Lisa Smith knows dogs. The Ossining resident has fostered dogs for the past eight years, working with eight major rescue organizations in the area. She is co-owner of Canine Kindergarten, a doggie daycare started over 15 years ago in Verplanck and now with two additional locations in Mount Kisco and Yorktown. And, as of October of last year, Smith is the founder of A Good Dog Rescue.
Since she started, Smith has adopted out over 1,000 dogs in the tri-state area, doing about 10 adoptions a week (with an adoption costing new owners about $200 to $450). Smith finds most of her foster dogs from local area high-kill shelters.
“Mainly, I’m saving wonderful family dogs from euthanization,” said Smith.
Fostering is a nice transition for dogs (especially those from shelters) according to Smith, as it provides future owners far more information about the dog than a shelter would have. At A Good Dog Rescue, for instance, each dog spends valuable one-on-one time with a trainer–who evaluates temperament–as well as with volunteers who walk, play and help to acclimate the canines to their new lives.
It’s not often easy to say goodbye to foster dogs. But as Smith tells her foster volunteers, instead of adopting one dog, fostering saves more dogs from a bad setting and gets them from a good situation to an even better one.
Sometimes, however, she meets a truly special dog that ends up being more than a foster she prepares for a new forever home.
One such dog is Turf. The white dog was seriously ill when he came to Smith’s for fostering. She took care of his many medical needs, dog and foster family fell in love and Turf found his forever home easier than expected. Then there was Quinny. The golden mix came to Smith from a city shelter at four months old with a congenital kidney disease.
“Through further testing, we found out he maybe would live a year,” said Smith. “My daughter came to me and said we couldn’t let him die as a foster dog, so we adopted him. He lived 14 months. We gave him the best life we could.”
“It’s always about the dog,” said Smith. “We’re just trying to get them to a better place.”
Below are but some of the dogs Smith has available for adoption.
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