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Matching homeless pets with families for Thanksgiving is 'good test run,' shelter director says

'These animals that just wanted to be loved'
Posted at 11:20 AM, Nov 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-26 11:30:12-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Some furry friends have found new homes for the holidays thanks to folks at a Richmond animal shelter.

Andy and Jennifer Parsons did not think their hearts could handle a new dog after they lost the dog they had for 13 years just last month.

“And we are definitely dog people and we miss her and we miss the presence of a dog,” Jennifer Parsons said.

But when they heard Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC) lets people foster a pet for two weeks during Thanksgiving, they decided to come to the shelter.

“We just thought it would be helpful to get a little bit of some dog back in the house and not really have to feel like we're committing right off the bat,” Andy Parsons explained.

Richmond Animal Care and Control Director Christie Chipps Peters called the program “a good test run” for families so they “can see if it works.”

Poster image (43).jpg

Chipps Peters, who tries to find a temporary home for abandoned cats and dogs, said the elderly and veterans are also often looking for company.

“I was thinking about how full our shelter was of all these animals that just wanted to be loved, and thinking about the people out there that may be alone for Thanksgiving that want the same thing,” Chipps Peters explained. “And so if we could connect the two maybe it would be a really beautiful thing.”

The shelter director matched the Parsons up with a 2-year-old pitbull named Squirmy.

“I love her so much,” Chipps Peters said. “ I'm so glad she's with you.”

Squirmy.
Squirmy

More than half the time foster parents end up adopting, which is exactly what the Parsons did.

“It's almost like the perfect dog for us,” Andy Parsons said.

Shelter officials posted on Thanksgiving they were grateful to all the families who fostered.

"Thanks to our Thanksgiving foster families who have opened up their hearts and homes to a pet in need. Here’s hoping for many a foster fail," reads a post on Facebook. "Today just might be the best day of the year!"