a lot of energy playing with other dogs and they’re being seen by the public while you’re at work,” said Schoen.

It can be easy to fall in love with a dog you are fostering and adopting yourself.

“We call it foster failures,” said Schoen.

As a foster parent herself, she says she knows she has to let them go.

“I’ve been to the shelters. I know how many dogs are in need of a home. So, yes, it’s hard to give up one, but I’m also always in the back of my head, thinking of the one that’s sitting there at the shelter that needs a foster.”

For more information about Friends of the Animals, visit their website here.