TODAY IS THE BIG DAY– the day where a bumble of puppies come together and adorably compete in #PuppyBowlXVI. While we’ve always been big fans of the Puppy Bowl and all of its insanely cute shenanigans, this year is EXTRA special because one of the contenders on Team Ruff is our very own office dog, MOCHA.
We sat down with Sarah Brasky, founder of the nonprofit @FosterDogs, about all things Puppy Bowl and to see how anyone can get involved with these puppies each year!
Can you tell us a little bit about how you started Foster Dogs?
Foster Dogs Inc started over ten years ago when I discovered there was a need for more resources on fostering, for newbies and for experienced dog caretakers. I wanted to help shelter dogs, I just didn’t know this even existed! After starting the Foster Dogs website, we grew over the years and became a total grass-roots nonprofit with a board and steering committee and events and amazing programs and tons of happy stories!
Tell us about your dogs!
My two rascals are Ozzie and Shaggy @ozzieandtheaussie, Ozzie is 9 and Shaggy is 6-going-on-1. Both were connected to me through Foster Dogs, of course – and we got them as puppies which is wild since they are such big boys now. They are both “foster fails” which means they started as my foster dogs and we “failed” to let them move to another home. They are so close, and even clean one-another’s ears when they’re relaxing at night. Dogs are weird. But they are good with my kids and they are so understanding of the various foster dogs that come in and out of my home all the time. They learned from an early age that sharing-is-caring when it comes to sharing our home to other dogs!
What sparked the relationship between Foster Dogs Inc and the puppy bowl? // How do you select foster dogs for the puppy bowl?
Animal Planet selects puppies from shelters nationwide, to highlight the beauty of adoption! We rescued Mocha through one of our rescue partners Friends with Four Paws. She was abandoned in Oklahoma and needed a home, so we said, “NYC is where this girl should be!” We knew she was perfect for auditioning for Puppy Bowl when we saw her sporty puppy pics. She got to spend time at BARK offices and work on her social skills and obedience training. We were accepted to the Bowl, and Dan the Ref became Mocha’s amazing foster dad – and the rest is history!
Were there any puppies that you were psyched to see at the shoot?
I became a total fangirl when Dolly “Mustache Puppy” showed up. I’ve followed her story ever since her rescue group Hearts & Bones shared her photo online and nearly broke the internet. I was losing my cool, though I was in the midst of a true celebri-pup. She’s sweet as can be, and became friends with our girl Mocha.
How can someone adopt a dog from the puppy bowl?
Isn’t it the coolest thing that the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet uses rescue puppies from shelters all over the country? I’m all for it. The doggy athletes in the Puppy Bowl have all been adopted by now, and you’ll get to learn more about their happy tails during the broadcast. Admittedly, on filming day, I was ready to run home with a batch of fresh puppies.
How can someone adopt a dog from Foster Dogs?
We work daily to encourage fostering and adoption, and are always helping our rescue partners place their dogs into loving homes. The beauty of our org is that we’re a bridge – so when someone wants to bring home a dog, we’re thrilled to help them make that connection to a dog or organization in need! Think of us as your foster hub. Want to adopt a dog with our help? Check our Instagram feed for dogs looking for adopters and fosters, and come to any of our adoption events for lovely dogs in need of homes. We currently have a little old man named Bobby Bark, named after Bobby Berk of the Fab 5. He’s up for adoption through Foster Dogs Inc, in New York City.
What advice would you give someone who’s interested in fostering for the first time?
Do it! What a rewarding and life-altering experience. Try it once, or do it a hundred times. Anything you can do to help makes a difference!
Keep an eye on our site for workshops and other events in NYC!
Visit our website for FAQs about fostering.