This STOPTOBER we’re focusing on potential puppy buyers and asking them to STOP shopping and START fostering.

One of the reasons C.A.R.I.A.D. launched Foster First was to help stem the flow of unwanted purchased puppies entering the rescue system. As well as warning about the dangers of buying a puppy farmed pup, we are also trying hard to educate potential first-time puppy buyers about what the responsibility of having a dog entails BEFORE they leap into purchasing a puppy, by asking them to consider fostering a dog first.

Puppies are only cute and fluffy for a short time. They grow up to become dogs, fast! So, the dream of getting a puppy and the reality of being responsible for a dog can be very different. In fact, one in ten puppies purchased are not with their new families just one month after bringing them home – an utterly shocking statistic! And one we don’t want anyone adding to by being impetuous. Nor do we want anyone to be the other kind of puppy buyer statistic who ends up buying a sick puppy that could die and leave your heart and your finances in ruins.

OUR MESSAGE TO POTENTIAL PUPPY BUYERS: Obviously we’d prefer it if you considered adopting a new best friend. God knows there are plenty of fabulous dogs of just about every breed, age and size who would love to come home with you right now. But we’re realistic. We know that not everyone is a ‘rescuer’ at heart.

But, before handing over your money and taking your chances, why not take the Foster First test and try fostering a dog first?

Being a foster carer allows you and your family to experience the companionship of a dog and look after one without being tied down for the long term. And of course, the best thing of all is that wonderful dogs get to have a much-needed break from being kennelled and enjoy some home comforts while they wait for their forever home. (But be warned, sometimes a foster dog will steal your heart so completely that you find yourself becoming what’s known as a #FailedFosterer which means that you end up applying to adopt them yourself!)

All over the UK, rescues are desperate for new foster carers to open their hearts and their homes to rescue pets in need right now. To help these rescues and to encourage more people to foster C.A.R.I.A.D. launched their Foster First initiative in December 2018. The result to date has been astonishing, heart-warming and inspiring not just for the dogs and rehoming organisations, but also for the fosterers themselves.

In addition to helping rescues and animals in need, Foster First has been a lifeline for people in need too. This is especially true for victims of Domestic Violence who need to get their pet to safety before they can flee abuse, and for those who suddenly find themselves homeless with nowhere for their pet to stay.

So, this STOPTOBER, if anyone you know is considering buying a puppy, please ask them to STOP, take a breath and visit FIRST.

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