May 18, 2024

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Animal Planet Directory

Woman’s Plan To Take Shelter Dog Out for the Day Ends Up Backfiring

A dog mom who vowed to no longer foster animals has “failed” after learning the local shelter was desperate for more room.

Tina Baer, a volunteer at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, decided to keep 5-year-old American bulldog mix Axel, at least for the time being.

Baer told Newsweek that she typically walks shelter dogs on average three times a week, and once or twice a month, she will give other dogs a day out. Axel’s day out of the shelter on October 11 included getting a bath, a new toy, and of course, a pup cup.

While Axel was enjoying his time out and getting some much-needed rest, Baer checked her emails and saw the shelter was losing space for another 30 dogs. It brought her back to this past Fourth of July when the shelter euthanized 20 dogs. She knew she could not put Axel back to that stressful environment.

Foster dog axel dressed for Halloween
Axel the foster dog dressed as a skunk for Halloween. Tina Baer kept Axel as a foster after hearing the Charlotte shelter needed more room.
Tina Baer

After foster failing twice, Baer and her husband made an agreement to no longer foster. The family already has two dogs and two cats. But Axel’s beyond relaxed temperament, and the fact the rest of the furry family welcomed him, swayed them into keeping him for the time being, Baer explained.

“I emailed a picture of Axel meshed in with the family with the question, ‘Foster?'” said Baer. “I got a ‘haha’ response from my husband. A ‘haha’ isn’t a no!”

Right then and there, Baer filled out the foster application. The family is happy to host Axel until the right forever family comes along to adopt him. There has been some interest both within the state of North Carolina and internationally. As great as the attention is from Ireland, Spain, and Germany, she hopes more of the attention comes stateside as it will lead to more a more likely scenario of Axel getting adopted.

The importance of fostering goes beyond just giving these animals a break from the animal shelter. Fostering an animal frees up space in shelters, which is needed for the overcapacity shelters are experiencing across the country. Plus, it gives them a safe environment to heal, grow, and get some extra love while a forever home comes along, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states.

Shelter Numbers

The Charlotte shelter has a total of 323 dogs in need of forever homes, according to the Charlotte Animal Care and Control website. A major problem this shelter faces is the decrease in available kennels due to construction. The shelter will be down 36 kennels through October.

Baer is using her social media platform and TikTok account @babybeapttie, to promote the importance of fostering and adopting from overcrowded shelters. She is also taking Axel to a Halloween parade with the hopes of getting his story out.

Each year 6.3 million pets are surrendered to U.S. shelters, which is an average of 17,260 a day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The number of dogs and cats taken in by pet shelters hit 46,807 during January 2023, an increase of 1,744 compared with January 2022, the 24Pet ‘Shelter Watch Report’ found.

Around 920,000 surrendered animals are euthanized every year. Shelters are striving to minimize euthanasia rates by promoting adoption campaigns, spaying and neutering programs, and behavior rehabilitation.

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