Young Australian cattle dog fostered and adopted

Young Australian cattle dog with striking blue eyes finds the perfect active foster home who then adopt her.
By Denise LeBeau

Bella, a young Australian cattle dog with blue eyesBella’s beautiful blue eyes stood out among the routine alerts sent out from New York City Animal Care and Control to rescue groups. The young Australian cattle dog was picked up as a stray and wound up at the shelter’s facility in Brooklyn. Kristi Adams, Best Friends Animal Society–New York adoption and foster coordinator, was immediately drawn to the shelter’s request for a rescue group to take in the young dog. “Bella is beautiful and unique. I was sure we could help her,” says Kristi.  All she needed was the right foster home that could commit to caring for Bella until she could be matched up with a forever home.

Best Friends–New York volunteer foster families provide temporary homes to dogs and cats from New York City Animal Care and Control, which allows Best Friends staff more time to find permanent adoptive homes for those deserving pets. Since a new volunteer had recently signed up to foster a dog, perhaps Bella’s luck just might be about to change for the better.

Foster homes for animals

Sue Altman had recently been vacationing in Utah, where she learned about the work being done by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab. Before returning home to New York, she signed up to receive Best Friends email alerts.

A few weeks after returning from her trip, Sue was thrilled to get an important alert. Best Friends Animal Society–New York was looking for foster homes. Sue thoughtfully filled out the application, which includes an in-depth foster survey to help ensure the personalities and activity levels of the animals in need are matched with the right homes. Sue included the behavior and characteristics she was looking for in a foster dog. As an avid hiker and professional teacher, she needed a friendly, outgoing dog who could accompany her on outdoorsy adventures and would be good with kids.

A perfect foster dog

When Kristi talked to Sue about what personality traits would be a good fit for a foster dog in her home, she knew Bella could be a great match, so she introduced them at the shelter. Sue had some initial trepidation about providing a foster home. Would the dogs suffer from being bounced from home to home? Her fears were quickly eased at the shelter. “When I went to pick her up, I knew I was doing the right thing,” says Sue. “The shelter staff obviously care about the animals, but with so many dogs, the one-on-one attention they seek can’t be met. Even if Bella went into (a foster home and then an adoptive home), those homes would provide her the comfort and support a shelter setting can’t. Every day out of the shelter would be a blessing for Bella.”

A wonderful match between an Australian cattle dog and her new mom. Here they are playing on a hike.Adopting a young Australian cattle dog

As it turned out, Kristi only had to use her matchmaking skills once to find Bella the perfect home. “Kristi picked out the perfect dog for me,” says Sue, who wanted a dog who was energetic but not hyperactive, and small but not too small. The one-time “cat person” bonded to Bella overnight. “She acts like she’s part cat,” says Sue, mentioning Bella’s endearing habit of climbing up on her lap to take a nap.

Sue officially adopted Bella from Best Friends–New York and is looking forward to helping more animals in need. “I absolutely recommend adopting or fostering an animal through Best Friends-New York,” says Sue. “Fostering helps save a life and Best Friends helps make sure you’ve got the right animal for your home.”

Get involved to help animals

Learn more about how Best Friends Animal Society–New York helps pets in the Big Apple.

To help more pets like Bella go from homeless to home, become a Best Friends member.

Photos courtesy of Sue Altman

Dog New York