Turning her passion for pets into active involvement
The heart of our organization, RPM’s fosters are the first stop on that animal’s journey to their forever home. Giving these animals shelter, food, care, and love, the love and dedication our foster volunteers put in to make our movement possible.
To shine a light on the incredible work our fosters do, we will be highlighting one volunteer every other month in our “Foster Feature.” Gain insight into their experience fostering with RPM, why they do what they do, and how you can get involved too.
Foster Volunteer: Laurann Claridge
Position: Foster Volunteer
Time fostering with RPM: 6 Months
Rescued Pets Movement: How did you hear about RPM?
Laurann Claridge: Through the wonderful efforts of volunteer Jodie Eisenhardt. She’s been a friend of mine for many years, and knowing her long history working on behalf of homeless animals, I knew when she was excited about an organization it was worth knowing more about.
What made you want to foster for RPM?
LC: I’m single and travel for my career throughout the year and know that having my own pet can be a challenge. So being able to pick up and foster a dog for a week or two weeks when I’m home and can devote time and attention to spoiling a pet, who might have been neglected, brings me so much happiness! Plus, RPM makes it so easy: giving you the right food they need, loaning you a crate and any toys, meds, or supplies you might need to make the transition from BARC to your temporary home a lot easier.
What all goes into being a foster?
LC: Like a lot of people, I have the sort of job where I can take a foster to work so that’s incredibly helpful because you can socialize a pet to new surroundings and introduce them to several different ‘real life’ scenarios.
LC: While a lot of people I meet and introduce to my foster dog confess they don’t think they could do it because they’d invariably get attached, that’s exactly why I do it. Because I want to be a pup’s best champion. I know it’s my job to give them lots of love and attention for that short time in their life they’re with me, and later when they must leave, I have to let RPM and their sister organizations do what they do best and find each a forever home.
I know the biggest thing I can do for them is to spoil them with attention and comfort. Take them to the dog park, to work, out in your respective neighborhoods, so they get comfortable in all kinds of arenas.
But make no mistake: I fill out the foster report cards in detail and do my best to reach out to the fosters in Colorado to let them know everything I’ve learned about my foster pet to make their eventual adoption an easier, more transparent experience.”
What is your favorite part about fostering for RPM?
LC: Without a doubt, it’s the unconditional love and appreciation you feel from a dog who finds refuge at your home. They know they’re being loved by someone who wants the best for them. It’s amazing to me how quickly they can acclimate to new surroundings and the new people entering their life.
What has been your favorite memory fostering for RPM?
LC: So many. I think the transformations. For example, seeing a frightened pup who just wants out of BARC so badly and then fast forward a few days and they’re clean, happy, sleeping, and eating well. The relief they feel is something you can sense, too.
What’s something you wish you would have known before you started fostering for RPM?
LC: How easy they make it for you. From a vet and vet techs at the ready to help if a situation arises to the community of people anxious to lend their support.
What has been the most difficult part about fostering for RPM?
LC: Of course, transport days. I cry like a baby all the way home and think about them for many days and weeks, praying they’ll be okay.