clear the shelters

‘I Guess I Didn't Think It Through': NJ Family Fosters Nine Puppies Plus Mom

The family already had one dog and the litter of nine puppies also couldn't be foster without their mother. That means Robin Chernoff had 11 dogs under one roof

NBC Universal, Inc.

A New Jersey family's decision to foster 10 dogs during the pandemic proved to be overwhelming but also fulfilling at the same time.

Allan Chernoff says he never imagined he'd become a father of thirteen. When his wife, Robin Chernoff, pleaded to take care of a litter of puppies until they were ready for adoption, he agreed --- without knowing there would be nine high-energy pups in his home at the same time.

St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey, was seeking foster homes for puppies that were on their way from a Tennessee shelter and the Chernoffs already had experience fostering litters of cats for the center. So Robin felt her two daughters were ready to handle the bigger responsibilities of puppies.

If you've ever been around a puppy, one is already a handful, but Robin says she just couldn't say no. The family already had one dog and the litter of nine puppies also couldn't be fostered without their mother, Bailey. That means Robin had 11 dogs under one roof.

"I guess I didn't think it through," Robin, a mother of twin girls, said.

With her daughters doing remote learning and are unable to see their friends during the summer, the puppies have brought them a lot of joy.

"They really impact me to want to have a career with animals in the future," one of the twins said.

Foster Program Manager Stephen Valentin says it's a special thing to have one family adopt a whole litter of pups. With adoptions doubling from last year, partly due to the pandemic, some of the puppies that are being fostered by the Chernoffs already have forever homes waiting for them when they're ready to be adopted in a week or so.

"It's been overwhelming response from the community," Valentin said.

St. Hubert’s is participating in NBC's annual "Clear the Shelters" adoption campaign and the center says the campaign is going great. In the first two weeks of August 2019, the shelter had 76 adoptions. This year, there were 151 adoptions in the first two weeks of August.

Click here to learn more about Clear the Shelters and find a participating shelter near you.

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