Featured LIFE

A second chance for abandoned pups

Amanda Abbott holds a pair of puppies she is fostering as a volunteer for California Labradors, Retrievers & More. (photo by Lila Abbott)

A second chance for abandoned pups

By Terry Wilson

Abandoned canine moms and pups get a second chance at life with a little help from two Scripps Ranch residents: Amanda Abbott and Janice Corbett. 

“About two years ago, my family started volunteering for California Labradors, Retrievers & More. They are an awesome rescue group because they focus on pregnant dogs and puppy litters,” Abbott said. “We had adopted our two dogs from Labs & More when they were puppies, and because I’m working from home, I have time to foster a dog. I’m on my 11th litter now.” 

Janice Corbett also adopted a dog through Labs & More during one of the organization’s adoption events and, like Abbott, she too decided to become a volunteer doggie mom to a litter of pups.

“For the past three years we’ve been fostering adult dogs, but during the last couple of years we’ve been doing primarily puppies,” Corbett said.

Volunteers like Abbott and Corbett have specific tasks, akin to a relay team with each foster human prepping the momma dog and her newborns for a limited time until they are ready to meet their next challenge in life.

“We have volunteers that know how to assist in the birth, then, I will pick up the mom and pups,” Abbott said. “I wean the dogs for about six-weeks, then the mom will go to another foster for additional care and training.  

“That’s when the fun begins for me because the puppies now think that I’m their mom. It’s continuous attention, lots of cleaning plus playtime and non-stop feeding. The pups will then move on to another foster who will assist them through their adoption process.” 

This is where Corbett takes over in the process that will eventually lead to forever homes for her four-legged recruits. 

“I get the dogs when they are about three to four weeks old and keep them until they’re available for adoption,” Corbett said. “Our first task is to transition them to moisten kibble dog food, and in no time they’re running around in the backyard, jumping and playing with my dog and learning how to be a dog from my dog.”

Currently Corbett has six wild puppies to wrangle. It’s not a job for the faint of heart. Playing with a pack of puppies is great fun until it’s time to clean up after them.

“I have six puppies pooping three times a day – times six. Well, you do the math,” Corbett said with a laugh. We clean the pen six-times a day, so we are constantly doing puppy maintenance.

“It is a lot of work but the question I get most often is how can I raise these puppies and get attached to them only to give them away? The answer for me is simple. These dogs are abandoned, they need to be rescued, and they all need homes. I can’t give them all a permanent home, but me and the other volunteers understand that if we don’t do it – who will?”

If interested in becoming a volunteer or looking to adopt, contact California Labradors, Retrievers & More, visit labsandmore.org.

A litter of puppies need continuous attention, lots of cleaning, playtime and non-stop feeding. (courtesy of Amanda Abbott)
A newborn puppy requires special attention. (courtesy of Amanda Abbott)