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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Eco-Traveler

Animal Fosters Needed

Ann Rule's recent book, Mortal Danger, is yet another example of her instinct to pick intriguing cases and her skill in recording a story. She has mastered the art of evoking sympathy for a victim's plight while avoiding the pitfall of creating pity for the person. Ann often shows us what it was like to live through their hell, and still manages to showcase their strengths in the face of danger. She clearly does her research into the history and psyche of the victim.
But as this is not a book review, let me got to my point.
At the back of Mortal Danger, which centers around a case of unconscionable abuse, Ann has added a note offering a brilliant idea to help women in abusive situations. There are a plethora of reasons why women don't leave abusive relationships. One major reason is that they can't bear the idea of leaving loved ones- children and animals- behind, often to endure the same abuse. While there are shelters that accept families, allowing women to bring their children with them, animals are not so lucky.
But for many women, this is a deal breaker. They simply cannot leave their cat or dog behind, and so they stay in the relationship.
Shelters are not equipped to deal with animals, and so cannot offer these services. However, we can. By becoming a foster parent to a cat or dog, you can offer women in need the opportunity to remove themselves from a dangerous situation knowing that their beloved animal is in a safe place.
If you want the companionship of an animal without the long-term commitment, this is a perfect solution. You would care for the animal until such time as its mother is in a position to care for it herself, allowing her time to get back on her feet.
Or you might just want to do something that makes you feel really good inside.
Call your local women's shelter and put yourself on their foster list. If they don't have such a list, suggest it and offer to be their first animal foster parent.


The Eco-Traveler

Through The Eco-Traveler blog, Andrea Shearer shares her experiences of international adventure travel, volunteering and SCUBA diving with a commitment to protecting our environment. In the next few months, Andrea will bring her blog closer to home while exploring the natural environment and adventure activities the Midwest has to offer, and will go international again with a volunteer expedition to Nicaragua over the winter holidays. You can reach her at