We recently became a foster for a sweet but extremely shy dog named Gracie. I cannot tell you what a pleasure it has been meeting Lindsey Paisley, the Executive Director of Beagles and Bentleys, a Richmond-based animal rescue. In addition to helping us set up the meet and greet, she has been a wealth of information for us, two people who have tons of experience fostering cats but not a lick of experience fostering dogs. I reached out to Lindsey and asked her a few questions about fostering, adoption and what made her want to start a rescue. Read her inspiring interview below.
Lisa Adams, RVA Dog Pack
Fostering for a rescue is such a win-win. It benefits both the animals and the people fostering. It helps us learn about a dog in need (and SAVE that dog from a shelter) and allows fosters to find meaning in volunteering. I always say that dog rescue is just as much about helping people as it is about helping dogs. It's also a great way to see what kind of dog may fit your lifestyle. It can be hard to tell on day one if a dog is a right fit for your family or pack, but fostering is a great way to help dogs in need while also making sure you are choosing the right fit for you. The benefit to the dog is a second chance at life, and a loving, warm, comfortable home. They have most likely been living in a shelter and have dreamed of stability and comfort. What a wonderful gift you can give to a dog in need!
We supply food, a crate, a collar and a leash. If I have harnesses available, I will also give them to fosters. We also cover all vet costs - we partner with multiple vets in the Richmond area and I try to book appointments relatively close to the foster if I can. Vet bills are costly so it's important we take our dogs to any of our partner vets. We often get donations of different items - toys, puppy pads, bowls, treats - and we always give these to our fosters when we can. We also have an Amazon Wishlist. We are a relatively small rescue (we just celebrated our 2 year anniversary) so we absolutely rely on donated items and food in order to help as many animals as we can.
Beagles & Bentleys is specifically foster based, meaning that we do not have a facility or kennel space for our foster dogs. We rely on foster homes to take in dogs in need from shelters or owner surrenders, so that we can take some time to evaluate and vet them, and make sure they are ready for their furever homes. And, then we find them a home that is the right fit for them and the adopters. I really do my best to support my foster homes and am available to them when needed, I've learned from my own experience volunteering for other organizations that it's important to provide support, encouragement and appreciation to volunteers. We really could not do this important work without people willing to dedicate their time to helping us save as many as we can!
The name Beagles and Bentleys was inspired by Jessie, a dog rescued by the rescue’s executive director. She is part beagle and part Australian Cattle Dog (a “bentley” is the white mark on this breed’s forehead), and she has inspired us to save all breeds - from Beagles to Bentleys!
We started as a rescue on July 10, 2021, and we hit 400 adoptions (which includes about 14 cats) on July 1, 2023. As of today (August 9, 2023), we just hit 422 adoptions!
So, we are averaging 200 lives saved every year!
If anyone is interested in fostering or adopting through Beagles and Bentleys, I would be happy to connect and work with you to find a great fit!
Our contact information is below.
Beagles and Bentleys is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and was established in Richmond, Virginia in July 2021 to pair deserving dogs with loving families, to help educate dog owners and to help provide medical support to dogs in need.