RENO, NV (KOLO) Boxers and Buddies is a local non-profit that rescues dogs from shelters. It's a mission made possible, in part, by their fosters.
"We count on them," said foster coordinator Jodi Horner. "We can't bring in dogs without them."
The foster program is the backbone of the organization; the people who give the dogs a place to stay after they're rescued, and before they're adopted.
"The more dogs people like me can take in, the more dogs that are going to find loving homes," said volunteer Kelly Jakinovich.
Jakinovich has fostered about 20 dogs so far, providing not only a place to stay, but giving them a sense of what it's like to be part of a family.
"Some dogs haven't had that experience before. They've been out on the streets running around, they've been in hoarding situations. They've been stuck on a chain their whole life," added Jakinovich. "So to get them to realize what it is to actually be in a loving home and a warm bed and a full belly, you know that's really rewarding."
Natasha Hughes is a first-time foster. She's housing a pair of older dogs, while also filling a hole in her own home. Her beloved dog recently passed away.
"When they first came to us they were more skittish and they were lower on the scale of weight and since then they've gained a lot of weight and they're coming out of their shell," said Hughes. "They're more playful, so seeing them grow has helped us too."
Elder dogs are especially tough to place, so fostering them is even more difficult. But they do come with some benefits.
"They're house-broken, you know they don't have a lot of those bad habits. They're mellow," added Horner. "They're not going to chew your furniture up. They're not going to dig up your back yard. They're really super easy."
Anyone interested in becoming a foster can click on Boxers and Buddies
"I think that's it's rewarding for the person and for the dogs, just knowing that you're giving them a place to stay," added Hughes.
"That's the thing that brings the most joy to my heart is knowing that they're going to find a loving home and then I can open up my home for another dog to continue," said Jakinovich. "And it's just the domino effect that keeps happening. And so it's very rewarding."
Boxers and Buddies is a 2019 KOLOCares Pillar Partner
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019