Fostering Saves Lives – Otis’s First Chapter

Otis with his foster moms – Maria (left) and America (right)

He lay cowering in his cage at the shelter, a skinny little stray dog trembling in fear and pain. As the days ticked by with no one claiming him – age and medical issues making him less adoptable – his future was uncertain. Little Otis could not know that his life was about to change in wonderful ways, thanks to the shelter’s partnership with rescue organizations which allows a second chance to those who have been overlooked.

Because of a shelter volunteer’s photo and video, and dog lovers around the country sharing his plight, we found out about this little guy and felt the immediate need to help him. We reached out to a friend named America – a member of Harley’s Heroes – to see if she could get to the shelter before they closed and get him to safety. She didn’t hesitate a second, and within a few short hours Otis was in her loving arms and beginning the first chapter of his brand new life!

That first evening, America wrote the most beautiful sentiment, “Today, I am sure I find the purpose of my life, my passion to help those suffering quietly due to irresponsible humans beings. My heart is full of joy! Having in my hand this little boy make me feel thankful … important! I know finally what it is being rescued by a dog.” – America Palma

America had never fostered before, but she gladly took Otis into her home and she, along with her mother Maria, cared for him, showering him with love and security, nurturing him with good food and a soft bed, and running him to the vet for an initial exam where he received medication to alleviate his pain. In only one week’s time, he was healthy enough to travel from California to his new life in Colorado with Harley’s Dream.

Fostering really DOES save lives!!! Without the love of these two amazing women, America and Maria, Otis’s story – and life – may have ended much differently. All too often, the most wonderful dogs land in shelters through no fault of their own, and fear and pain hide the true treasure lying inside. Otis is nothing like the little dog we first saw in the video only a week ago. What a delightful boy he is!

Otis’s first post:

Otis’s’ timeline:

Photography credit: Lynda Hill

Otis with foster mom, Maria
Otis with foster mom, America


  1. This story relates to all that is good in America–caring people going out of their way to help. Thank you to all, let us all try to do better to help all creatures great & small!!

  2. Brings tears of happiness for Otis. Thank you to America for stepping up and rescuing Otis from the shelter and of course Dan and Rudi for being the kind and compassionate humans that still exist in this crazy world of ours. Much love always.

  3. Nothing but happy tears for sweet Otis….. I wish I could adopt them all…. <3 <3 <3

  4. Blessings to all who work for the happiness of all of these animals……Congratulations, Otis! You are beautiful……I hope all good things to you forever. <3

  5. It looks like Otis has hit the jackpot with such a caring foster mom. His future will be filled with love and the care he has always needed. God Bless!

  6. Otis is very lucky to have found not one but two moms. Thank you Mom America and Mom Maria, God bless you for stepping in on such a rewarding job!!! Many hugs/kisses/and a full tummy and a warm bed for Otis.

Leave a Reply