Dig Baton Rouge

Man’s Best Friend’s Best Friend

By Jenny West

If your days are missing the dripping and drooling that comes from man’s best friend, Friends of the Animals has just what you need. Since its opening in 2010, Friends of the Animals (FOTA) Baton Rouge has evolved into a rescue organization dedicated to saving dogs from euthanasia in local shelters and finding them good stable homes. In June of 2013 the organization opened a dog adoption house that acts a doggie daycare where potential adopters can see the dogs at play.

The dogs rescued from shelters are placed in a foster home that will bring the dogs to various adoption events and for play days at the adoption house. “We can always use more fosters,” says FOTA President Paula Schoen, “the more fosters we have the more animals we can take out of shelters.”

Once in FOTA care all medical expenses are paid for by the organization until the dog’s adoption, including heartworm medication. According to Schoen, “Heartworm positive dogs are usually the first to be euthanized, but we rescue dogs no matter their medical condition.”

Like every nonprofit organization donations are always needed. Every donation goes towards various supplies needed to care for the animals, specifically their medical needs. “Heartworm medication is our largest expense,” Schoen says. “And we are one of the few groups who treat heartworms in our animals.”

Schoen states with the addition of the adoption house FOTA has a goal of finding homes for at least 45 dogs each month. Those looking to adopt a furry friend can fill out the adoption application online, at the adoption house, or at one of the offsite adoption events.

Almost every Saturday and Sunday, from noon til 3 p.m., FOTA has a number of dogs for adoption in front of Orvis at Perkins Rowe. The first Saturday of every month an adoption event is held at the Arts Market downtown from 8 a.m. til noon.

Schoen is grateful for the many partnerships FOTA has and the added benefits they provide to adopting a dog, besides the unending love that comes from man’s best friend that is. Every time a dog is adopted through FOTA Neighborhood Pet Market gives the new home a bag of dog food, and Camp Bow Wow offers two free days at their camp.

If you aren’t ready for full time puppy love, you can also volunteer at the adoption house anytime, Monday through Saturday. “Anyone who wants to volunteer can just walk in the door and volunteer. No training is needed” explains Schoen. “Volunteers are our key base, they make the days happy for the dogs, which makes for happy dogs.”



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