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Foster Feature: Laurann Claridge

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.

Interested in learning more about fostering for RPM, or ready to apply to become a foster? Head over to our Foster page to learn more and fill out the foster application here.

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Homeward Bound: How RPM Helps Animals Get off the Street & into Their Forever Homes

Learn What Sets Us Apart from Your Traditional Animal Rescue Organization

If you’ve spent any time around Rescued Pets Movement, then you’ve seen that some people are confused by what exactly we do as an organization. While part of that issue stems from the fact that what we do is unique, we want to clear up any confusion about our mission by breaking down what is it we do and how we do it.

What Rescued Pets Movement Does

Our number one priority at RPM is to save the lives of homeless pets throughout the Greater Houston area from needless euthanasia. The process by which we achieve that priority can be broken down into three simple steps:

  1. We pull homeless pets from BARC, the city pound for Houston, Texas, and other area shelters;
  2. Our volunteers and partner veterinarians rehabilitate and foster these pets in their homes;
  3. Our drivers transport the rescued pets to reputable animal welfare organizations throughout the United States and Canada who ensure the pets are adopted out to their forever homes.

The Difference Between RPM & Traditional Animal Rescues

The most common misconception about RPM is that we are an animal rescue or animal shelter, i.e. that we adopt pets out in Houston. That is not the case. Our mission is to save as many pets from BARC and other area shelters as possible and, after rehabilitating them, to transport them to one of our animal welfare partners up north.

Think of Rescued Pets Movement as the “middle man”—we’re just a stop on a pet’s journey to his or her new home and forever family.

How We Do It

Houston has a serious problem with homeless pets, and a serious problem typically requires a lot of hands on deck. After working and volunteering with several different rescue groups over the years, the team that founded RPM realized that there had to be a better way to save these animals on a large scale. They decided to build relationships with highly regarded rescues in areas of North America that have a need for adoptable pets and deliver these pets directly to them.

So, what does this look like in practice? It’s an efficient five-step process that keeps us busy and ensures our animals are safe.

  • Every week, BARC (and sometimes other area shelters) reaches out to us with information on the pets that they have scheduled to be euthanized due to overcrowding.
  • Our volunteers spring into action to get these animals out of the pound as quickly as possible.
  • The pets receive medical attention from our veterinarian and, if necessary, from a team of partner veterinarians.
  • The pets are set up with a foster who will house and care for them during their rehabilitation.
  • Once they’re fully rehabilitated, our drivers load up our passenger vans and transport the pets to our animal welfare partners out of state, where they are eventually (and, most often, very quickly) adopted to approved families.

Without the tireless work of our volunteers, fosters, drivers, staff, vet team, partner veterinarians, and partner animal welfare groups, Rescued Pets Movement wouldn’t be able to do what it does best—save lives!

How You Can Support Us

While we are lucky to have an army of dedicated volunteers, the work we do requires resources. From providing pet supplies and food to paying for veterinary care and gasoline for our transport vans, we can’t do it on heart alone. We think the work we do is important, and we hope you do too.

If you want to show your support for RPM, you can make a one-time donation or sign up to give monthly here.

Interested in volunteering or fostering with us? We’re always looking for devoted animal lovers who want to make a difference in the lives of these pets. Learn how you can become a volunteer here or a foster here.

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