The Unicorn Foster Program gave Brigitte the emotional, educational, and technical support she needed to foster a dog with significant behavioral challenges. Ultimately, without the program, she would never have taken Jelly Bean (now Bader) and Bader would likely still be living in the shelter to this day.

The Unicorn Foster Program trainers assessed Bader prior to Brigitte bringing her home so she had all the tools she needed, including harnesses, anxiety medication and more. To follow-up, staff provided in-home training which was as much to train for her as it was for Bader because she knew nothing about dog training. Because of this training, she was able to address Bader’s separation anxiety, reactivity and socialization issues and teach her adopter how to work on those behaviors too.

Beyond training resources, the Unicorn Foster Program tended to her emotional needs as well because the chronic worry that comes with living with a reactive dog can wear on a person. She received professional portraits with Bader to commemorate all of their work together, a novelty t-shirt and limitless access to the training team and other unicorn fosters for support and advice. These are all small touches, but they meant the world to Brigitte and kept her coming back to the program to foster. After over a year in the shelter as it was so hard to find a foster for her very specific needs, the incentives and support the Unicorn Foster Program provided instilled her with the confidence to take Bader on temporarily. Bader was adopted just 69 days later by a family who loves her both in spite and because of her behaviors.

Thanks to the PEDIGREE Foundation for awarding the Unicorn Foster Program with a $10,000 Program Development Grant!