Nine pit bull/boxer puppies and their mom are being fostered through the Van Wert County Humane Society after their owner was displaced by the tornadoes that hit Celina, Ohio, on Memorial Day. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Nine pit bull/boxer puppies and their mom are being fostered through the Van Wert County Humane Society after their owner was displaced by the tornadoes that hit Celina, Ohio, on Memorial Day. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – On Monday, the Van Wert County Humane Society took in nine pit bull/ boxer puppies and their mother after the owner of the dogs’ home was destroyed in the Memorial Day Celina tornado.

The puppies are currently five weeks old and are being fostered outside of the shelter until they are spayed and neutered. The puppies cannot be seen until June 22 when they are seven weeks old.

After they are fixed and old enough, the puppies will be ready to be adopted. Once the puppies are adopted, the mom will be spayed and will return to the original owner.

Van Wert County Humane Society volunteer Jess Ritchey said that the Humane Society feels it’s important to help animals outside of Van Wert when they can.

“We don’t always have space or availability,” said Ritchey. “Our space typically goes to stray dogs that are brought in by the dog warden that don’t get claimed. So to be able to do something for another community, for another family, is not something we do very often, but it just so happened that we had a foster that was ready and available and very much willing and excited to be able to help.”

Ritchey said that the local shelter is always looking for fosters.

“We would absolutely love it if more people fostered,” she said. “Anybody can come in and pick up an application in the office.”

Cats, kittens, puppies, and dogs, no matter the age, can all be fostered. Ritchey said that fostering is very beneficial to a shelter animal.

“It could really be helpful to take in an adult dog to train them, house train them, to teach them commands or anything just to help them become more adoptable,” said Ritchey. “Fostering gets the animals out of the shelter environment; it can be a lot of stress to be here with all the dogs barking.”

Ritchey said a foster can get to know a shelter pet in a home environment, which can be helpful information when someone comes to adopt the pet.

“When people come to look for a dog, most people are looking for a dog that is already house trained,” said Ritchey.

To become a foster for the Humane Society, visit the local shelter and fill out an application.

Ritchey said that those interested in one of the nine puppies should look out for their photos to be posted on the Van Wert County Humane Society Facebook page in the coming weeks.