The black dog waddled out onto the patio and plopped on the concrete. The 15-foot walk exhausted the poor dog.
“I’ve been calling her ‘Momo,’" smiled Penny DeFrance.
The Spring Valley woman is the type of foster parent all animal rescues desire.
“I just get personal joy out of it,” said DeFrance as she held Momo in her lap.
San Diego-based Paws 4 Thought Animal Rescue found Momo wandering the streets of Tijuana.
“One of the locals was feeding her and then she just started growing,” DeFrance said as she held Momo’s belly. “She’s a pregnant momma. She was on the streets. As you can tell, wasn’t getting enough food.”
Hence Momo’s slow-motion waddle to the patio.
Momo and her future puppies were rescued by Paws 4 Thought. So were three other puppies in DeFrance’s care. However, the animal rescue doesn’t have animal resource officers like the larger Humane Societies. It doesn’t have a big facility or a budget of any size.
“It is all run strictly by volunteers and in our own personal home,” said DeFrance. “It’s all based on fosters where they can place it. So, if they don’t have people that are available to foster, there’s only so much that they’re able to do.”
The non-profit collects donations and grants to pay for any veterinary bills while the animals are in foster care. Sometimes those bills are pretty steep. Momo is days away from giving birth and will eventually need to have her tail amputated.
DeFrance said Paws 4 Thought even rescues animals before they’re euthanized at other shelters. It gives them another chance at happiness.
“All of that to me is just beyond words,” sighed DeFrance. “Animals, a lot of times, are better than people.”
Paws 4 Thought, which is one of the partners in Clear the Shelters, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this weekend.