Freedom Project

Providing temporary foster care for dogs belonging to families fleeing domestic violence

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Volunteer Stories

"After losing my wife of 40 years I felt I needed to do something to make myself feel better. I’d thought about getting another dog but didn’t want to be tied down for possibly 15 years. I saw an advert for the Freedom Project and thought it would be the best of both worlds.

I started fostering for the Freedom Project in 2009 and my first foster dog was a German Shepherd. After a week she was snuggled up by my feet and I realised I felt the most comfortable and relaxed since losing my wife 18 months previously. 

I like the variety with fostering, you never know what’s coming as every dog is different and it’s quite exciting to get a new foster dog. I enjoy seeing them settle, I fostered one who was very nervous for the first few weeks and then one day when I was watching TV he came over to me very slowly and rested his head in my lap. I think he was just sussing out that he could trust me.

It’s nice to know that you are doing something to help someone who has been in a horrible situation. At a very difficult time in their lives you are helping by looking after their dog for them until they can have it back.

When the dogs go home, I feel happy. I know that their owners are good because they’ve been sensible and put them into foster care. I know they must have missed them and are excited to get them back.  

It’s just a lovely feeling knowing that you are helping people and helping dogs."

Frank, Yorkshire

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"I came across the Freedom Project when I was leafing through a magazine in a waiting room. I didn’t know about it before then but I thought the idea was fascinating. I felt it was something my husband and I could do.

The article said they particularly needed people who could foster larger breeds of dog and we have always had large dogs.

For me there are two things that I enjoy about fostering. Firstly we love that we are helping someone. It’s a fabulous thing to do. Secondly, we love dogs! We never had children so our dogs have always been our surrogate children. We have our own dog Billy and having another dog around the house just adds to the mix. It’s great fun.

Billy loves all dogs. With the foster dog we have at the moment, they just hit it off straight away. They are like brother and sister. They even sleep in the same bed, usually on top of each other!

It’s hard when the dogs go back to their owners because they really become part of your family. But you know that’s the deal when you sign up.  

By doing something as simple as fostering a dog, you can give someone the freedom to start a new life."

Heather, Hertfordshire

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