Fostering gives adoptable pets a home


Kyle Elms

One-year-old Andrew looks up at his caretaker, junior Taylor Peltierr, Jan. 25. Winnie’s Legacy Canine Rescue advertises available dogs on their Facebook page.

Kate Germain, Staff Writer

Andrew roamed and sniffed around the living room, switching from couch to couch, hoping for a hug or maybe even a belly rub. 

One-year-old Andrew is a yellow pit bull staying with junior Taylor Peltier while she fosters him. 

Peltier fosters her dog from Winnie’s Legacy Canine Rescue, a non-profit adoption and fostering service that saves dogs from kill shelters in South Carolina.

The non-profit is run by Valerie Mullin, who’s been rescuing for 15 years.  

The most fulfilling aspect of saving dogs is helping them find loving homes, Mullin said.

“To know that dog is alive because you did something and to know that you made a difference in this world is just so rewarding,” Mullin said. “It’s literally life or death for that dog.” 

Mullin said the shelters in South Carolina are overpopulated. “Oftentimes, [the dogs] are brought right to the back of the shelter and put down,” she said. 

Mullin organizes transport for the dogs to travel to Vermont, where she hosts them until they find a home. 

Peltier began fostering in November 2019 and has since fostered two dogs, Andrew being the latest. Her last dog, Ronny, a border collie and black lab mix, was adopted after a month of fostering. 

Peltier recommends fostering to other college students but only if they can handle the responsibility of caring for a pet. 

“If you have roommates and you’re all responsible enough to handle a dog and giving the dog the care and attention they need, then yes,” Peltier said. 

Mullin described fostering as similar to babysitting. 

“I provide the food, and they provide the house,” she said. 

Few costs are involved when fostering from Winnie’s Legacy Canine Rescue. 

“The dogs come fully vetted, spayed and neutered,” Mullin said. “I have never heard of anybody fostering and regretting it.”

Some students are making their own arrangements to foster pets while attending UVM.

Sophomore Ciara Tomlinson decided to help her friend out by watching her cat for the year. 

Tomlinson has experience with fostering as she worked at Baypath Humane Society in Massachusetts and has fostered a dog from a shelter before. 

“I fostered one of the dogs there for the summer,” Tomlinson said. “He wasn’t doing well in the shelter. It provided him with better care and the socialization he needed.”

“If people want to do something that can save lives and be the most rewarding thing they’ve ever done, have them contact me,” she said. 

Email [email protected] or visit for more information.