Trip to Store Leads to Years of Fostering Puppies


Kayla Saller, Reporter

    Every weekend at PetSmart, rescue dogs are up for adoption, being assisted by no other than Mattison Palmer.

    Palmer spends a great portion of her life focused on animals. She works at Tesson Ferry Vet, volunteers for dog adoptions at PetSmart on the weekends and fosters puppies.

    She’s been fostering puppies off and on for almost 10 years now. Palmer was seven years old when she and her family were in PetSmart buying things for their dog. The dogs up for adoption catch just about any child’s eye, so Palmer was no exception. Even though she begged her mother to get one, she was adamant because they already had a dog. That was when the organization suggested fostering.

    To foster, the organization explains, the foster parents get a puppy for a week. They keep it at their house while the organization provides the supplies needed. The next week, the foster parents bring the puppy back to PetSmart for the adoption.

    “You don’t realize how destructive they are. They’re cute, but they’re little demons,” said Palmer.

    Puppies aren’t potty trained, as one might expect. They ruin houses and chew everything up. But how can you say no to that face?

    To Palmer, this is no big deal. She spends a lot of time working with animals. Aside from fostering, she goes up to horse stables and will muck stalls or provide whatever help might be needed – she’s a true country girl at heart. She even used to ride until she got injured. On top of that, Palmer spends a lot of time hanging out with her friends, such as Sami Reitz.

    Reitz has known Palmer since kindergarten, but they primarily bonded through Girl Scouts. During a typical day together, Reitz and Palmer usually just hang around. Sometimes they go on spontaneous late night drives together, and to no surprise, they play with the puppies a lot.

    “She’s a really good person. She has a really good heart and is super optimistic about life,” said Reitz.

    Reitz explains that Palmer is willing to drop anything for a friend and can always talk to her. Palmer is vibrant with personality and manages not to be negative, even through all of her hardships.

    Palmer began her Junior year this year. She loves being an upperclassman, but says it’s sort of scary. College is getting closer.

    The future isn’t unclear for her, though, as it may be for others in her class. Palmer wants to work with the rescue in the future – preferably more involved as a director or even running her own rescue. She can’t make this a job because the organizations don’t make profit, but that doesn’t mean anything to her. She’d like to be working with animals, whether that means being a vet tech, an animal behaviorist or a vet.

    Palmer says anyone who would like to adopt or foster should contact her. If someone would like to reach her through her school email, look up her last name when choosing the recipient. She’s always happy to help out.