Volunteer Profiles – Health Care Professionals and Fostering Animals: A Perfect Match
By Nomi Berger
Between January 2014 and January 2015, Tara
Steiner-Flandez and Reb Flandez of Clark, NJ have fostered a staggering 27 dogs!
Nurses for seven years, as Tara explains, “Our nursing skills have helped a lot. We’re confident that we know when to wait and when a foster needs immediate attention from a vet. We’ve had some with minor issues like coughs or ear infections, and we’ve had others with major issues, where we helped in their recoveries. And most of the time, we’re able to give them the care or the medications they need at home rather than spending the night at a hospital.
“After our marriage, we wanted to do something together in our free time. As avid animal lovers with two dogs of our own, I found a Facebook page one day and I knew! Staring out at me were the photos of three young dogs, together with a post saying they needed fosters. And I wanted to, needed to help. No sooner had I mentioned the idea to Reb than we decided to give fostering a try. I filled out an application and we were soon fostering a litter of three gorgeous black Lab puppies.
“Needless to say, we fell in love with them. I’d grown up with a black Lab, so it had tugged at my heartstrings seeing their pictures on Facebook. A few days into our fostering, however, I noticed that one of the pups was lethargic and wasn’t eating or drinking. He soon began to vomit and to have other severe GI symptoms. We knew he had to see a vet ASAP.
“He was diagnosed with Parvo, and they weren’t sure if he was going to make it. But Reb and I were determined to do everything to keep him alive. At home, we administered his injectable medications and gave him subcuticular fluids in his scruff to keep him hydrated. After two sleepless nights, he began eating and drinking on his own. He not only survived, but I fell even more in love with him because of his sweet temperament and strength.
“We’ve had him ever since – our beautiful Merlin – and he’s been the perfect foster brother to the other dogs we’ve welcomed into our home.”
Pictured, Reb, Tara and Merlin
If you would like to foster a pet, please apply online at LINK