Meet Erica Kiesler!

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

“I’m a crazy dog lady who enjoys knitting, hockey and gardening. I have four dogs of my own and when I’m not cuddling with them on the couch, I’m at a hockey game (go Tbirds) or doing yard work and gardening”.

What do you wish the public knew about rescue dogs? 

“Most rescues don’t actually have ‘problems’. I think a big misconception is that a dog is a rescue because of something the dog did wrong. When I decided to start fostering, I was very nervous that it would be more effort than I was able to give – it’s not been like that AT ALL. Every dog so far has been great and the biggest hurdle has been just giving them time to decompress so they come out of their shell and relax enough to show their personalities and making sure they know where to go potty! Honestly, if you already have a dog (or dogs) it’s even easier because fosters generally just do what all the other dogs are doing – so if you already have a routine, most just follow along with everyone else”.

What is one of the funniest things your dog or foster has done?

“I fostered Pippy, the cutest little puppy you’ve ever seen and she was a BUSY BODY. Luckily it was summer and we could all spend hours outside in the yard and she could explore to her heart’s content. She found my garden soil bin and I got the most hilarious video of her just digging away with all of my garden soil flinging all over!”

What’s one of your favorite memories with SGA?

“My first Bark Benefit (2019) I got to meet Jodi Brothers in-person after being Facebook friends with her for years. She’s actually the reason I even knew about SGA – she posted about SGA dogs all the time and I started following on social media. The rest is history.”

What do you enjoy most about volunteering/fostering with SGA?

“Meeting all of the people who are just as passionate about it as me.”

What some ways that volunteering/fostering has impacted your life/family? 

“Fostering and volunteering makes me feel like I’m actually DOING something. It’s so deflating to see how many animals are in need and, although my small part is a drop in the bucket compared to the need, it makes me feel like I’m at least doing something to help. And it certainly helps the dogs that I foster. Seeing a foster flourish is the most rewarding feeling.”

What made you decide to join SGA?

“I wholeheartedly believe in how SGA works to ensure the right dog is matched to the right person or family. I think the trial adoption period is KEY to a successful match. Taking the pressure off and providing a prescribed time to see how things goes makes it much easier for potential adopters to take a chance and removes the stigma of “returning” a rescue. If it’s not a fit, it’s not a fit and that’s ok! Better to know before a dog has bonded with the people.”

How long have you been volunteering or fostering with SGA? If you’re a foster, how many dogs have you fostered?

Volunteering for about 4 years, fostering for a little over a year – I’ve fostered 10 dogs so far.

What would you say to someone who’s thinking of volunteering/fostering?

“Do it! Start slowly, if you are nervous – volunteer for the concessions shifts at Lumen Field, volunteer for shifts at Doug’s Place when they come up, volunteer to work at Bark Benefit or adoption events. Those are all great ways to contribute without fostering, if you’re not ready to take the plunge into full-on crazy dog lady. 🙂 You can do as much or as little as you want.”

Thank you Erica!

SGA loves you