News and Media

Special carers required for some our most vulnerable doggos

September 30, 2020

The Lost Dogs’ Home are looking for special foster carers for dogs who are undergoing behaviour training or medical treatment.

The Home’s Spokesperson Suzana Talevski said successful applicants would be rewarded with the feeling of knowing they have played a very special part in a dog’s journey to finding their forever home.

“Our Foster Care Program provides these dogs with a temporary, loving home where they can rehabilitate and recover in a safe and relaxing environment,” said Ms Talevski.

Although the Home currently has 950 foster carers not all those were suitable for housing dogs with medical or behavioural needs.

“These beautiful animals have specific requirements and we are hoping to get some more carers on board that suit those needs.”

CASE STUDY:

Prahran yoga practitioner Willy Wong is one of those carers who knows first-hand how special these animals are.

When Willy met Mila, he had little idea that just two months later he would be returning Mila to the shelter, not to drop her off in the hope another family would open their doors and hearts to the beautiful 2-year-old Staffy, but to adopt her himself. Willy’s ‘foster fail’ is now his best friend for life.

Mila was placed in Willy’s care for medical and behaviour reasons which she is slowly overcoming with the love and support from her adoptive dad Willy. Read’s Willy and Mila’s heart-warming story on the next page.

Criteria for our behaviour and medical needs dogs can be found here.

Note: At this time, we are only taking applications for dogs who are undergoing behaviour training or medical treatment and need specific foster homes. If your home does not meet the above criteria, please check back later for further updates. We welcome you to apply at a later when foster homes are required for dogs needing general care.

Due to an overwhelming response from the community, we are not taking any further applications for cat or kitten carers at this time. If you are interested in fostering cats or kittens, please check back later for further updates.

For further information or to organise interviews please contact:

Suzana Talevski
T: 03 9321 8719
M: 0436 836 836
E: Suzana.talevski@dogshome.com

Willy and Mila’s story:

Growing up Willy always loved animals and wanted to be a vet. He joined The Lost Dogs’ Home foster care program during the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions.

“I wanted to occupy myself with something meaningful and purposeful. I thought what better way than to spend my time than looking after a furry friend who can also keep me entertained and provide some much need company over this difficult period of isolation and social distancing. Fostering is also generally a short-term commitment (for me, it was about 4-6 weeks) which suited me well because I wasn’t entirely sure about my plans for the near future,” he says.

“My connection to Mila has definitely been the highlight of this experience. Having a loving, affectionate, cuddly companion over this time has truly been a godsend. I’m not going to lie; I’ve definitely been tested over this time and I’ve had to adjust my expectations and pre-conceived ideas about what it takes to look after a dog.”

Willy says his first meeting with Mila felt like “my heart was both breaking and exploding at the same time.”

“She was carried into my car because she was frozen, trembling and too afraid of everyone and everything. For most of the car ride home, she remained in a state of fear… I slowly introduced her to different parts of the house, her confidence grew, and her personality began to shine through more and more. Over the last six weeks, she has progressed so rapidly it blows my mind. Whilst it has required a lot of patience, compassion and acceptance from my part, her strength and resilience truly inspire me each and every day.”

Willy says Mila has proven to be an intelligent, sometimes stubborn, affection driven dog.

“She does respond to treats occasionally, but seems to respond more to pats, cuddles and attention. She’s learnt to sit on command, stop before crossing roads and appears to have good recall skills. She is happy and confident walking public now and is more curious and less fearful around other people and dogs now. She’s even had a good play with other dogs that are similar in size to her.

“Our relationship is definitely one based in love and mutual respect. When we are not going out for walks or doing activities together, we are happy and content so simply be in each other’s company. She often naps in my lap as I meditate and likes to lick my face when I practice Yoga. I often look into her eyes and I really do see a reflection of myself and all that I have been through and overcome to get to this point. I have truly learnt so much about myself during this time and realised that how I care for Mila is really just a reflection of how I care for and parent myself. How I respond, react and am I’m triggered when things don’t go to plan have taught me so much about myself and I truly believe that I’ve become a more responsible, mature and compassionate human being through this process.”

Willy who is formally adopting Mila this week says, the foster experience has been ‘’life-changing.’’

“It has been such an honour to build a bond with Mila and watching her growth and progress every single day. Being part of another’s healing journey is such a privilege and watching her blossom into a more confident, independent, playful and fun-loving version of herself has been so joyful and heart-warming to witness. I thought that I would be ‘saving’ her, but it has really been the other way round.”