The DiscoverMe Project™
We are excited to announce that the DiscoverMe Project™ is expanding to Orange County Animal Care!
The DiscoverMe Project™ is a program that allows sheltered dogs and cats, from the County of San Diego Dept. of Animal Services Carlsbad and Bonita Shelters and Orange County Animal Care in Tustin, to go into temporary 2-week foster care with an approved Wagging Dog Rescue foster home. The temporary reprieve gives the animals a break from the stresses of being kenneled; provides mental, emotional, and physical relief; and also gives the dogs and cats a bit of a ‘reboot’ and enables them to better handle the stressful environment upon return. It’s like our weekend to our work week!
Check out this great article from Maddie’s Fund about a pilot study conducted in 2016 on this very subject!
Here is another great article from Science Daily about the benefits of short-term fostering.
This story is a testament to the benefits of short-term fostering!
Our ideal DiscoverMe Dog or Cat™ is one who:
- is being passed up, sitting unnoticed at the shelter for weeks or even months
- may not show well in his/her kennel (withdrawn, timid, barking/hissing, jumping, etc.) due to fear, personality, stress, etc. but who behaves differently when outside of the kennel and shelter environment
- is beginning to show signs of kennel stress/deterioration
- may have been adopted and returned, possibly more than once
- is not in immediate risk of humane euthanasia
While in foster care, we’re able to learn more about the dog or cat when in a normal home environment, which doesn’t always align with behavior seen in a stressful kennel environment. We’re able to share that valuable information – as well as foster provided photos and videos – with shelter staff and potential adopters in order to aid shelter marketing and adopter selection. As a secondary goal to the DiscoverMe Project™, through rigorous marketing and promotion we ultimately hope not to return the DiscoverMe Dog or Cat™ to the shelter but instead to see that animal safely in the care of a forever family or reputable rescue with a foster care provider.
If you’re an experienced dog and/or cat person and are interested in temporarily fostering a DiscoverMe Dog or Cat™, email us today!
Can’t foster? You can still support this wonderful program with a tax-deductible donation.
Animals currently in the DiscoverMe Project™ ~
To inquire about a DiscoverMe Dog™ or DiscoverMe Cat™, please contact Wagging Dog Rescue directly.
There are no animals currently in the DiscoverMe Project™, please check back soon!
DiscoverMe Project™ SUCCESSES!
DiscoverMe Project™ Stats to date (since ‘inception’ ~June 30, 2017)
Total animals taken into the DiscoverMe Project™ = 61
Animals adopted (directly from shelter) during DiscoverMe™ 2-3 week foster = 39
Animals rescued (long term foster found via WDR) during DiscoverMe™ period = 16
Animals returned to the shelter at the conclusion of DiscoverMe™ period = 6 (all adopted)
Non-DiscoverMe™ animals adopted (directly from the shelter) from DiscoverMe™ marketing = 2
Summer – Adopted!
Read Summer's Story!
Beautiful SUMMER has been unwinding in our temp DMP foster home and her foster mom says she’s a sweet, affectionate and funny companion with excellent kitty manners. Life wasn’t always so easy for this gorgeous 2 yr old, though. She came from a home with almost 30 other cats, and they didn’t get a lot of human attention. Sweet Summer has put that behind her now, and she grows more confident and less shy every day. She loooves head, neck and chest rubs, and she’s a nonstop motor of purrrfection when she’s being loved on. Too cute. Summer is also a wonderful house pet who’s great flying solo but may be able to live with another well matched companion cat. She’s looking for an adult household with low foot traffic. She likes her favorite perches where she spends most of her time, and she’s also an ideal coworker – not pestering but quietly laying on a shelf while you work. She’s the total package – smart, gorgeous and good company. Summer’s forever Dad spotted her gorgeous face and read about her sweet personality and knew they would be a perfect match! Summer is now adopted 🙂
Thank you, Lynlee, for fostering again!
Sadie – Adopted!
Read Sadie's Story!
Introducing Miss Sadie from Orange County! One ear up, one ear down, that’s how you’ll always find her. Sadie is a quiet observer, taking in all the sights and sounds, and making sure she knows where the food is at all times! She’s a calm 7 year old and her temp foster mama says she’s an independent gal who doesn’t mind spending her days chillin’ until the next walk. She get’s excited to go outside and loves to take her time to smell the flowers. She does well on a leash and never pulls! Sadie has one eye that’s a little larger than the other – her foster mama says it doesn’t seem to bother her too much but an adopter should have it examined right away. She seems to be slightly vision impaired on that side. Sadie is completely house and crate trained, and she’s been a perfect gem in her temp foster home! She’s still coming out of her shell everyday, now seeks out attention and returns to her cozy bed when she’s had enough pets. Sadie went back to the shelter after her DMP stay with a refreshed outlook on life, and she was adopted!
Thank you, Lizzy, for fostering!
Rocko – Adopted!
Read Rocko's Story!
Meet Rocko! This 11 month old pup has been through enough and is ready to find his forever family! Rocko ended up at the OC shelter and was confused by his new surroundings – the shelter staff said he cried and struggled against being put back into his kennel. He has now joined the DiscoverMe Project™ and is in a temp foster home learning to trust, and becoming an awesome house guest! His foster mom reports that in the short time he’s been with her he has already learned to potty outside, and he’s also a pro at Sit, Down, Stay, and Leave it! Crate training is in progress, and he’s a dream on a leash! Rocko throroughly enjoys chasing a ball and chewing on his Kong toy, and is pretty good at entertaining himself. He’s a sweet and healthy pup that just needs a family who will keep up on his training to make sure that he remembers his newly learned manners. Rocko would love a home with high school age children, if any, and a parent or two who won’t be gone all day. A home with a yard would be an awesome bonus, but not a requirement. Who’s got room for this 22lb pup? A happy, affectionate furiend who wants to run and play and help you shed that quarantine fluff! Rocko’s forever mama saw his adorable face and read about his sweet puppy personality and fell in love! Rocko is adopted 🙂
Thank you, Raji, for fostering again!
Stuart – Adopted!
Read Stuart's Story!
Sweet little Stewie from Orange County! We love his jet black suit and satellite ears, he’s so dang cute! He’s what we call a velcro dog – wants to be stuck to his person at all times. Who could resist those expressive brows and soulful brown eyes! He’s a bit nervous around new people, but sit down and let him come to you and you are golden! Stuart is about 2 years young and a compact and porta-pup size of 9lbs. He’s working hard on his house-training, sleeps well in his crate at night, and takes treats oh so gently! Stuart Little loves to chase a ball, watch the birds and squirrels, and go for long walks with this person. He’s a bit of an introvert so his people will need to have patience and help him learn to trust, but once he trusts you he will give you his whole heart! Stuart would love to find a quiet adult home where his people aren’t gone all day, he get’s lonely! He wouldn’t mind having a furry companion, but he really prefers the company of his people. He would love to have his own yard to play in so he can be free to chase the birds and bugs, but he would also be fine without a yard as long as he gets regular walks. If you have room in your home and heart for this pint sized cutie, or if you would like to foster Stuart while we look for his forever people, contact us today!
Thank you, Sonya, for fostering!
Pearl – New Wagging Dog!
Read Pearl's Story!
Mocha – Adopted!
Read Mocha's Story
Just look at the gorgeous green orbs on this kitteh! Mocha is a real stunner – those swirly markings, her apricot belly, not to mention the silky softness of her fur! A true beauty, and she deserves a truly wonderful forever home! Mocha first came to the shelter in Dec. 2019 – she was scared and hid in the back of her cubby, slowly coming around to the caring touch of shelter staff and volunteers. Eventually she was adopted, only to be returned a few weeks later because her owner wouldn’t get a high sided litter box. Poor Mocha! At the shelter and in her temp DMP foster home, she’s had excellent manners – she uses her enclosed litterbox every time with zero accidents! Gorgeous Mocha’s temp foster mama says she’s an absolute love and a perfect kitty housemate. She’s affectionate but not clingy, likes to sleep in bed with you but gives you room to breathe! She enjoys lap time but only if invited. She has a charming meow and chuffle which she uses to ask for attention or say hello. Mocha is a large feline at 14+ lbs! She’d benefit by losing a few but loves to jump, run and chase birds in the window so her cuddle rolls don’t inhibit activity! Mocha got so lucky when she met a friend of her foster mama, and that friend decided she was the furry family member she’d been missing!
Thank you, Lynlee, for fostering again!
Banner – Adopted!
Read Banner's Story
We’d like to introduce you to a little old fella named BANNER from the OC Shelter! This guy may be a senior but man, does he have a lot of energy lol. He’s been on the go since arriving in foster care a week ago and we’re happy to report that he’s doing GREAT! Little 10 lb Banner is guessed to be 12 yrs old. He’s got more energy for walks than someone a quarter his age so if you’re looking for a sweet senior who’ll give the Energizer bunny a run for his munny, this lil dude’s yer dude! He loves multiple daily walks so much and is always reluctant to return to the house. He has your typical old man stuff – arthritis, cataracts, hearing loss and a yucky grill – but he still manages to sprint up the stairs ahead of his foster mom. Quite agile for an old fella!It’s hard to surmise much about his past and we don’t like to do that anyway, but Banner seems not to know many indoor family pet skills so his foster mom’s been teaching him how to land a wonderful forever home – and keep it! Banner’s forever fam spotted him and just knew they had to be the one’s to give him the forever home and care he deserves!
Thank you, Raji, for fostering again!
Mariah – Adopted!
Ready Mariah's Story
Violet – Adopted!
Read Violet's Story
Buckeye – New Wagging Dog!
Read Buckeye's Story
Harlow – New Wagging Cat!
Read Harlow's Story
Joplin – New Wagging Dog!
Read Joplin's Story
Diego – Adopted!
Read Diego's Story
Beck – Adopted!
Read Beck's Story
Izzy – Adopted!
Read Izzy's Story
Regi – Adopted!
Ready Regi's Story
This 1 yr old 30 lb babe is working hard to earn her Ambassadog badge.
Garfield – Adopted!
Read Garfield's Story
Sweet, shy Garfield came from a hoarding case along with 25 other felines. He was probably loved, and they were definitely well fed, but as with similar situations, he didn’t have a lot of personal time with his humans. He spent his first few days under the bed and is still super timid, but we’re SO EXCITED about his progress! A few days in and he was able to hang out in the cubby at the top of his cat tree. He would allow petting and is not reactive at all, and a few days later he rewarded his devoted fosters with a little purr. Last night – day 8 – Gar’s foster dad caught him outside of his nest box and spent 30 minutes petting and feeding. He rubbed against his foster dad and the furniture, used the scratching post and purred loudly. Garfield loves tummy rubs!! We can’t even express how happy this makes us. This is the entire meaning behind the DiscoverMe Project. We know this sweet red tabby has a lot of love to give. Are you the quiet, patient, adult family he’s looking for? Reach out today!
Thank you, Turner Family, for fostering!
Merlin – New Wagging Dog!
Read Merlin's Story
We know this pooch is going to light up the comm lines. Better not wait if you want him! Merlin (FKA Gordy from OC) is a wonderful little white floof of 3 yrs and 10 lbs. He’s fun, super affectionate, puppy playful and entertaining. He had a tough time finding himself at the shelter, as so many small dogs do, but he’s excelling in temp foster care! Merlin does great with his similarly sized foster bro and could easily live with a small canine pal. He can probably live with a savvy cat too. Lil M has been working on his crate, potty and leash skills so he’ll be sure to impress his future family. He enjoys walks followed by nap time and a chance to warm up in his cushy crate. The M Dog is looking for a quiet adult home with people who aren’t gone all day. His long fur requires regular professional grooming so if you don’t have the time and cash for that, he’s not your guy. Merlin’s temp foster mama could see that the little guy could use some extra time in foster to learn how to be the best member of the famliy, so she has decided to foster him long term until we find Merlin’s perfect forever!
Thank you, Emily, for fostering!
Susie – Adopted!
Read Susi's Story
Can we just begin with: This dog is PERFECT. Adopt now. The End. Susie’s temp DMP foster mom has had the most AMAZING things to say about this sweet lil lady from OC.To start, she’s an angel. Truth. She’s 5 years young and a plush 20 lbs, working on trimming down a pound or two. When Susie’s foster mom reaches for her leash, this angel baby runs right over and sits down in anticipation. A perfect dog. She really comes alive on walks and you get to see a pup who’s excited to run around, tail and head held high. She can actually out-walk her mom lol. She even understands to always walk next to her person and to wait at crosswalks. A perfect partner. She’s also a perfect houseguest – no accidents, no barking, sleeps through the night, stays off the furniture. All on her own. Susie’s not needy and gives attention when mutually desired but is also content to enjoy a nap with her new toy or gaze out the window from her crate. She can be timid at first but warms up quickly and would like a quiet home with respectful high school kids if any. She’d likely do great with a friendly canine or feline companion and would also be fine flying solo. Smaller space is fine as long as she gets to enjoy her outdoor jaunts. Susie’s forever mama had just lost a furry love and was ready to save another soul. She spotted Susie Q and fell in love, the end 🙂
Thank you, Ambika, for fostering!
Chester – Adopted!
Read Chester's Story
Sweet, gentle soul seeks calm, quiet home. This 18 lb onyx long dog is CHESTER from OC, and his foster mom says he’s such a LOVE! Chester’s had a rough couple weeks but has really been coming out of his shell. Chester’s looking for patient parents who’ll help him feel safe and loved. Small spaces okay! No yard required so long as he gets walks every day. He’ll be fine sharing space with another dog but doesn’t require a canine companion – a devoted human is all he needs! He loves to be around people but isn’t clingy or demanding. An ideal companion for retirees, empty-nesters, or any adult household looking for a well behaved new friend. Chester’s forever family saw his adorably timid face, then met him in person, then fell in love, then made him a permanent member of the family! Yay Chester!
Thank you, Lailee, for fostering!
Bagel – Adopted!
Read Bagel's Story
This outgoing, friendly red tabby is a playful young 1.5 yr old kitteh who’s had a hard time finding the right adopter at the shelter. He can get overstimulated and mouthy when his excitement shorts his kid brain out, but we know in a cat savvy home he’d be just fine. He’s in a cat savvy temp DMP foster home now and guess what? He’s just fine. Bagel’s foster mom says this 13+ lb boy is a LOVE. He’s super affectionate and sweet. Bagel’s new dad found him, met him, instantly loved his silly and playful nature, and took him home! Yay Bagel!
Thank you, Ellen, for fostering!
Mack – Adopted!
Read Mack's Story
This lil puffball is MACK. He’s had a tough time handling shelter life but is doing great in his temp foster home! He’s a high energy boy with a feisty, happy attitude. He’s food motivated, playful and smart, a winning combo in a 19 lb package. He’s friendly with small dogs and walks well on a lead but needs practice with excitement when he sees other dogs outside. He’s good in the house and in his crate. He wants attention but then cowers with tucked tail as if anticipating a scolding (or worse). His foster mom is showing him that he has nothing to fear, and we’re hoping his time in the DMP will help build trust and confidence. During his time with our excellent foster mama, Mack’s forever mama found him, met him, and couldn’t live without him! Sweet lil Macky is adopted 🙂
Thank you, Glenda, for fostering again!
Sweet Tart – Adopted!
Read Sweet Tart's Story
This is Sweet Tart and her former owner was a jerk. She hit Sweetie with a rolled up paper more than once and then returned her to the Carlsbad shelter for not being a lap cat. Thank Dog anyway. Now we have an opportunity to find ST a family who deserves her, and we hope the other person never gets another pet again. Shelter staff said ST was nice and social when she first arrived. They reported upon her return that she was the same – very friendly, outgoing, and wanting attention. Sweet Tart’s temp DMP foster mom reports that she was giving head butts and purring as soon as they got home. She opened up quickly and even befriended foster mom’s boyfriend – and jumped straightaway into his .. lap. She loves attention and will say thanks with finger and face licks. So cute! Sweetie is under 2 yrs and less than 10 lbs. She loves being brushed and playing with wand toys, and she uses her litter box and scratching post like a pro. Honestly, how much more perfect of a cat does one need? Sweet Tart’s forever mama couldn’t resist the cuteness, and ST is now adopted!
Thank you, Amanda, for fostering!
Radar Love – Available Wagging Dog!
Read Radar Love's Story
Tarragon – Adopted!
Read Tarragon's Story
Mulberry – Adopted!
Read Mulberry's Story
Lulu – Adopted!
Read Lulu's Story
Bailey – Adopted!
Read Bailey's Story
Jelly – Adopted!
Read Jelly's Story
- She LOVES other dogs and really needs a confident, similarly sized companion dog in her forever fam.
- She’s skittish around people but we know she’ll settle in with time. We’d like to see her in an adult home and quiet environment.
- Her fosters are working on leash manners, stairs, and how to be an indoor house pal.
- When she’s out on walks, her tail is so happy and she bounces like a bunny!
- She’s currently 25 lbs but needs to lose a few to be at her best. She’s a big fan of food.
- We looove her!! You will too!
Let us know if Jelly was meant for you!
Maverick – Adopted!
Read Maverick's Story
Ariel – ADOPTED!
Read Ariel's Story
Nicky – ADOPTED
Read Nicky's Story
Mr. Blue Sky – Adopted!
Read Mr. Blue Sky's Story
We can’t even handle the scruffy cuteness of this face! Mr. Blue Sky (formerly Oswald from the Carlsbad Shelter) found himself in the Carlsbad Shelter a while back with a bit of an itchy skin problem. Shelter staff has done wonders for him – regular baths, meds and loves – but he still has to wear the Cone of Shame all the time because he’s so itchy! Sadly people keep passing him up because he’s not in perfect condition yet, and he’s truly such an amazing catch. So, a wonderful repeat foster mama stepped up to offer Mr. Blue Sky a temporary stay in her loving home. While in his temp foster home, a wonderful long term foster mama stepped up, and Mr. Blue became an official Wagging Dog!
Thank you for fostering again, Shirley
Zoey the Cat – ADOPTED!
Read Zoey's Story
Tiger the Cat – ADOPTED!
Read Tiger's Story
StanLee – AVAILABLE Wagging Dog!
Read StanLee's Story
Isn’t he just dreamy?? This senior stud muffin is StanLee (formerly Clint from the OC Shelter) and he we were able to bring him in through the DiscoverMe Project™ thanks to a foster who said Yes! Sweet StanLee arrived at the shelter in terrible shape, almost 4 months ago :'( He had worn and broken teeth and his skin was a serious mess. His ears were full of crud and show signs of long neglect, just like the rest of his 9 year old body. He was missing a lot of fur, with crusty scabs, inflammation, multiple masses and a rather pungent odor. The shelter has done wonders for this poor boy and we hope to continue their work while now that he’s in a foster home. It’s not easy to treat skin conditions in a shelter environment. He did so well that his temp foster mom said she’d care for him until we find his perfect family, so StanLee is now an official Wagging Dog and available for adoption!
Thank you, Lynneta, for fostering!
Salchicha – ADOPTED!
Read Salchicha's Story
Tall, blonde and handsome? Yep! Salchicha (formerly Saul from the OC Shelter) is a 2 year old chi mix from who struggled to find his confidence at the shelter. Thankfully one of our best foster dad’s spoke up and we were able to bring him in through the DiscoverMe Project™! We love his long legs, good looks and charming smile and look forward to seeing him come out of his shell in his temp 2-week DMP foster home. At 16 lbs, we know this handsome fella will make the perfect lap warmer for the right lap this summer. Salchicha caught many an eye during his temporary foster stay, and we were able to find a long term foster home for him, so he became an official Wagging Dog! Since then, his foster parents have fallen head over heels in love with our spicy little guy, and have officially adopted Salchicha!
Thank you, Chris & Denise, for fostering.
Patch – ADOPTED!
Read Patch's Story
We’re pretty much smitten with this guy and know he’ll make some family really lucky when they find him. He’s the perfect DiscoverMe Dog™ – he was relinquished to the shelter after being in a home for just one week with so many bad notes that you wouldn’t believe. (We didn’t which is why we have him and now we’re gonna disprove all of those notes!)
Patch’s foster mom says he’s a lovable little guy who’s loyal to his humans and likes to seek out snuggles (particularly with the ladies lol). He’s been a perfect gentleman in her home, content in his crate at night and chillin in there during the day too (without barking!). He’s never had an accident and routinely does his business in the yard. As you might have seen in Patch’s playtime video, he really enjoys the company of other dogs as long as he’s given proper, unrushed introductions. Once he breaks the ice, he’s incredibly social and playful and we know he’d probably enjoy a playful similarly sized companion in his future home.
This onyx coated gem enjoys jogging, hiking and beach days (on lead) and would be a great workout companion or adventure buddy. He’s working on leash manners while he’s with his temp foster mom and will probably need a bit more polishing once he finds his forever fam. We think Patch will thrive in a home with high school kids on up, or an all adult household. He’s a bit sound sensitive and not a fan of chaos – say, me too! Patch is a fast learner, smart as a whip, and he loves to exercise – his brain too. Put him to work and mold him into your very own ambassadog!
Did you know that black dogs and cats have a harder time getting adopted from rescues and shelters? It’s called Black Dog Syndrome. Google it. We LOVE black dogs and cats (especially PATCH!), and we hope someone out there does too.
Patch found his forever family and was adopted from the shelter. Yay for Patch and his new family!
Thank you, Stacy, for fostering! Again!
Calvin – ADOPTED!
Read Calvin's Story
Floppy ear’d Calvin is a playful puppy who was able to participate in the DiscoverMe Project™ thanks to a foster who said Yes! He’s another little dog who was set up for total failure by his original owner, a woman who then abandoned him at the shelter requesting that they euthanize him. Thankfully they accepted her dog but declined to end his life, having seen his awesome potential and her failure. Once he moved into our DMP foster home, Cal proved us right by being a well-behaved dude! He did so well that his temp foster mom said she’d care for him until we find his perfect family, so Calvin became an official Wagging Dog! Then we found him a perfect forever home and we couldn’t be happier for him and his family!
Thank you, Tiffany, for fostering!
Teddy Bear – ADOPTED!
Read Teddy's Story
Teddy Bear was found dodging cars on a L.A. freeway. The Good Sam who saved him turned him into the local shelter. He was emaciated, matted, covered in fleas and ticks, and limping. T Bear quickly captured the hearts of staff and volunteers alike, and the shelter took excellent care of the Bear. He gained weight, got rid of the unwanted traveling companions, and was put on daily medication to help with his bum rear leg. We were thrilled to be able to take him into the DMP for a couple weeks and give him a break in a clean, safe home. Teddy did stupendously while in temp foster, getting along great with the other dog in the home, passing his cat test with flying colors too. He was so awesome that we received multiple inquiries about fostering and adopting, and lucky Teddy Bear was adopted by a wonderful mom who will take excellent care of her new furry boy. Yay!!
Thank you, Mark and Family, for fostering!
Miss Snoopy – ADOPTED!
Read Snoopy's Story
Miss Snoopy came from a large hoarding situation where she lived in a yard (many on chains) with around 70 close relatives. Shelter staff and volunteers have worked so hard to help these under socialized animals learn to trust humans and have fun just being dogs. They’ve come a long way in a short time.
Snoopy is really starting to come out of her shell in her temp foster home. She enjoys playing with her doggie foster sis and we think she’d appreciate a well-matched companion. She’s very trusting of other dogs and they put her at ease while showing her the ropes.
Miss Snoopy is slowly gaining comfort around the humans in her foster family. Patience and some tasty treats go a long way. Her foster mom has worked with her for 2.5 months as a shelter volunteer so Snoopy really trusts her. She is a gentle dog who loves belly rubs and stealing your flip flops lol.
The cutest thing of all is her snoring. It’s not a loud snore but more of a peaceful snore. A snore that shows she is sleeping comfortably outside of the shelter, inside a safe and loving home, which just makes our heart smile.
Snoopy found the perfect family for her with patient human parents who adore her and a sweet sis Tallulah and a little shih bruddah nicknamed Stinker.
Thank you, Melanie, for fostering! Again!
Radish (fka Rudy) – ADOPTED!
Read Radish's Story
Radish, formerly known as Rudy at the shelter, is a small chi mix puppy who had a tough past of failed families. He was part of a really bad hoarding case and arrived at the shelter completely unsocialized and fearful, just a baby. He was adopted from one shelter in 2017, returned to a different shelter a couple months later, transferred to the Carlsbad shelter, adopted a few days before Xmas 2017, then returned a few days later due to a bite. Radish is a sensitive little guy who just needed patient, understanding people who wouldn’t pressure him so much. He was hoping for people who would help him to feel safe and able to trust humans again, and thankfully we were able to take him into the DiscoverMe Project™! Radish did so well during this temporary stay that his foster decided to care for him until he found the perfect home. And find the perfect home he did – the Best! Radish now has a dog and a cat sibling and super savvy parents who are committed to his success!
Thank you, Mary, for fostering!
Dudley – ADOPTED!
Read Dudley's Story
Dudley is an adorable creamy white fluffy who’s just a pup at 2 years old and just shy of 10 lbs. His former owner brought him into the shelter to be euthanized for biting, but we felt that his reactivity was due to a bad ear infection in both ears. We can hardly blame him for acting out when he was suffering and in pain. He is sensitive to hands reaching over his head, likely because of this, but was a real gem for all shelter staff and volunteers. The shelter treated his ear and eye infections and asked if we could give him a break and get to know him better in a temp DMP foster home. Lucky Dudley boy landed a great temp foster and through our marketing efforts, he found the perfect family to adopt him! Yay Dudley!
Thank you, Tiffany, for fostering!
Abby – ADOPTED!
Read Abby's Story
This itty bitty 5 pound senior lady, Abby, was relinquished to the shelter with 3 other dogs when her former owner passed away. Sadly, the other 3 were in such poor health, the only appropriate action was to humanely let them go. The shelter felt that lil Abby, however, could still be helped so they took her into their care. They even provided her with a much needed dental cleaning. We had a chance to get to know her better in our temp DMP foster home. While she was there, a lovely family inquired about her and the rest is history.
Thank you, Melanie, for fostering!
JJ – ADOPTED!
Read JJ's Story
This sweet boy, JJ, arrived at the shelter in Dec 2017 with three other animals due to an unexpected tragedy that befell their former owner and themselves. A staff and volunteer favorite while there, Jumpin Jack had been through a lot of upheaval. Adopted and returned just 3 days later through no fault of his own, we were thrilled to take him into the DiscoverMe Project™ and show him off to the world. During the DMP, we found the perfect foster mom and JJ became an official Wagging Dog. Now he’s happily adopted by a fabulous family and has a feline sibling and devoted parents!! YAY!
Thank you, Aaron and Bethany, for fostering!
Ricky – ADOPTED!
Read Ricky's Story
Lil Ricky’s luck changed for the better when we were able to place him into the DMP in November 2017. Animal control saved him from a hoarding situation along with a bunch of other small dogs, and his previous owners had him debarked. He sat at the shelter for 3 months and was the last of his group of littles still waiting for a home. After moving into temp foster with an amazing family whose previous pup passed earlier this year, we quickly learned what a terrific dog he was and lo and behold, his DMP foster family decided to adopt him! YAYAY!
Thank you, Donna and Stan, for fostering – and adopting!!
Jessie – ADOPTED!
Read Jessie's Story
Beautiful Jessie came from a rough past and she was seen running the streets for a week, dragging a chain leash, before animal control saved her. She was super thin and her skin and coat were in really poor shape, her ears almost bald with fly strike. The shelter was worried that she might be developing pyometra, an often fatal uterine infection common to female dogs left un-spayed, so they put her under for spay surgery right away and also gave her a dental. She received excellent care while at the shelter but was there for over 4 months, waiting for someone to appreciate her amazing qualities. She was very shut down and slow to trust, not easy for all of the volunteers to handle due to her shyness. It’s difficult for a dog who is more reserved, and she kept getting passed up day after day. She struggled to gain weight and gain confidence in the shelter and we knew she’d be an ideal candidate for our DiscoverMe Project!
From her first day in the DMP, Jessie was already starting to relax and decompress. It took her around 8 days to really start coming out of her shell. Her dedicated foster mom, also a dedicated shelter volunteer, continued to work with her and earn her trust. She even caught Jess on film being a dog a few days into her stay, running zoomies in the backyard and leaping in sheer joy 🙂 It was really wonderful to witness this dog transform in the couple weeks of her stay in a DMP foster home. And thankfully, the day before she was due to return, sweet Jessie found her parents. They adopted her on the last day of her time in the DMP! Such a wonderful success!
Thank you, Melanie, for fostering!!
Koa – ADOPTED!
Read Koa's Story
Koa was left in the night drop at the shelter in August 2017 by the mother of his former owner when that person ended up in jail. He was quickly adopted by a family with a new baby who returned him a few days later citing all kinds of horrible things about him. What was witnessed in the shelter didn’t match what they reported, so we took him into a temp DMP foster home and put their words to the test. Turns out he’s nothing like the naughty dog they spoke of – in fact, he’s a total gentleman! He showed his temp foster mom that he was such a dreamboat, she and her husband decided to long term foster him until we found him a forever home! So we did. Koa is now adopted by a fabulous fam!
Thank you, Lauren and Charles, for fostering!
Simba – ADOPTED!
Read Simba's Story
Simba landed in the shelter in September 2017 when his former owner decided it was no longer convenient to keep him. It was a good thing because the poor little guy was dropped off severely matted, infested with fleas, overweight, under socialized and understandably very fearful and reactive. We were able to place him in a DMP foster home and ultimately found him the perfect forever dad before he had to go back! Dad says they’re best buds and it’s been a great adventure 🙂 We’re so happy for these BFFs!
Thank you, Stephanie and Chris, and Melanie, for fostering!
The Flower Girls – ADOPTED!
Read Daisy and Clover's Story
These two lil bonded ladies, Daisy and Clover, sat unnoticed in the shelter for two months before entering the DMP in September 2017. Being black, and older, and truly bonded, they didn’t even have one single interact with an interested party! 🙁 Their bodies showed signs of a life of neglect, and even though the shelter provided excellent care for both including dentals so they’d have sparkly smiles, they still were afflicted with irritated skin and appeared older than they likely were. After being placed in our DMP foster home, through rigorous marketing and a series of serendipitous events, our Flower Girls found the most amazing forever home and now have the perfect life! Huzzah!! Read about their incredible adoption story here!
Thank you, Rebekah and Eric, for fostering!
Squints fka Markie – ADOPTED!
Read Squints' Story
Squints, known as Markie at the shelter, was saved by animal control on 9/1/17 after surviving in a canyon on a triple digit day. When he was finally caught, he was understandably stressed, dehydrated and suffering from heat stroke. He quickly became a shelter staff and volunteer favorite, so when his forever fam reached out about a DiscoverMe Dog™ who wasn’t the best match, we connected them with Markie! From Markie now Squint’s new mom – ‘We couldn’t be happier with this little pup. He has fit right in, he is such a sweetheart and [my son] was so happy he cried…he keeps saying, I cant believe I have my own dog! Thank you so much!’
Demi – ADOPTED!
Read Demi's Story
Animal control officers saved Demi from a hoarding situation where she was kept in a backyard with ~70 of her closest relatives, many on chains. These poor dogs were all emaciated, in poor health, covered in parasites, and almost feral. When the first group was brought to the shelter, many had a difficult time adjusting to so many big changes. And people. Shelter staff and volunteers worked diligently with each animal, helping them to gain confidence and trust while recovering their health. We were thrilled to be able to take Demi into the DMP where she could spend some quality time in a quiet, skilled foster home.
Demi blossomed by leaps and bounds while in the DMP, showing us what a truly playful and energetic puppy she really was inside that timid, fearful white body. She enjoyed playtime with her canine foster sis and slowly grew to be more trusting of the humans in the home. We were not able to find Demi a long term foster or public adopter while she was with us in the DiscoverMe Project™. Upon her return to the shelter however, Miss Demi found a family willing to give her another chance and she was adopted. Yay Demi 🙂
Thank you, Melanie, for fostering!
Olive – ADOPTED!
Read Olive's Story
Olive was one of the dozens of mastiff blends who were rescued by animal control from a neglectful outdoor hoarding situation. The dogs were all suffering from lack of food, malnutrition, parasites, as well as being unsocialized and unused to any kind of human interaction. Staff and volunteers worked diligently with each dog, helping them to recover their health while gaining trust and confidence in their new surroundings. Some of these dogs progressed more quickly and were adopted by members of the public. Others, like Olive, had a harder time and we were happy to have a chance to take this beautiful brindle girl into one of our awesome DMP foster homes.
Shy, sweet Olive did great in foster care. She learned what it’s like to just be a dog, to have a soft bed to sleep on, toys to play with, and reliable nutritious meals each day. Like her sister Demi, Miss Olive enjoyed playtime with her doggie foster sis. It was a special treat to see her grow more and more each day. Olive didn’t find a long term foster or adopter while with us in the DMP, but immediately upon her return, she was adopted by a fabulous family on Clear The Shelters Day in August 2017. If only all of the dogs could be so lucky! Congrats Olive!
Thank you, Melanie, for fostering again!
Chorizo – ADOPTED!
Read Chorizo's Story
Cutie Chorizo was only in the DMP for a week. You rarely saw him in his kennel at the shelter because he was always buried under a blanket. The shelter went the extra mile for this senior guy, giving him a dental when he was neutered, but even with his dashing good looks and energetic personality, lil Chorizo still waited and waited for someone to take him home. That wait ended on Clear The Shelters Day in August 2017 when we he was adopted! YAY!
Thank you, Shirley, for fostering!
DJ – ADOPTED!
Read DJ's Story
Gentle, shy 9-yr-old DJ was left at the shelter when his family moved without him at the beginning of July. 2017 He had a terrible time adjusting to shelter life and it showed in his behavior in his kennel 🙁 No one who saw him could envision the quiet, well behaved introvert behind the barking, lunging and somewhat frightening dog in the kennel, so DJ was passed up day after day and eventually had to be moved to an isolated kennel to lessen his stress. He simply couldn’t handle visitors staring in at him while confined in his kennel space. Thanks to a willing DMP foster, we were able to place him in a real home in August and told the world about the real DJ. And sure enough, we found his forever dad and forever fur brother before he had to go back to the shelter! Twinsies? Maybe!! DJ (right) is estimated to be about the same age as his fur brother Rex (left) and they both came from the Carlsbad shelter (several years apart). DJ is a perfect example that the dog you see in the kennel is not necessarily the dog in real life.
Thank you, Lisa, for fostering!
Monty – ADOPTED!
Read Monty's Story
Pretty much everyone in the rescue was in love with lil man Monty lol. He arrived at the shelter in June 2017 when his owner died and the rest of the family didn’t want to be responsible for any bills, and he came in with a gal named Bella, both senior chi mixes. They were reportedly bonded, and they sat in the shelter for a couple months waiting for someone to want to adopt not just one, but two older wawas. It didn’t happen. What was so appalling about Monty’s condition was that he had a broken femur that was severely displaced, and he was never taken to a vet to have it fixed! 🙁 Who does that?? The injury was so old that it was no longer fixable, and amputation wasn’t really an option because he also had another bum front leg and between the two not-quite-right limbs, he was still able to get around. Removal of the rear limb would have caused major problems with his mobility. Being the resilient and adaptable animals that canines are, Monty had learned to live with his broken leg and was able to get around well enough. Still though, our hearts broke every time we watched him move, and we were excited to have him in the DMP.
While this dynamic duo was in our DMP foster home, we learned that they were not truly bonded animals after all. We were able to share this info with shelter staff so they would approve them to be adopted separately. Asking someone to take two dogs instead of just one makes it that much harder for them to find a home. While Monty and Bella enjoyed each other’s company, they were also totally fine being separated and also got along well with other dogs. Because of this valuable feedback from our foster parents, Monty was able to be adopted by a wonderful lady on Clear The Shelters Day. She came to the shelter and asked for a dog who was going to have the hardest time finding a home. She walked out with our smiling lil man and we couldn’t be happier!! Woohoo!
Thank you, Rebekah and Eric, for fostering!
Bella – ADOPTED!
Read Bella's Story
This ravishing beauty, Bella, arrived at the shelter with another adorable chichi, Monty, when their owner died and the rest of the family didn’t want to be responsible for any bills. Both dogs were seniors and reportedly bonded meaning they couldn’t be separated. It’s a lot to ask of an adopter to take not just one senior dog, but two. So they sat unwanted in their kennel for a couple months before we were able to take them into the DMP. While with us, we realized that these two nuggets, while fond of each other, were not truly bonded. They could very easily live without each other and/or with other dogs. This valuable feedback, which was shared with shelter staff, enabled both Bella and Monty to be adopted by two different families on Clear The Shelters Day in August 2017! Nice!
Thank you, Rebekah and Eric, for fostering!
Cece fka Coco – ADOPTED!
Read Cece's Story
Cece, formerly known as Coco the terrier at the shelter, went into temp DMP foster in July 2017 after not presenting well in her kennel for the previous couple months. She turned out to be so perfect once in a normal home environment that her temp foster family offered to foster her until we found a forever home! So we did!! Cece is now Fiona and has a fun loving life in Los Angeles with her forever fam and a turtle sibling!!
Thank you, Schneider Family, for fostering!
Thea fka Bettie – ADOPTED!
Read Thea's Story
Not an official DMP dog, Thea was known as Bettie when she arrived at the shelter in May 2017 with 25 of her closest relatives. Part of a sad hoarding situation, this beautiful dog was found in a yard by animal control, nursing a litter of puppies, with over 100 foxtails embedded all over her body including her ears and mammaries 🙁 She was among the last of her group to find a forever family even though she was the most social of the bunch around humans. Her mom and dad reached out to us about two other dogs then in the DMP who were not the best fit for their family. One of our dedicated DMP fosters, also a shelter volunteer, met mom and dad at the shelter and introduced them to Bettie. They were the first in line the next morning to adopt sweet Bettie on Clear The Shelters day in August! What a happy ending for this once neglected beauty!
Thank you, Melanie, for making this possible!
Natasha – ADOPTED!
Read Natasha's Story
Natasha was one of our first DMP success. She sat in the shelter for almost three months and even got a feature as the pet of the week on the county site. More reserved and withdrawn in her kennel, people kept passing her by. It took the first 8 days of her stay in our DMP foster home before she really started coming out of her shell. We found her family during her July 2017 time in the DMP and they adopted her directly from the shelter before we had to take her back! Natasha has a sweet fur brother to play and cuddle with as well as several feline siblings.
Thank you, Tee and Gabe, for fostering!
Dallas fka Pony Boy – ADOPTED!
Read Dallas' Story
Dallas, formerly known as Pony Boy in the shelter, went into temp foster in July 2017 and we were able to find a long term foster before he had to go back. The shelter provided Dallas with a much needed groom as well as a much needed dental, but deaf senior dogs are not exactly the type to fly off the shelter shelves. Lucky for this golden boy, we knew just the lady who would give him the perfect forever home. A repeat Wagging Dog family who previously adopted another deaf senior cocker gal from us, Dallas’ new mom said YES! when we asked if she had an opening for another sweet senior much like her first. Dallas now has an amazing life and gets to go everywhere with his momma, even flying in their airplane to destinations unknown!
Thank you, Machi and Chris, for fostering!
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