From Foster Fail to Happy Tail

With so many not-so-happy stories in the news these days, the “foster fail” of Lilly, a former shelter dog, might sound the same. But in this case, Lilly went from being fostered by the Schiesler family to being adopted, thus a “Foster Fail”! But she is now what we like to call a Happy Tail!

Brenda and Terry Schiesler heeded the call to help the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter (SMRAS) and foster a dog. Shelter staff have been working feverishly to move pets out of the shelter and into foster care or adoptive homes since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.

Shelter Manager Jeanne Saadi said she and her staff are overwhelmed at the outpouring of support by the community and the shelter now - for the first time in its history – has more open kennels than animals.

Tiny Lilly, a 6-pound 8-ounce chihuahua who appeared to have head and pelvis injuries when she came to the shelter, found a foster home with Brenda and Terry. But after about a week, Brenda said they decided to become her forever family.

“She has gotten progressively better since she’s been with us,” Brenda said in a recent phone interview. “She was very weak and didn’t enjoy walking.”

Now the couple can get Lilly to walk every day. She also takes her vitamins.

They are now working on kennel training Lilly, who responds very well to the Bill Jack treats Brenda offers.

“She is doing remarkably well and is more feisty,” she said.

And though the term foster fail may not sound good, Saadi said it’s always a happy ending when a family fosters and pet then decides to adopt.

However, she reiterated that foster families are still urgently needed.

“Each time someone fosters, they free up a space in the kennel and offer a pet a chance to get some relief from the stress of shelter life,” she said. “Fostering can save a life over and over again.”

As for Brenda and Terry, they are happy they gave Lilly a forever home. Brenda said the foster and adoption processed were easier than expected and she appreciated how everything can be handled online.

“I was very impressed with the shelter and the process,” she said. “They are top notch.”

photo of a brown and white Chihuahua