Paws for a cause

Through the organization K-911, a freshman has fostered nearly 30 puppies with her family, receiving a new puppy every month.


Ethan Minter

Carly Worden holding one of the dogs she fosters, Oakley. Fostering the dogs has taught Worden all about “different breeds [of dogs] and how to take care of them,” Worden said.

Natalie Policky , Writer

The feeling of coming home to many of her foster puppies is one of the best moments of freshman Carly Worden’s day. Especially after a long day of school, Worden enjoys opening the door to see the puppies full of energy, ready to spend time with her.

The organization K-911 is a foster-based rescue of Kansas that rescues dogs from a variety of states, primarily including Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The Worden family fosters a puppy from K-911 every 1-3 months

“They are one of my favorite families to work with,” K-911 founder Lindsey Lee said. “Carly is super sweet and [she] comes to the events if she can.”

Worden’s family decided to start fostering dogs after her old dog, Oscar, passed away. Oscar had lived with the Worden family since Carly was born. Kristen Worden, Carly’s mother, said that the opportunity came up to foster some of the siblings of a new puppy they adopted from K-911, after losing Oscar.

The Worden family began looking to adopt a new puppy, and Lee suggested they adopt a puppy from their organization. There happened to be a foster home that no longer became suitable for foster puppies to live in, so the Worden family took the litter from the foster home and took care of them.

“The person that was fostering their litter at the time got mold at their house so we had to take the litter,” Carly said. “And ever since then, we’ve just fostered for them.” 


There are various drawbacks to fostering, Worden said, as many puppies that come to K-911 have contracted Parvovirus. According to Lee, Parvovirus is a vaccine-prevented disease that affects the dog’s gastrointestinal tracts and can be fatal if not treated

Despite this, Lee said the foster families like the Worden family are the reason why most of the puppies end up living. Foster families like the Worden family take the time to properly care for a sick puppy and give it treatment, whereas most shelters do not have enough money to help cure the puppies.

Among numerous puppies fostered by the Worden family, a Jack Russell terrier named Pete grew to be a family favorite, Worden said. Pete was diagnosed with Parvovirus, and the Worden family was initially informed that he would not make it. Today, he is living with a new family and Worden said that he is very happy.

Fostering can be challenging for both older dogs and puppies. Older dogs don’t get adopted as easily, Worden said. In addition to this, it is a time commitment and the foster pet owner will have to make changes to their daily routine, such as dedicating an entire room to the puppies. 

Fostering puppies can also interfere with a family’s social life and when they are allowed to go outside the house.

“Sometimes I can’t have friends over at my house because we have a lot of dogs,” Worden said.

Despite this, foster owners like Worden’s family get to experience the reward of saving puppies’ lives.

The best part about fostering puppies, Worden said, is getting to play with them and learn their personality as well as watching them find new homes. The Worden family’s best moment of fostering was adopting out every puppy in their litter after 3 months.

“Once [they were] all adopted, it just made you feel happy that they all have homes,” Worden said.

In addition to this, Lee said that the main benefit families take away from fostering is that it is completely rewarding, and the foster family doesn’t lose anything from saving an animal’s life.

Worden’s family and Lee both suggest that every family should try fostering an animal at some point in life. 

“It could be two dogs a year, but that’s two dogs you are saving,” Lee said. 

Furthermore, Worden said that it would leave an impact on the foster family’s life because of the puppies that they save, no matter how many puppies it is.

“You don’t have to foster a bunch of puppies,” Worden said. “You can just do one if you want and see how it works with your family, because it saves a lot of dog’s lives.”