Wanted: Foster Homes For Stressed-Out Shelter Dogs

An animal shelter in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is desperately seeking foster families for some of the homeless dogs who are in their care. According to WBAY News, the Oshkosh Area Humane Society has many stressed out dogs right now, and the shelter staff would love to see them leave their often noisy, typically lonely kennel runs, and temporarily join loving foster families.


Twirling, jumping and panting might sound like things you would see a happy, playful dog doing, but when these behaviors are observed in a dog who lives their life in a kennel, it is indicative of stress. On February 1, a Facebook post was created on behalf of one dog in particular who is deteriorating at the shelter. The post explains how “Jessie,” is struggling:

The staff and volunteers of OAHS want to save Jessie and we need your help to do it. Right now. Since Jessie has returned to the shelter from a foster home she is displaying stress behaviors such as twirling, jumping, panting, and acting panicked. We don’t want this for Jessie and it is not fair to her to live this way. In a home environment Jessie is fun, cuddly, sweet and affectionate. It is heartbreaking to see what is happening. Although we are doing our best to give her extra attention and exercise, it does not come close to what a home can do for her.

According to staff and volunteers, Jessie is a great dog outside of the shelter. Volunteer Arlene Shultis told WBAY, “Once you start working with her she’s just an awesome dog.” It’s the situation, not the dog, which needs to be changed – which is why the shelter staff is hoping to find a foster home for Jessie, and other stressed-out dogs like her.  Admissions manager Cari Tetzlaff explained, “Dogs under extreme levels of stress can behave in ways that aren’t the way they would behave in a home.”

The shelter’s website offers more insight into what goes into fostering a homeless pet. What it truly boils down to is a person’s desire and ability to open their home temporarily to a dog (or cat) in need. The website outlines the basics of what is needed from a potential foster:

Just your home and your love! We provide everything else including food and supplies such as litter, feeding dishes, toys, etc.

Click here to read more about how you can help. Contact – Cari at 920-303-3166 or email Cari@oahs.org

Oshkosh Area Human Society
1925 Shelter Ct
Oshkosh WI 54901

Facebook page for the Oshkosh Area Humane Society here.

(Photos via Oshkosh Area Humane Society website and Facebook page)

Note: If you do not live in this area, but are open to the idea of welcoming a foster dog (or cat) into your home, please reach out to an animal shelter near you.

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Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at Examiner.com for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.