To date, Always & Furever has rescued over 2,000 dogs and cats! This would not be possible without our volunteer fosters. The Barn is only zoned for 19 dogs at one time. If we are full, we cannot rescue another until one of our dogs is adopted, OR one of our dogs leaves for a foster home. In essence, fostering saves not one but two lives.

Our open atmosphere of 19 dogs is not conducive for some new arrivals — especially those we fondly refer to as “the littles.” They are anxious and timid. They require a quiet, calming place to decompress (and to run around without fear of being trampled by an oblivious larger dog).

Other dogs come to us with more medical needs than we can properly tend to in The Barn. They need some extra time, care and patience to mend and heal.

And some dogs come to us with lots of emotional baggage. They may get along with some dogs but not others. They may not get along with dogs but are fine with cats. These furry friends desperately need the loving care of humans who can accept them just the way they are.

“To say being a part of A&F has been life changing is an understatement. The happiness, the heartbreak, the laughter, the endless hours day in and day out to help save these dogs’ lives, the friendships . . . it is an up and down roller coaster of emotions . . . and the absolute BEST thing I have ever done. Seeing these dogs get their second chance at life makes my heart burst every time. I am so blessed to be able to be a part of Jen’s dream and make a difference in these dogs’ lives. It has been the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. The Little Red Barn not only saves animals, it saves humans too.”

– Meghan Swon-Foster, Coordinator

Fostering with Always & Furever is an easy and rewarding process. The first step is to complete a form online at Or you can email us at Our foster coordinator is Meghan, and she will work with you to make sure the pet you are wishing to foster is the right fit for your home.

Once the right dog is selected for a foster, the foster’s role is simple: Treat the dog as your own. We provide the bedding, kennels, food, monthly flea/tick/heart worm treatments as well as other monthly medications. The foster provides the home and the love.

In addition, the foster is asked to promote the dog on our Facebook page, Always & Furever Adoptable Pets. The more visibility for our dogs, the better chances we have in finding their perfect family. While we sometimes know the backstory of these pups, often we know very little. As fosters learn the various personality traits of these dogs, they share that information online. The more potential adopters know about a dog, the better success at finding furever.

And of course, after caring for the pup and having a chance to fall in love, fosters may decide they want to adopt. We affectionately call this, Foster Failing. There is no shame involved in this kind of failure, only big congratulations and lots of slobbery kisses.

Article and photo provided by Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary

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