Puppy Birthday Party features rescue dogs in foster homes

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Wed., Jul. 17, 2013
Ace, a Big Fluffy foster dog, meets other dogs at the Enfield Dog Park's Puppy Birthday Party on July 13. Photos by Calla Vassilopoulos.
Ace, a Big Fluffy foster dog, meets other dogs at the Enfield Dog Park's Puppy Birthday Party on July 13. Photos by Calla Vassilopoulos.

“Rain, rain, go away” may have been the words of some dog owners at the Puppy Birthday Party on July 13, but the dogs seemed to enjoy each other's company despite the wet conditions. The Enfield Dog Park celebrated birthdays of seven dogs – Harley, Sylvia, Humphrey, Dixie, Ozzy, Sammie and Dublin. All of the dogs received a purple Frisbee as their birthday gift from the Enfield Dog Park Action Committee. 

Puppy Birthday Party is an event which began two months ago and has been a way to provide some fun for the dogs and their owners. In addition to the celebration, each month the action committee features a dog rescue organization that brings foster dogs to the park for meet-and-greets.

This month, Big Fluffy Dog Rescue brought many of their Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernards, and Newfoundlands that they are known for fostering. The organization has foster homes along the east coast from Virginia to Maine, and there are about 25 foster homes in northern Connecticut, according to Big Fluffy President Elizabeth Zaccaro.

“We have the best group of volunteers,” said Zaccaro. “They are all super passionate.” The organization does these events in order to spread awareness of their large breed dogs and to introduce them to those who may be interested in adopting. They also host play dates at the Enfield Dog Park, as well as other similar parks for former adopters and those who currently foster dogs with the organization.

Jackie Ramsey, from Southington, came to the park with her current foster dog, the fourth she has fostered in the last nine months with Big Fluffy. She also has two dogs of her own, one of which she adopted from the organization.

“It teaches my kids responsibility,” said Ramsey. “We bring the dogs up from the South; otherwise, who knows what would happen [to them]. It gives another dog a chance.”

Many of the dogs rescued by the group are from shelters in the South that are known to euthanize abandoned dogs. Last year, the organization placed approximately 1,200 dogs in homes, according to Zaccaro.

One of the dogs at the meet-and-greet, Ace, was rescued from Tennessee where he was found wandering after chewing through a chain to get free. Ace's present foster home is with Deb Klein, who is the third to foster the 3-year-old Great Pyrenees since he was rescued approximately six weeks ago. He was heart worm-positive when he was found, but is now up-to-date with vaccinations. He does “okay” with other dogs and he loves adults and kids, according to Klein.

“We always wanted another dog, and this seems the easiest way to get one,” said Klein. “He is going to be the heartbreak when he leaves, because he's just perfect for our family. He would be perfect for anybody's family, but it's nice to be able to do something for dogs that don't get the love and care they actually need.”

To find out more information on dogs that need homes, meet-and-greets, or adoptions with Big Fluffy, visit www.bigfluffydogs.com.

To add a dog to the birthday list or find out about the next Puppy Birthday Party, visit www.enfielddogpark.com.

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