Meet The Foster Mom-Drusilla Carter of Big Fluffy Dog Rescue

Seeing as the title character of Sylvia is herself a dog rescued out of the park and given a home, we wanted to give everyone a little more information about what a fantastic and rewarding thing adopting or fostering an animal can be. We have partnered with Big Fluffy Dog Rescue to help raise awareness for this cause and recently sat down with one of their valued  volunteers, Drusilla carter,  to provide a little more information on the valuable role animal foster parents play.


Can you explain your role with BFDR to us?

I am a foster human with BFDR – basically, I provide a temporary home for dogs in the rescue so they can escape the pound and have a stable environment while they wait to be adopted.  I also help out at events, drive dogs where they need to go, and make occasional road trips to pick up donations of things like crates and food.

How long have you been fostering animals?

I started fostering several years ago when I lived down south, working with the local domestic violence shelter.  A lot of victims of abuse won’t leave their abuser because they are afraid for their pets, so the shelter placed the animals in temporary homes while the victims got themselves back on their feet.  After I moved up here I worked briefly with another rescue and then got my first foster with BFDR just over a year ago.  Since then I’ve had nineteen foster dogs.

What are the challenges to it?

Some foster dogs are more challenging than others!  I seem to specialize in the “scaredy dogs” – dogs who have been abused or were taken from hoarding cases or for various other reasons are extremely fearful of humans and have no idea what being a pet is all about.  The hoarding cases are the hardest.  They have never been socialized, never been inside a home, never had proper health care, never been petted or walked on a leash or had food that they didn’t have to fight for.  Teaching them to dog can be a long process.  (Other fosters are easy – I had one, for example, who was surrendered by its owner due to the owner’s health issues.  That dog had always been loved, was already house broken, and was up to date on all of its vaccines.)  It can also be hard to say goodbye to a foster dog when it gets adopted.

What are the benefits?

It’s incredibly rewarding to see a dog who came in with health problems and terrified of the world come out of its shell and become healthy and happy.  The first day that a dog who was scared of its own shadow comes to you for a belly rub or plays with a toy…that is an amazing feeling!  And, of course, even the healthy and happy dogs who come into foster would otherwise be in a shelter or a kennel and many of them would be put to sleep so you know you are helping animals.

Why would you encourage others to foster?

If you love animals and have some patience, fostering is a wonderful experience.  The other fosters for BFDR are amazing, too.  We have a really strong volunteer community so there is always someone to vent to when your foster puppy eats a shoe and to help you celebrate when a dog learns to play.  It’s one of the best things about fostering for BFDR.

What should people know when considering pet adoption?

Adopting an animal is a wonderful thing because you know that you are saving a life and  providing a loving home for an animal that may never have known security and never had a soft place to sleep.  And of course you get a best friend in the bargain.  You can adopt all kinds of animals – someone I know is currently fostering a ferret which is available for adoption!

That being said, a dog who came from a hoarding case or a shelter is probably not going to be your best buddy from the first minute you meet them.  It can take patience while everyone (human and canine) adjusts to a new routine and a new family member.  I tell adopters that the first week is going to be rough, the first month can be a little tiring, and after that you’ll wonder how you ever thought it wasn’t perfect.

Are there any favorite fosters you’ve had?

I love all of my fosters but obviously my favorites are the two I “failed” with.  (I adopted two of my fosters myself.)  Miss Esme and Skye were both fearful and Skye had major health issues, and I love watching them bounce around like real dogs now.  Also I loved a Saint Bernard mix, Chip, whose goal in life was to be a lap dog.  If he wouldn’t come when you called, you just sat down on the ground and he would come running to sit in your lap!

Can you tell us a little about your dog Asher?

Asher is the World’s Dumbest Dog.  He is a rescue from a high-kill shelter down south, and he is a foster brother extraordinaire, but he is also a special needs dog.  The human equivalent would be a child with Down Syndrome – he has a very limited memory and he can’t reason things out even at the level a normal dog would, so he does things like get lost in the front yard and jump into closed doors, but he is always happy and loves everyone and everything.  The frightened dogs I foster seem to respond especially well to him, which makes him invaluable in working to rehabilitate them.  (Anyone who wants to know more about Asher can go to, where he blogs about his adventures.)

How many animals have you had at once?

I currently have three dogs of my own, plus a cat and a kitten.  And I have two foster dogs.  And a horse.  So that’s seven animals in the house – the most I have had is eight.  And yes, I am insane, although not as insane as one of the other fosters who has fourteen dogs – her own, the mother dog she is fostering, and that dog’s litter of eight puppies!

If someone wanted to help but is unable to adopt or foster what can they still do?

We can always use volunteers besides fosters!  Some of our dogs need to be transported long distances to get to their adopters (my last foster went from Connecticut to Missouri) and we use volunteers driving dogs in short shifts to get them there.  If you’re lucky you’ll get the last leg of transport and get to see the dog meet its new family.  We also need people who can help us move supplies from place to place, to help out at adoption events, to check applications for adoption, and to raise funds for the care of the dogs, so there really is something for everyone.  Even sharing the posts from Big Fluffy’s facebook page or donating a couple of dog blankets helps, and of course you can always bid on our online auctions or buy Big Fluffy wine from our fundraisers!
Sylvia continues it’s performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 P.M. from September 23rd-October 8th as well as Sunday September 25th at 2:00 P.M.
For more information on Big Fluffy Dog Rescue and how you can be involved please visit their Facebook page or website,