This week’s foster spotlight survey showcases one of our seasoned fosters, Melissa Stiles. Melissa got involved with GPG through none other than our great Executive Director, Jamie Case. Melissa has been fostering with GPG for over three years and has had so many precious pups come through her home that she has lost count! While she would prefer to play with puppies, her busy schedule only allows for adult dogs. With the exception of the baby whines, she loves puppies for so many reasons. There’s the training (she’s a self-proclaimed house-breaking master), snuggles, puppy breath (who doesn’t love puppy breath?!?), and the routines they learn so quickly.
Her most memorable moment comes in at tie between Baby Dani and Baby Monkey. They both suffered from the most horrible case of Mange and were practically bald. Their skin was hot to the touch and they were in horrible pain, but still, all they wanted to do was snuggle. It took them some time to get used to their medication, but it helped that they knew there was a treat for them afterwards. They were two puppies that were in a horrific situation, but ended up being the sweetest babies. They left the deepest impression on Melissa’s heart.
When it comes to Melissa’s seasoned advice for fosterers, she reminds them to try not to adopt their fosters (better known as foster failure). Fostering is about saving lives, one dog at a time. Every dog needs a home and fostering is an important piece to complete that journey for so many dogs. She’s not saying never adopt a foster as there have been cases where the foster family’s home ends up being the perfect home for the dog. However, what may result is a foster parent that GPG loses in the process. Fostering is so crucial to the dogs we rescue because it allows us to provide homes for and save multiple dogs’ lives.
When Melissa isn’t busy with her many fosters she’s got quite a lot going on. She has two dogs of her own, Dean, who is almost six and four year old Meg. Dean was a rescue from a friend and Meg was part of a litter that Melissa fostered. She knows firsthand about foster failure, because Meg was hers. She couldn’t bear to separate the two after she saw the love and bond they had formed. Melissa is also a full-time student studying respiratory therapy and waits tables full-time at Joe Baccardi’s. When she does have free time, which isn’t often, she is all in with GPG and their rescue outreach efforts! Let’s give it up for Melissa and the invaluable part she plays in helping to reduce stray overpopulation in East St. Louis. Thank you for all you do, Melissa!
If you are interested in fostering, please visit our Fostering Page to learn more!