A 61-YEAR-OLD Warrington resident who has been fostering dogs for the last three years has spoken of how rewarding it is.

Mark and his wife foster dogs from the RSPCA Warrington, Halton, and St Helens branch on Slutchers Lane and always ‘thoroughly enjoy’ every minute of the process.

Back in August 2020, Mark retired from work and decided that he needed some sort of interest to occupy his free time.

Warrington Guardian:

So here he began fostering dogs, and as well as providing him with new skills, it has given Mark ‘a new purpose in life’.

He said: “We really enjoy observing a dog transform even after only a few weeks of care in a loving home rather than in kennels.

“Most dogs do really struggle with kennel life finding it very hard and stressful due to no fault of their own.

“They always want to please, never judge, and offer their love and affection in return for your loyalty.”

Up to now, the couple has fostered seven different dog breeds of various sizes which have all turned out to be ‘wonderful companions'.

Currently, they are fostering three different dogs.

Warrington Guardian:

Mark says that on occasions if any of the dogs have become unwell or he even just needs advice, he has received great support from the animal charity on Slutchers Lane.

He said the team is always on hand to provide professional support at any time of the day.

Talking to those who are interested in fostering animals from the RSPCA, Mark said: “Firstly, contact your local RSPCA centre to register your interest in fostering then fill out a ‘perfect match form’ which you can download from the RSPCA website.

“And then just wait for a possible candidate for you to meet and see if you could give it a try, there’s no obligation, it’s that simple.

Warrington Guardian:

“And in the unlikely event it doesn’t work out, for whatever reason, the dog can be returned - no pressure.

“Not forgetting it will not cost you a penny, only your time.

“All food, advice, and equipment are also provided.

“If at any point you need ‘rest bite time’ or want to go on holiday they will always make arrangements to care for them while you go away.

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“You really don’t have anything to lose, just give it a go, whether it be for just two weeks or a lifetime - you won’t regret it.”

The team at Warrington, Halton, and St Helens branch are hoping that more people will foster over the Christmas period.

This means that not only can animals can enjoy the festive period, but the team can also care for more animals during this time.

Anyone interested in fostering can email rehoming@rspca-whs.org.uk