Animal foster homes needed in Woodstock area
“They’re part of our family while they’re here. It’s difficult to see them go, but we know it opens up a spot for another one,” said Heather Mason of South Woodstock.
Mason recently became licensed by the state to serve as a shelter/rescue home for homeless dogs, cats and birds. She operates under the name, “Molly’s Moments,” named after a dog she had in the past.
Although her license technically classifies her setup as a shelter (it’s the only designation available, she said), the two cats and one dog she currently cares for live in her home just like her own dogs and cat.
Keeping homeless animals in a home setting allows the person taking care of them to better socialize and otherwise train them in preparation for being adopted.
Since June, when Mason got her license, she has adopted out six cats or dogs, and has helped find a new home for two Morgan horses.
The dogs have ranged from a six-pound poodle to an 80-pound Great Pyrenees.
Getting licensed is just the formalization of something Mason has been doing all her life.
“I was always the one who brought home the stray kitten or puppy,” she said.
That characteristic also rubbed off on her daughter, Katrina Tetreault, who helps her mother. Katrina is currently caring for Tonka, a black lab/Australian cattle dog mix, because he can have issues with other dogs.
The variety of personality traits among the foster animals are an important consideration when Mason looks at a potential adoption.
“We’re not just looking for homes, it’s about putting them in the right home,” she said.
Tonka, for instance, should go to a home where he will be an “only dog.” But the young dog loves people and is good with cats.
Another black dog, Roscoe, is less than a year old and also loves people, as well as other pets. Mason believes he is a German Shepherd/Shar Pei mix.
Last Friday, he was playing peek-a-boo with Indiana Jones, an orange tiger kitten who was trying to nap on Mason’s couch. The cat woke up and good-naturedly swiped at the dog’s nose.
Indiana, who is due to be neutered soon, will then be up for adoption. “He’s a lovebug,” said Mason.
At the other end of the feline spectrum is Whiskey, a stray from Oxford who came to Mason severely underweight and very weak.
Perhaps due to that trauma, the three-year-old cat is very shy, and afraid of large dogs. Whiskey currently spends much of his time in Mason’s bedroom away from the dogs. But she’s working to earn the cat’s trust, and socialize him so he will make someone a good companion.
The two women hope there are other animal lovers in the area who can help them out by adopting, fostering, or simply making a donation.
Regarding a foster arrangement, “We take care of all the medical expenses. They give them the love and attention they need,” said Mason.
To learn more, go to mollysmoments.org, look for them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MollysMomentsPetRescue or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The rescue is also now listed on petfinder.com, where people can enter the breed, size, age and other characteristics they desire in a potential pet and do a search on the site.
For donations, the address is Molly’s Moments, 230 Koskela Road, Bryant Pond ME 04219.
Note: On Sept. 15 Molly’s Moments will be at a Farmers’ Market at Tractor Supply in Oxford, selling raffle tickets for a basket of gifts and gift certificates as a fundraiser, as well as providing information about adoption.