It all started 4 years ago when I got the crazy idea in my head that I wanted a dog. I had never owned a dog, never really even been around dogs and knew nothing at all about them but for some reason, I just had to have one. I found myself on petfinder.com on a daily basis searching for the perfect dog. After a few weeks of searching (and begging my boyfriend, Chris, who was adamant that we were NOT getting a dog) I stumbled upon a cute little black and white staffordshire terrier named Smokey. He agreed to go to Philadelphia ACCT shelter to "check the place out" and meet her, as I told him I wanted to start volunteering there. We made the hour and a half drive from our house to the shelter and walked through the kennels. Seeing dog after dog broke my heart and I cried the whole time, until we took Smokey out into a run to meet her. She jumped instantly into Chris' lap, it was a done deal, I won the battle! Taking her home was truly a turning point in my life, I had FINALLY found my purpose. Shortly thereafter, we adopted our second dog, Bandit (Smokey and the Bandit, it just had to be) and I started volunteering at the shelter as many hours a week as my schedule permitted. I quickly fell in love with a very sick puppy named Remy in January of 2010. Once again, I began begging Chris to let me save another animal. He eventually caved in and let me bring her home as a foster dog, "just this one time." She was an amazing little girl and was adopted within the first week and a half that we had her. The empty nest syndrome after her adoption was immense and totally unexpected, so we brought home another dog. Pretty soon, it became our thing and by the end of 2011 we were fostering both cats and dogs and had successfully adopted out over 20 animals. We are currently on our 22, 23 and 24th foster animals (two cats and a dog).
My experience as a foster parent and volunteer has opened my eyes to a whole new world. A world of loving and needy animals that make my life feel whole. The amount of love and appreciation that these animals provide is just unbelievable. That little black and white dog has given me the most fulfilling life I could ever imagine. I am now a veterinary technician in a busy animal hospital and continue to volunteer all of my free time to ACCT. I am forever in debt to them for making my life complete.