I know I’ve said it before, but prior to starting Swamp Haven, Alyssa and I never fostered. Not once. In fact, it never entered my mind as a viable option for my family. Like many fosters, I have personal dogs who were (and still are) my “kids”. My life revolves around feeding, walking, vet appointments, doggy daycare, etc. I assumed fostering would put them on the back burner, and I also assumed my dogs wouldn’t accept any new dog walking through the door. I was so wrong.

Fostering has been one of the best things I’ve done for my dogs. The trick is figuring out what kind of dog (breed, age, size, sex) your dogs like to socialize with. My dogs LOVE a hound, and bonus, hounds are pack dogs, so I’ve been able to foster several at a time. Alyssa’s dogs are all males and although they adore each other, they’re the cool kids who don’t let anyone in their group, except little dogs. Her big burly dogs melt when a little dog walks through the door.

When you foster for Swamp Haven, you’re not alone. We provide our fosters with the tools and information they need in order to feel comfortable bringing a new dog in the home temporarily. And fostering can be as short-term or as long-term as you’d like:

– Heartworm dogs stay with us for at least 4 months as they go through treatment

– Operation H.O.W.L. dogs are with us for 8-10 weeks as transport is scheduled to WA state.

– Puppy fosters usually only have their pups for 4-6 weeks, as puppies are always adopted quickly.

– When our fosters go on vacation we like to keep our dogs in a home environment rather than boarding, so we need “vacation fosters” from a long weekend to several weeks.

Maggie, Penny, Smalls, Big Walt, Lt. Dan, Buford, Cassidy, Mac, Piney, Tootsie, Hogan. These are just a few of the close to 200 dogs Swamp Haven has found homes for in the last 2 years. Bottom line is that these dogs are alive because of our fosters. These amazing people who’ve opened their homes and hearts to dogs who needed a place to stay temporarily on their journey to their forever home.

Yesterday, Clay County took in 16 dogs from a hoarding case and added them to a shelter already bursting at the seams. Putnam County is also full and has several dogs facing euthanasia this week. These shelters are waiting on their communities to rally and save these dogs. Gandhi said “be the change you wish to see in the world”, now is your chance to step up and do just that. So, if you’ve ever thought about fostering, and even if you haven’t but it sounds kinda cool, give a call (360-672-8266) so we can help you find the perfect fit and help save a life.

Our swampies need to find their forever homes. Do you want to be a part of their journey?


Swamp Haven provides short-term care for down-on-their-luck dogs in the rural and underserved communities of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. Our mission is to ensure that our animals find a long-term future in their forever home. Swamp Haven is run entirely on donations by the generosity of folks like you.

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