Why One Young Woman Quit Her Job to Focus on Saving 7 Shelter Dogs

March 28, 2016Posted by Helaina Hovitz

Sarah Brasky is not going to stop until she gets every single one of these dogs out of the New York City shelters and boarding kennels they’ve been stuck in for years and into comfortable homes.

All seven of them.

Through her nonprofit, Foster Dogs NYC, Sarah has been performing this service for hundreds of other adoptable dogs for the past five years, finding them temporary foster homes until they find a forever home.

But these seven dogs are special, so she and her volunteers have decided to put some extra elbow grease behind a very specific and deliberate effort to help them, which she’s named Operation Foster Bound.

“These specific dogs are hard to adopt because they have been dealt a bad hand. They’re not worse than any other dog you’d see walking around, yet they’ve been waiting for several years to be adopted” Sarah explains. “They’ve been in a difficult situation and environment for so long that they’ve regressed a bit, and are not the best version of themselves.”


Featured Photo by Milla Chappell @realhappydogs, Above Photo by Robert Stoetzel, Dog & Co

That can easily change in the home of the right foster parent, especially with the free training classes the nonprofit will provide—along with food, medical care, and other complimentary supplies.

“Dogs, like children, need a loving, supportive, and consistent environment where they can be nurtured and are able to flourish,” Sarah says. “In shelters and boarding kennels, they don’t have routines, it’s a cold and chaotic place for them to be at times, and they don’t know who to rely on.”

They may not know it from their respective corners of the city, but they can certainly count on Sarah: in fact, she just quit her day job as a teacher to run the show full time.

She and her volunteers have been giving the Operation Foster Bound dogs—Regina, Bear, Ray, Bernie, Ariel, Onyxx, and Rikki—as much constant attention as possible on social media.


Photo by Robert Stoetzel, Dog & Co

Inspiration for Operation Foster Bound struck on her way to brunch one morning last winter.

“These dogs have been waiting for so long and otherwise have no hope. We need to put our energy into these dogs—we’ve been doing everything we can and it’s not working. I thought, Why can’t I do for these really hard-to-place dogs what I do for the super senior and terminally ill dogs we have in our program?”

She’s referring to another program within Foster Dogs NYC, the Fospice Program, which places senior and very sick shelter dogs into homes so they can have a beautiful end of life experience before they cross “the rainbow bridge.”


Photo by Jeanette Kuvin Oren

The core mission of the nonprofit, which was first created in 2009 as a user-friendly website and organization dedicated solely to foster care for dogs in need of adopting. So, Sarah created a unique and innovative Foster Roster, an ever-growing list of potential foster parents who want to be alerted when a dog is available. Right now, that list is up to nearly 2,000 people.

“Nobody else has a universal application like this,” Sarah says. “We’re always combing through to update information and reach out to specific people when we think we have a dog that could be a match.”

Through expert advice, quality marketing, and professional, no-fee services, the organization connects willing rescuers, adopters, and fosters with animals in need. By lending a helping hand, the hope is that people will gain interest and foster an overlooked shelter dog, helping them in more ways than one by providing them with adequate exercise, socialization, and most importantly, love.

“We can’t create a foster home out of thin air, so we need people willing to take on the endeavor with these seven dogs. It can be a challenge, but it is a beautiful experience.”

Click the names below to learn more about the Operation Foster Bound Dogs, and check out the video below to see them in action:

REGINA (Sean Casey Animal Rescue)

BEAR (Sean Casey Animal Rescue),

REY (Sean Casey Animal Rescue),

BERNIE (Twenty Paws Animal Rescue),

ARIEL (Twenty Paws Animal Rescue)

ONYX (Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue)

RIKKI (Mr. Bones & Co.)

See them live in tail-wagging action in the video below:

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