Shelter to start ‘puppy fostering’ program

Published 10:40 pm Friday, August 30, 2013

Renee Jones, director of the Humane Society of Escambia County, said families looking for a calm, well-socialized puppy may find it difficult, when the puppy has been in a shelter with dozens of other puppies.

“It’s just a frenetic situation,” Jones said. “When you have a kennel full of puppies they are typically running, jumping, barking and begging for attention. When the puppies are like that, it’s hard for a potential owner to make a choice.”

To help create an atmosphere of calm and socializing of puppies, Jones said new plans are being made to create a better environment for puppies.

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“We are hoping to begin a fostering program for the puppies we have available for adoption,” Jones said. “When you have several puppies occupying the same space and with so many other animals requiring the attention of our staff, it’s hard to get them into a routine or to be more socialized.”

Renee Jones, director of the Humane Society of Escambia County, shows off one of the many puppies available for adoption.

Renee Jones, director of the Humane Society of Escambia County, shows off one of the many puppies available for adoption.

Jones said the puppy-fostering program would allow pets to remain healthy and learn how to be part of a family.

“The puppies need to get into a routine and that’s just a difficult thing in a shelter situation,” Jones said. “But, with a family in a home, the puppies have a chance to learn how to interact with children and others. It’s just a better way to socialize a puppy in preparation for adoption. And, getting those puppies adopted is our ultimate goal.”

Jones said currently the shelter has about 25 puppies hoping to find a home.

“Our puppy numbers don’t change too much,” Jones said. “We have as many coming in as we have going out — sometimes more coming in than going out. We usually see an increase of puppies in the shelter in the spring. Foster homes will always be needed.”

In the past, Jones has had the help of staff and volunteers to prepare many puppies that come into the shelter for a transport trip to other areas.

“We have made puppy transports to other states many times in our efforts to have these animals adopted,” Jones said. “With budgeting issues lately, we have had to cut back on those transports.”

Jones said with an increase in the number of abandoned pets around the county, the numbers at the shelter continue to grow, putting a greater strain on limited staff and a limited budget.

“We always have full kennels,” Jones said. “Animals are steady coming in the front door. We just need some of them to go out.”

In an effort to help adoption be more attractive for area animal lovers, a special adoption extravaganza is going on at the shelter, Jones said.

“We have 119 dogs here that need to find good homes,” Jones said. “We typically see adoptions drop in August, so we wanted to make that more attractive for those who are looking to adopt a new pet.”

Adoption fees have been reduced for the End of Summer Adoption Extravaganza, Jones said.

For animals already spayed or neutered, the adoption fee will be $50 for approved applications. Adopted animals will be up to date on vaccinations, tested for heartworms and will be microchipped to help with recovery in the event the pet is lost.

Open kennel hours for adoptions are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

The Humane Society of Escambia County shelter is located on U.S. Highway 31 South between Brewton and Flomaton and can be reached at 296-BARK. Adoption inquiries can be emailed to or

Find The Humane Society of Escambia County on Facebook or visit the shelter website at