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Foster Dogs

Sarah Oren Brasky started Foster Dogs in 2009 after fostering Mocha from a Manhattan kill shelter.

"I got an email," Ms. Brasky says, "the night before she was going to be euthanized, and got to the shelter first thing the next morning to take her home. I realized that if other people knew about the wonderful, friendly dogs in local shelters that needed temporary homes, more people would be fostering. Mocha was adopted after three weeks in foster care to a fabulous young woman in Brooklyn. Most people are under the impression that the only way to save a shelter dog is through adoption, but fostering will save that dog as well—without the permanent commitment."

No experience is needed to foster, just the willingness to give a dog a halfway home. That could be for a few weeks or months—that's up to you. Brasky also runs The Dog Matchmaker, a site that facilitates the adoption process for those looking for a long-term commitment.

Some of the dogs are conventional beauties; for others, you'll need to look a little deeper. But if you've ever met a fostered or shelter-adopted dog, you know they can make most the extraordinary companions.

Freeman Alley

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