BY ZACH BRAVINDER
What makes up a perfect Super Bowl Party? You need good food, good friends, a nice TV to watch the game and, of course, you need puppies. For the past two years, we have been putting together a Super Bowl party that consists of great friends and super-cute foster puppies from The Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation of Winston-Salem (AARF). AARF is a nonprofit, no-kill, foster-based animal rescue that finds homes for more than 900 cats and dogs each year.
AARF believes in foster-based care of animals which provides socialization and nurturing that animals in shelters don’t have access to. This approach allows AARF to help animals with special needs, pregnant or nursing moms, and newborn kittens and puppies that would face health risks in a traditional shelter. When you get a cat or dog from AARF, you know you are getting an animal that has been evaluated in someone’s home with family and other pet interaction. You are also getting an animal that has received all necessary veterinary care and that the cost for spay/neuter surgery has been covered by AARF.
Our family has been privileged to foster more than 100 puppies in the last three years. The Puppy Bowl was a way to bring excitement to our friends and family during the last two super bowls. We partnered with another foster family and gathered 6-8 dogs in our puppy stadium (aka dining room with green turf field). It has been a great way for the puppies to get some more cuddle time from a new group of friends and help spread the word about AARF and the needs of the many abandoned dogs and cats in Winston-Salem.
Fostering has impacted my life in a positive way by bringing joy every day when walking in the room and seeing cute puppies with wagging tails and puppy kisses. The greatest fulfillment comes from delivering puppies to their forever homes and knowing that they will become part of a new, loving family. We pour our love onto the puppies for a few weeks and get them ready to give love back to their new family. It is hard to say goodbye, but knowing they have a new permanent family, and we can get another batch of new puppies to start the process all over again, makes it all worth it!
This year’s Super Bowl may look different than in years past, but in my house, it will be full of puppies, as always!
Due to Covid-19, the AARF office is closed until further notice; however, the work continues. There are still many wonderful dogs and cats to choose from which can be found on the website (aarfws.org). Applications can be found and filled out online. AARF also welcomes monetary donations, as well as donations of greatly needed supplies to care for the animals they rescue.