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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Foster dog Casper has found room at the inn this Christmas


Thanks to dog-loving volunteers in Northern Ireland homeless hounds from Dogs Trust Ballymena Rehoming Centre have found room at the inn this Christmas.   


As well as opening presents on Christmas Day, volunteer foster carers have opened their hearts and homes to dogs in need of a temporary abode whilst they wait to be adopted.   


Dogs Trust’s Home From Home scheme launched in 2015 to find foster homes for dogs that need a little extra care and attention, away from the hustle and bustle of rehoming centre life. This can include young puppies, older dogs and those that have lived their entire life in a home. 22 dogs will spend this Christmas in Dogs Trust foster homes in Northern Ireland with 75 being rehomed through the scheme in Ballymena this year alone.  


Volunteer foster carers also help to free up space in Dogs Trust kennels, something that has proved to be essential this year as the charity faces the busiest time in its history.  Since January, Dogs Trust has received a record number of enquiries throughout the UK from owners needing to rehome their dogs, and there are currently around 1,000 dogs on the waiting list to come into Dogs Trust care. 


Foster carers, Mr and Mrs Taylor, live in Portballintrae and have cared for 16 dogs since they started fostering through the scheme in November 2017. They are currently caring for 10-year-old Jack Russell Terrier/Collie cross Casper, who came into the care of Dogs Trust after his previous owners moved house and could no longer care for him. 


David Taylor said:

“Being a foster carer is so rewarding; seeing the change in the dog as they settle into a home environment and their little personalities shine through is amazing. We love lavishing our attention on them and taking them into our home whilst they wait to be adopted.

"Having a dog with us at Christmas is particularly special and we are looking forward to celebrating the festivities with Casper and spoiling him with a present or two.” 


Casper is an affectionate boy once he knows you and very much enjoys company.  He likes someone being around most of the time and in his foster home he likes to sleep in the bedroom area.  Casper requires a quiet, adult only home where he is the only pet.  A secure garden is essential so he can play in his safe space. 


Stephanie Scott, Home from Home Co-ordinator at Dogs Trust Ballymena, said: 

“Our foster scheme means some of the dogs that have found themselves in our care can continue to enjoy the home comforts which come with being part of a loving family. Our team of volunteer foster carers are amazing and allow us to look after even more dogs as every dog in foster care, frees up a kennel for another dog in need. 

 “Christmas is often thought of as a time for family, so we are so incredibly thankful to our fantastic foster carers taking in our rescue dogs at this special time of year. They are dedicated to providing our dogs with a safe and loving home environment whilst they await a visit from Santa and their new families.  

“For anyone who is a dog lover but can’t commit to having a dog long-term, fostering could be the ideal solution.” 


Volunteer foster carers are provided with everything the dog needs including food, bedding and toys, and the charity will cover the cost of any necessary vet bills. They are also supported by the Dogs Trust team for guidance and advice whenever needed. 


If you can help or would like to find out more, please contact Dogs Trust Ballymena on 0303 003 000 or email  


For more information about Casper or any of the dogs at Ballymena patiently waiting to find their special someone check out our website 


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