Memphis fire stations fostering dogs in need of homes

Memphis fire stations fostering dogs in need of homes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two Memphis fire stations are now foster homes for MAS.

Station 20 fosters a two-year-old lab mix named Juice. FOX13 watched as firefighters played with and petted him during his second day at the fire house.

“We realized, what a perfect fit,” MAS Director Alexis Pugh said. “Firefighter fosters. These guys are living here on 24 hour shifts, so juice is never alone. He’s got constant company, and between all the important calls that all the firefighters are going on, there’s some downtime.”

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The fosters are a part of a program that sends MAS dogs to the north for a better chance of adoption. Once he leaves for Michigan in two weeks, the department should get a new dog to care for.

“When you’ve had a rough day and you go home, no matter if you’re gone five minutes or five hours, the dogs always happy to see you.” Chief Gina Sweat said. “There’s nothing better than a dog wagging his tail happy to see you to boost morale.”

MAS has experienced massive overcrowding in the past few weeks. 319 animals arrived at the shelter in only 10 days.

“The more we can get pets out in a foster home, even short term like this, it helps ease that burden,” Pugh said.

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They plan to expand the foster care to other stations in the future, but understand allergies and station locations could keep every station from having a dog. However, Sweat said other stations have asked to foster.

“There are fire departments from around the country reaching out saying how are you doing this, how are you making this work, we want to replicate this in our community,” Pugh said.