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National Museum of Animals & Society Blog
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Approximately 6 million animals enter into a shelter every year, and 60% of dogs in shelters are euthanized due to being unable to find good homes. This month, consider the joy you can bring to man’s best friend by becoming his new best friend. These dogs have not done anything wrong, they are animals who have been abandoned by their former families or never given a chance. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), 25% of these dogs are purebred, and nearly half of them were once companions.
Now is a great time to think about adding to your family. Dogs are a wonderful addition, being loyal, protective, and providing both a natural alarm system (useful for those who live in cities) and unending friendship. There are dogs of all personalities available in the local shelter. A quick search on the ASPCA website tells me of over 2000 available dogs within 25 miles of my hometown.
Consider Poochini, a poodle and bichon frise mix who was brought into the Sparky and the Gang animal shelter with an injured leg. Who could resist that adorable face? He’s a child friendly and cat friendly, a little dog good for families.
Or maybe Jozette from Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue suits your home best. Ending up in the shelter as a stray, Jozee learned how to use the doggy door on her first day in foster care. She’s good on a leash, in the car, and even loves to swim! This beautiful dog- and cat-friendly girl is looking for a home where she will get the love and attention she deserves.
Or perhaps open your heart to Joey at Dharma Rescue for Cats and Dogs. He is a good-natured terrier mix who was paralyzed by a terrible car accident, but is now equipped with a doggy wheelchair. A pet with special needs is a big commitment of course, but no less deserving of love. Who couldn’t adore this sweet mutt?
These are just a few examples from local shelters. On the ASPCA website you can find them and thousands of others in your area by searching your zip code.
Adopting a dog is a truly rewarding experience that will benefit both you and your new pooch. This October, consider making the commitment. It will be worth it for both of you!
Petfinder, the online searchable database of animals in need of homes, has declared the week of September 17-25 to be Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week. Animals usually considered “less adoptable” include senior pets, cats tested positive for FIV, large or “aggressive breed” dogs such as pit bulls, white rabbits with pink eyes, and all animals with special needs or preexisting medical conditions. With most people interested in only adopting puppies or kittens, even adult animals that would be considered highly desirable in their younger days can languish in the shelter system or foster/rescue homes for months.
Consider Yogee, a spaniel/Border Collie mix with The Dawg Squad in Los Angeles. Found in Westchester with a microchip sourced to Highland Park, when his guardians were contacted they said that Yogee had been missing for so long that they assumed he was dead and had gotten another dog. They didn’t want Yogee back. At 12 years old, this sweet-tempered and cuddly boy still has a lot of love to give and deserves a family that will appreciate him.
Then there’s Buzz, a black domestic short hair not even a year old. Born with a deformed eye, Buzz watched all his brothers and sisters get adopted while he stayed behind, overlooked and unwanted. A playful people-lover, Buzz is waiting to find his forever home at A Cat’s Tale in Hawthorne.
Finally, there’s beautiful Erishkegal, a pink-eyed white rabbit with RabbitMatch in Los Angeles. Likely purchased at a pet store as a baby bunny, Erishkegal’s original guardians had no idea how to care for a rabbit and never bothered to clean her living space. As a result, Erishkegal’s feet, tail and belly are permanently stained orange from being forced to sit in her own urine.
All domestic animals – not just the superficially “cute” or purebred ones – deserve a chance to find love. Check out Petfinder’s gallery of “less adoptables,” submitted by the rescue groups who care for them, for even more unfortunate stories of sweet animals in need of forever homes.
Previously on the blog, we introduced readers to America’s Favorite Animal Shelter Contest that runs until July 10. NMAS Intern, Michelle Wong, writes today about her choice and their innovative programming…
For this year’s America’s Favorite Animal Shelter Contest sponsored by Care2, Adopt-a-Pet.com, and the ASPCA there’s a snazzy place I’d like to nominate that is filled with love and compassion. The Santé D’Or Foundation, a nonprofit, no-kill, holistic animal shelter, is a place where animals are rescued, cared for, and given homes. Located in Los Angeles, California they operate through donations and currently house cats, rabbits, and dogs.
The animals that are rescued and brought into Santé D’Or are given a second chance of finding a loving home with individual pens cleaned daily, three square organic meals, clean filtered water, and plenty of recreational activity. Litter boxes are cleaned multiple times a day and fresh vegetables are provided from the farmers’ markets for the rabbits; these animals are encouraged to exercise, socialize and sunbath. Due to the tender loving care from volunteers these rescues learn to trust humans and show affection; Santé D’Or has rescued and given homes to nearly 1,400 animals so far.
“The mission of Santé D’Or Foundation is to rescue and provide shelter and holistically-based medical care to animals, while attempting to secure them permanent homes. We act as an educational resource in our community through our rescue and adoption services and community outreach efforts.”
There is a diverse group of individuals all with distinct personalities that are suited for different families. Some are shy and quiet while others are more amusing and rambunctious, but each have their own perks and can offer companionship. All of the animals have their vaccinations, are spayed or neutered when they reach the appropriate age and are house-trained. The physical and emotional health of the residents are a top priority as the name Santé D’Or or Health of Gold implies and each are given proper and immediate medical treatment when needed. Since the animals are given time to socialize with other before they are ready for adoption they make ideal additions for households with multiple pets and/or children.
It is because Santé D’Or is able to provide a nurturing atmosphere for animals in need while operating only through donations and volunteers that I have given them my vote for this year’s America’s Favorite Animal Shelter. Santé D’Or appreciates their volunteers by providing them with refreshments and prizes through monthly raffles. Rather than trying to clear out pets as soon as possible, each adopting residence is given a home check first to ensure that it is a good fit for the animal under consideration. Pets can also be returned if the owners or pets are unhappy since the well-being of the pets is most important.
Sante D’Or is opened Fridays through Sundays to the public for adoptions, although you can also find a profile and match through PetFinder. Donations and volunteer opportunities are also available through their website at www.santedor.org where you can make a difference in an animal’s life.
To vote for Sante D’Or or your own favorite animal shelter, click here.
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding animal shelters, adoptions, or cute kittens and puppies we’d like to hear them! Was your fluffy or scaly companion also a rescue, and what joy have they brought into your life? Do you want to recommend an animal shelter for volunteering or adopting? Then please comment, and remember “a dog wags his tail with his heart” –Martin Buxbaum