Pets in Danger at FAU, Student Government bring foster dogs to Boca campus

Students could sign up to foster the animals as part of the event.


Students gather around a small fence to take video/pictures and to pet the two small dogs that were brought by the nonprofit Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue. Alexander Rodriguez | Photo Editor

Hope Dean, Contributing Writer

Under a tent on the housing lawn, FAU High School academic adviser Deborah Green sat on the grass wearing her slacks and blouse. With her legs crossed beneath her, she watched as a brown dog with patches of fur missing from its forehead cuddled up to her side.

“I need my dose of dog therapy,” Green said, laughing as the dog’s nose brushed her hand.

The Pets In Danger branch at FAU and Student Government collaborated to host the nonprofit Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue, a volunteer-run organization that relies on foster homes to house their dogs and cats, according to volunteer Sandy Abbot.

Dozens of dog lovers crowded the housing lawn Friday afternoon, signing up to volunteer and foster dogs from the organization. At the event, titled “Furry Fuzzy,” attendees had the opportunity to play and interact with the rescue dogs as well.

Many of the animals they take come from situations that are less than ideal.

Despite getting hit by a car in Miami, Lance bounded across the housing lawn on his three legs, running faster than most of the four-legged dogs there. After the accident fractured his pelvis, Justin Bartlett Animal Hospital, the medical portion of the organization, amputated his leg, Abbot said.

Aside from performing surgery, the hospital also neuters, spays, and takes care of animals’ medicines and shots before they’re sent to a foster home, volunteer Deborah Rowars said. She’s participated in the nonprofit for over 20 years.

While some of their animals are missing limbs, others are missing homes. Abbot found and turned in a homeless, pregnant dog to the organization and is happy that she could find a place for the mother-to-be.

“Now I know all of her puppies are going to be taken care of and put into good homes,” Abbot said.

Two of the foster dogs stand on the housing lawn Friday afternoon. Alexander Rodriguez | Photo Editor

Matt Johnson, treasurer for Pets in Danger at FAU, said, “Adoption is “definitely the way to go. It’s so much better for [the animals], and a lot cheaper.”

FAU High School academic adviser Molly Adam agreed, saying, “Why buy a puppy when you can already adopt a puppy that’s already here?”

Abbot said she has a joint disorder and suffered through anxiety and pain almost every day until she was prescribed a service dog. Her headaches went away within a month, and she hasn’t had another one since, she added.

Green said her dog gives her the gift of a “definite, immediate decrease” in anxiety, and keeps her moving and social while on walks and interacting with other dog owners nearby.

Rowars said, “They reward you every time you walk in the house. You’re their whole world.”

Reannah Barr, a vet tech at the Justin Bartlett Animal Hospital, watched as her service dog, Kalliopi, tussled with a three-legged Chihuahua named Hillary. Onlookers stood in a circle, laughing at the dogs’ playful swipes at each other, getting in a belly rub whenever they could.

Kalliopi is a service dog that Barr takes to the School of Autism to interact with its students. It’s a happy setting, Barr said, and she recommends a service dog to anyone who has a mental and/or physical illnesses.

She said, “No matter what, they love us so much.”

Hope Dean is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected]