Arlington Heights couple fosters dozens of dogs during pandemic

A retired couple from northwest suburban Arlington Heights is part of an organization that is rescuing hundreds of dogs from dire conditions in Arkansas.

Six puppies are currently looking for a forever home, while they are temporarily housed by Carolyn Roberts and her husband John. 

The couple has turned their home into a puppy palace over the past 15 months.

"Since the pandemic started, we’ve had 54 I think," said Carolyn, referring to the number of puppies they’ve housed.

The Roberts are part of a rescue organization called Fortunate Pooches and Lab Rescue, which has been bringing in 25 dogs a week from high-kill shelters in Arkansas.

That number has been growing as the pandemic winds down.


"Because everybody is back in the office, it is ramping up. So everybody realizes a puppy is a long-term commitment, and not just a year of COVID, unfortunately, so they’re all coming back," said Tess Thompson from Fortunate Pooches and Lab Rescue.

The Roberts usually foster puppies for about two weeks to a month until they’re all adopted out, and then the next group of puppies comes in.

"You want to get them socialized. You want to get them used to being with people. You want to get them used to going outside for all of their bathroom habits," said Carolyn.

While it might sound tough to love a puppy and then give it away, Carolyn says they love it.

"We love it. And we get a dog. We get to be part of this whole process - seeing them go to happy homes," said Carolyn. "It’s all good. It’s really all good."