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Nurse Annie Mathews with her 9 year old Schnauzer Lily after Dogs Trust announced the initiative. © Fran Veale
foster dogs

Dogs Trust offers temporary foster care scheme for frontline healthcare workers' dogs during pandemic

For healthcare workers working longer hours during the crisis this scheme offers “peace of mind”, Dogs Trust said.

THE DOGS TRUST charity has launched a new initiative offer temporary foster care for the dogs of frontline healthcare workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Aimed at helping healthcare workers who may be worried about their dog should their hours or workload increase, or if they become ill, they can avail of the foster programme for a period of at least two weeks.

This will give them “peace of mind” that their dog is being well cared for, getting the level of exercise and human interaction needed during the pandemic, Dogs Trust said.

The charity’s executive director Becky Bristow said that many people are at home right now and want to be able to support frontline workers in whatever way they can.

“The amount of offers we have received to foster dogs has been truly uplifting for us in these worrying times and we are delighted to now expand our team’s services to assist essential workers,” she said.

For those who need to avail of it, Dogs Trust staff would arrive to collect the dog wearing appropriate PPE and adhering to social distancing guidelines, and then transport the dog to its rehoming centre and later the foster home.

Dogs Trust said its normal vetting process for foster dog carers is different to how it usually is, given the current guidelines in place.

Under normal circumstances, families are required to attend the centre in north Dublin as part of the fostering recruitment process. But, as the centre is closed to the public, these talks are being conducted online.

The first stage of the recruitment process is to complete an application form, and later people are asked to send photos of their secure gardens, balcony areas and the room indoors where the dog will sleep.

Dogs Trust Ireland head of operations Karla Dunne added: “As with all dogs in our foster programme, we take great time and care to ensure they are matched with the perfect temporary home for them and their needs and we are delighted that we can now extend this to frontline staff so they can rest assured that their dog will be loved and cared for while they are caring for others or keeping essential services operational.”

Frontline workers can learn more about the scheme here

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