Fostering Simba

Losing a pet is never easy, and it can be difficult to even think about replacing your beloved pet with a new companion. Dave and Diane Hegeman found themselves in this unfortunate position when, five years after losing their dog, they still didn’t feel ready to adopt. So Dave, a Dumb Friends League volunteer, and his wife decided to start the process of reintroducing dogs into their lives through fostering.

For their first foster experience, Dave and Diane were introduced to an adorable, 9-month-old terrier mix named Simba. Simba arrived at the Dumb Friends League with two fractured hind legs. After a complicated surgery to repair his broken limbs, Simba needed a quiet foster family to help him recover for the next six to eight weeks.

According to Dave and Diane, Simba was a wonderful foster. Says Dave, “He was just the sweetest little dog. Simba was so excited to see us, no matter how long we were gone; we may have just gone out to check the mail, and he would greet us by jumping up and giving us kisses. He sure made his way into our hearts!”

Once Simba had fully healed from his injuries, it was time for the Hegemans to bring him back to the Dumb Friends League so he could find his forever home. It didn’t take long for this sweet puppy to make his way into the hearts of a loving family.

Dave told us, “Fostering Simba helped us realize that after being heartbroken over losing our dog, we did have room in our hearts for another pet. It was nice having a dog around for a little while.” Nurturing Simba brought so much joy to Dave and Diane’s life during the time he was with them, and while a few tears were shed upon saying goodbye, the Hegemans will always remember their first foster experience and can rest easy knowing they helped give Simba the second chance he deserved.

Every year, nearly 3,000 pets like Simba at the Dumb Friends League are nurtured by more than 450 foster families as part of our Homes with Hearts foster care program. Each of these foster pets has their own story and their own reason for needing additional care before finding a forever home. To learn more about how you can help homeless pets through fostering, visit or call (303) 751-5772.