Foster My Pet Trains Volunteers in Pet Care and Behavior

Commentary by Trish Phillips

dog at windowI had the opportunity last month to attend a training session in animal behavior by Dr. Teri Derr and our own Marilyn Tokach. Dr Derr shared awesome information on “How to Speak Dog” and Marilyn communicated many techniques in “Don’t Let Them Go!” for maintaining possession of dogs in your charge. I have attended many classes and seminars on dog behavior the past few years; it is an interest area I discovered as I transition from a long career in media research to the pet services industry.

What made this half-day seminar unique? The participants were not veterinarians, technicians or kennel assistants. They were not people who “work” in the pet industry at all. The participants were all volunteers (administrative, fosters, directors and more) for the organization, Foster My Pet.

Foster My Pet is a unique organization that provides temporary “foster” homes for pets of all species… not to find them new homes, but rather to ensure that they are reunited with their families after periods of temporary crisis. It is the brainchild and soulchild of its founder, Daniela vonArx. The purpose of Foster My Pet is to prevent pet surrender because of financial, medical or personal hardship. For more information about this wonderful organization, click here.

Given the seemingly recent birth of a new industry – finding, reuniting and unfortunately sometimes rehoming lost dogs – this training was timely as well as informative. In my view, it would be wonderful if every rescue and humane society, every person who lives with pets or knows someone who does, and every person in the veterinary field would be required to attend these sessions or ones like them. Maybe, just maybe, the time spent at the seminar would keep another pet off the street “accidentally.” And the time spent searching for them could be spent saving other pets.

If you volunteer with a rescue, veterinary clinic or pet services group and would like information about hosting a training session for your organization, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..