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Rover Rescue: Nonprofit aims to find homes for dogs

Published: Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

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Dorothy, a beagle mix, placed her giant paws on Cindy Porcaro’s shoulders as the Batavia resident gave her a loving scratch under her chin.

Dorothy has come a long way since arriving at Porcaro’s home in late August.

“It took a while for her to warm up to me,” Porcaro said. “She was taken from a hoarding situation with 25 other dogs.”

For the past year, Porcaro and her husband, Greg, have been fostering dogs for Rover Rescue, which is marking its 10th anniversary this year. The group was co-founded in 2003 by North Aurora resident Teri Grandt.

Over the years, the nonprofit Rover Rescue has saved about 5,800 dogs from shelters where animals can be euthanized. Many of the dogs are saved from high-kill shelters in southern Indiana, Grandt said.

“Just because a dog was born in Indiana doesn’t mean it should die,” Grandt said.

According to the American Humane Association, each year approximately 8 million stray and unwanted animals are taken in by shelters across the country, and about 3.7 million – nearly half – of these animals must be euthanized because good homes cannot be found for them.

Grandt, Rover Rescue’s foster home coordinator, has been fostering dogs for 26 years.

Before starting Rover Rescue, she had been a part of the St. Charles-based Homes for Endangered and Lost Pets.

Rover Rescue had 11 members when it started in 2003. It has grown to about 45 foster families.

But it always is looking for more people willing to foster in order to keep up with the high demand.

“There will never be enough foster homes,” Grandt said.

Rover Rescue pays for the veterinary care, food and supplies needed by the foster families.

“It’s a great way to have a dog without having the expenses,” Grandt said.

At any given time, Rover Rescue has between 65 and 85 dogs available for adoption. Currently, Rover Rescue has more than 60 dogs available for adoption, and their photos and videos are posted at Rover Rescue’s website, www.roverrescue.org.

“They can get more of a connection with the dog when it’s a video,” she said.

Several dogs up for adoption will be shown from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Healthy Pet store, 2620 N. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Oswego Go Dog Go, 100 Main St., Oswego.

They also will be shown Nov. 9 and 10 at the Chicago Pet Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

Porcaro and her husband have been fostering dogs for Rover Rescue for almost a year now. The couple has two boys, ages 7 and 11.

“Our boys had been wanting a dog,” she said. “We had a dog when they were younger that we had to put down because of a stroke.”

The experience has turned out to be a success. The family found homes for nine other dogs fostered, and Dorothy is set to be adopted this weekend.

“All of them have had different personalities,” Porcaro said. “It’s been fun.”

Porcaro keeps in contact with the families that have adopted the dogs that have been fostered and gets updates on how the dogs are doing.

“I encourage them to send emails,” Porcaro said. “A couple of the dogs have graduated from puppy school. It is nice to see they are happy.”

While she is fostering them, she tries to train them as best as she can. And she is happy with the progress that Dorothy has made in the past few weeks as she gets ready to be adopted.

“She was afraid of me,” Porcaro said. “She was a flight risk when we first got her.”

Know more

For information about Rover Rescue, visit www.roverrescue.org.

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