Dog blogger Sarah Oren
“My name is Boomer and … I am a stunning German shepherd mix. I am pleading for you to help me find a home. My old family didn’t care about me and left me to roam the streets. A nice lady picked me up and has me boarded at the vet’s office until she can find me a home. It is so boring in here. I want to play so bad.”
That’s just one of the stories you can read at the blog, Foster Dogs in New York City. Sarah Oren ’08 publishes the website, seeking temporary homes for shelter dogs who face euthanization and finding “forever families” for dogs already in foster care. As of September, Oren had posted pictures and bios for more than 700 dogs. She says fewer than 10 percent did not find homes in time.
“Foster care takes a dog out of a shelter, which is usually a kill shelter, and puts it in a safe environment,” Oren says. “This gives the dog a chance of getting adopted. It also gives the dog an opportunity to grow in a home environment, making it better for the eventual adopter.”
Oren says temporary care can be a good fit for someone who wants a dog but can’t commit long-term. That was her situation when she moved to Manhattan following graduation from Binghamton University. She provided foster care to two dogs. Then, looking to do more, she started the blog in summer 2009.
“I realized that so many dogs in the shelters are not getting enough publicity,” she says. “Instead of doing PR for the individual dogs, the message is usually ‘just come to the shelter.’ I thought it would be more appealing to give people a chance to look at the dogs.”
Oren, who now lives in Connecticut, recently started a business called The Dog Matchmaker. She interviews families, visits shelter dogs in person to see if they would be a good match for a family and helps with paperwork.
“You have someone do your hair, and you have someone work with you as a personal trainer, so why not have someone help you choose your pet?” she says. “Many people don’t have time to do all the work involved.”