FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - A rescue group that trains service dogs for veterans says it’s in desperate need of foster families. Coco’s Cupboard says with the pandemic, fewer families are volunteering to foster service dogs in training, while the need for them among veterans and people with medical challenges is greater than ever.
Suzanne Aaron of Coco’s Cupboard
Suzanne Aaron runs a rescue group called Coco’s Cupboard. She has trained service dogs for years. Recently, she started her own service dog program called Tails of Hope. It supplies dogs to veterans like Gail Johnston, who says her dog Sloan helps ease her PTSD symptoms.
Veteran Gail Johnston and her service dog Sloan
“If my leg is bouncing, she will put her paw on it to let me know that I need to calm down because I do it without thinking about it,” Johnston said.
But Aaron says among all rescue groups in Georgia, right now with the pandemic there is a shortage of foster families, and it’s even worse for service dog fostering.
“Right now we have about 70 dogs and we are in need of about 20 foster families,” Aaron said.
Kim Bolan is a volunteer who fosters dogs before their service training. She’s working with Kylo.
“He is learning to retrieve prescription medicines and even though he has no retriever in him, he is really good at it,” Bolan said.
Whitney Mattews is a volunteer and also has a service dog named Star Lord. She says prospective service dogs need family time.
“They need to experience the hustle and bustle of a home,” she said.
Star Lord, a service dog
So they are desperately looking for foster families for these dogs, who will spend the rest of their lives as an important partner in someone's life.
“When you see the impact it has on the person’s life, it’s a game-changer,” Aaron said.
If you would like to foster a service dog, or any of the dogs at the rescue, or support them with a donation or an adoption, you can find Coco’s Cupboard online.
Best prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Shelter-in-place order for Georgia until April 13
- Who is considered an 'essential worker' during the coronavirus pandemic?
- If you violate Georgia's shelter-in-place order, then you are breaking the law
- Reporting potential price gouging in the state of Georgia
- Reporting business, organization violating statewide shelter-in-place order
- How to get unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Fixing the PIN on the Georgia Department of Labor website to access unemployment claims
- Symptoms, testing and how to prepare amid growing COVID-19 outbreak
- Who is most susceptible to coronavirus? COVID-19 not just affecting older people
- Coronavirus cleaners: These products will kill COVID-19, according to the EPA
- Coronavirus and pets: Your cat or dog probably can’t get COVID-19, WHO says
- Will sick leave protect me if I get ill from coronavirus? 5 questions answered
RELATED: CoronavirusNOW.com, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates.