six puppies in a basket

Help save puppies!

At Ruff Start Rescue, puppy season is in full swing! We take in puppies that land in overcrowded shelters in the south, puppies born in challenging conditions on reservations, and unplanned litters close to home. Please help us help them by signing up to foster! We can only save as many puppies as we have foster homes. We guarantee puppy kisses and, of course, the wonderful feeling of helping animals in need.

But don’t take our word for it. Check out what our puppy fosters have to say!

two puppies leaning into each other

“I took two little 5-week-old puppies. I didn’t know what to expect plus I was very nervous because I’ve never done that before. But within that first day, I fell in love with those little faces. I was also surprised how easy it was with two. They helped each other. The puppy kisses were the best. Watching them grow and changing each day was the most rewarding. I would say everyone should experience this at least just once.”

-Sandra, RSR Foster
a brown and white puppy sitting
“Although my husband and I have only been with Ruff Start for about 3.5 months, we have already fostered 3 puppies and loved the experience every time. Nothing beats saving dogs and getting puppy snuggles and kisses while doing it! “

-Dani, RSR Foster

a puppy sitting in the grass
“Who wouldn’t want a puppy to snuggle and then hand off to their new family? Kind of like babies that aren’t yours, Puppy fostering is awesome for us as our resident dogs are picky with their friends, and we can safely and easily separate them. Fostering teaches our kids responsibility, compassion, and the importance of helping animals in need – and it is fun for us all!”

-Kelly B., RSR Foster

a collage of puppies and their mom

“Our first fostering experience was a very pregnant Rez dog; she arrived on a Saturday and delivered her four puppies the following Tuesday. We didn’t really know what we were in for, but we were armed with scissors, dental floss, and iodine, all of which we never had to use; we just witnessed miracle after miracle being born. Watching those and the next and the next babies grow, eyes opening, then creeping around, then running and learning to bark has been our greatest honor! We are constantly laughing, doing laundry, washing the floor; the weeks fly by and they suddenly leave for their forever homes. We have met the most wonderful adopters; we feel grateful and satisfied in those we have chosen to love “our babies” for their whole lives. It’s been such an enriching experience we have brought in moms and pups over and over again – loving and cherishing them all. So far we have had 37 canines of all ages, and one bunny, come through our home in 17 months … and look forward to continuing this path and welcoming many more!”

-Patti, RSR Foster

“I fostered a shy girl from the Rez, who ‘might be pregnant. I decided to roll the dice. Luckily I was working from home at that point or I probably would have had to find her a new foster when they confirmed she was going to be a mama! I dove in headfirst, using whatever resources I could get my hands on. It was a beautiful experience and I learned so much – not the least of which was how amazing these mamas are. Mama was only 55 lbs but the puppies were HUGE – and as they outgrew their puppy pens and needed space to run, I recruited helpers to come over and puppy wrangle while I cleaned pens. It’s amazing how willing people are to come to play with puppies! Puppies are an amazing weight loss plan – my Fitbit step count increased dramatically as they got older – you never stop moving! The puppies all found simply amazing adopters who still send me updates. And best of all, mama landed in the most loving, patient, and perfect home of all. She deserved it. I’m trying some other fostering experiences now, but I know I’ll go back to puppies someday and I can’t wait.”

-Leanne, RSR foster

a puppy frolicking through grass
a collage of puppies

“‘Sometimes things don’t go as planned” is how I would explain our first puppy fostering experience. It’s pushed me to do things I didn’t think I could do. However, the support we received from others within RSR has been strong. Things are not always rainbows and sunshine in rescue, but I am so thankful for the experience and support we received as we worked through understanding Parvo and nursing our crew back to good health. Although we lost one sibling we gained two very spunky and fun pups. Whom are now healthy and happy pooping machines. We normally do kittens/young cats, but we would be happy to continue as a landing spot for Parvo recovery pups or if/when we clear the quarantine period another set of pups. The experience is 100% worth it because none of them would have stood a chance had they been left in the conditions they were rescued from.”

-Kristi, RSR Foster

two puppies sitting on a chair
“‘Crazy Cat Lady’ here with my first foster puppies. They are busy!!! Lots of  💩 while working on this potty training thing. Way too many puppy kisses…most unexpectedly. But who’s complaining. Lol 🐶💋 It’s awesome to see their individual personalities emerge as they adjust in their new surroundings. I’ve met so many wonderful people while fostering and within the Rescue.” – Brenda, RSR Foster, and Self-Proclaimed Crazy Cat Lady
a puppy chewing on a stick

“My first RSR foster puppy was an 8 week old FTA. My most recent puppies were 1.5-week old bottle baby brothers. What I love about fostering puppies is having little babies in the house. It is hard work, but it’s hard work with a purpose. We are setting these little ones up for the rest of their lives and it is so rewarding. It is also a great family experience. My school-age daughter has learned so much about handling mouthy puppies, teaching commands, and bodily functions. My resident dogs (one of whom is “selective” about dog friends) really help show our fosters the way. 😊 Charles Schulz was so right when he said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Taya, RSR Foster

two kids holding puppies for prom

“We haven’t had puppies in a while, we are hoping to get into that again because I miss it. Watching them get their personalities and play with each other is the best, along with their discoveries. This is one of my favorite pics with puppies. It was my son’s Junior Prom, and I was like ‘we gotta bring puppies to the photoshoot’ I mean who can’t say no to puppies with teenagers all dressed up? Puppies are a great prop!”

-Crystal, RSR Foster

“I fostered a car hit Rez pup with a broken hip that healed up nicely and he had resource guarding issues. Had him 2 1/2 months before he found his perfect home this past October. I so wanted to keep him but with two of my own at home, I could not add a third! Still miss him!”

-Jodi, RSR Foster

Tasha snuggling with a puppy

“We’ve fostered 51 young puppies over the years and it’s always hectic and messy and every single time I do it again because it’s so rewarding to see them grow and change and develop little personalities and find their forever families!”

-Tasha, RSR Foster

a puppy and adult dog snuggling

“Bovie was our first and only puppy foster, but he certainly won’t be the last! He was handsome, smart, and kept us all on our toes (including our resident dog, Ridge!) He was such a joy to have with us for a few weeks, and he was adopted by the perfect family. They have continued to send updates and it has been so fun watching him grow and learn with them! On his recent trip to the vet, the tech said he was the best-mannered pup she has seen. His forever family adores him and so do we.”

-Lauren, RSR Foster and Volunteer

a puppy and kid playing
a puppy standing on a couch
two puppies snuggling with a kid

“We do not have any foster puppies in the house right now because we had a puppy with parvo. We are missing all the cuddles, laughs, chaos, and cuddles! Fostering puppies has been such a blessing for our entire family! Seeing them thrive and go to amazing homes make all the work worth it.” – Laura, RSR Foster

a kid smiling at a puppy with three legs

“We love taking puppies – especially with medical needs. ”

-Jenni, RSR Foster and Volunteer

a puppy relaxing on a deck

“I never thought I could be a puppy foster, but the joy it brings to my fearful resident dog is so heartwarming.”

-Kelly E., RSR Foster

Have we convinced you to give fostering puppies a try?

When you foster with Ruff Start Rescue, you are surrounded by a community of animal lovers to help you every step of the way. All the supplies you need are provided by the Rescue. All we ask is that you love your fosters, help them get to their vetting appointments, and prepare them for their future families. And, hey, if you decide to adopt your foster, that’s always a win in our book.

Have questions? Email us at foster@ruffstartrescue.org. We can’t wait to welcome you to the team!

Can’t foster? Donate a puppy pack!

Puppy packs include everything a growing pup needs: wet and dry puppy food, puppy pads, milk replacement, and toys. You can sponsor a puppy pack for $50 and know that your donation will ensure one puppy will have everything they need!

You can also order puppy items from our Amazon or Chewy wishlists. The highest priority needs are wet and dry puppy food.

Thank you for helping the youngest of our cuties start their lives off on the right paw!