Thinking about getting a pet? Well, there’s no better day than today, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day! There are millions of animals in shelters across the nation waiting to go home with you, according to the ASPCA. But you don’t have to adopt a million of them – just one would make a big difference. Here are 11 more facts about animal homelessness that may surprise you.
To celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day and help raise awareness of the many pets waiting to be adopted, we’ve gathered some heartwarming adoption tales, courtesy of the Austin Animal Center and Thundering Paws Animal Sanctuary.
Have your own stories and/or photos to share? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @PetFriendlyATX for a chance to win some pet books. Check out our readers’ adoption photos and stories.
Moto races his way to adoption
This 1-year-old Shiba Inu mix was found running across the track during a MotoGP practice at Circuit of the Americas this year. Moto was even photographed leaning into the turns, just like the racers.
After being chased around and delaying the practice for about 30 minutes, Moto was safely picked up and taken to the Austin Animal Center, where he would soon be adopted.
Princess finds her prince
Despite being at the Austin Animal Center for over 6 months, Princess never gave up on waiting for her ‘prince’ to come rescue her. Then, one day, Blake came along. He was specifically looking for a long-stay dog like Princess, and when he laid eyes on her, he fell in love. Princess left with a crate, a Hard Luck Hounds leash, collar and a basic training package at Training By Tara to get her off on the right foot at her new home. Now, Blake says Princess loves her crate, is a pro at cuddling and enjoys being taken out by her new owner every day during lunch.
Karma, the K9 recruit
Round Rock police officer Tracy Lawrence came to the Austin Animal Center looking for a new K9 recruit. She took Karma, along with several other dogs, through a series of tests. In the end, Karma seemed to be the best fit, with her obvious drive to search, non-aggressive behavior towards people and other animals, and her daring character, according to an Instagram post by the Round Rock Police Department.
“She also LOVED the ball, which is important to her to have ball drive since the ball is often used as a reward when our K9’s locate narcotics,” the Instagram post reads.
Officer Lawrence and Karma have been together since December 2014. Karma will work primarily with narcotics detection, but she will also possibly be trained to do tracking of lost children and the elderly.
Fosters make a difference
Five-month old Lulu arrived at the Austin Animal Shelter with Demodectic Mange. She was taken in by a foster home while undergoing treatment and did well. She had lots of energy and got along great with other dogs in the home, until she was finally adopted. What a difference proper medical care and a great foster home can make!
Smiley’s life turned around
Smiley came to the shelter in rough shape. She was heartworm positive, had bad knees and had some resource-guarding issues. The vets at Austin Animal Center performed 3 knee operations and treated her heartworms. Meanwhile, the shelter staff and Hard Luck Hounds worked together on her behavior issues. It took some time, but Smiley was eventually a healthy, happy, highly adoptable dog. Thanks to volunteer Ron, who was Smiley’s No. 1 advocate, Smiley was able to be matched with the right family and found her forever home.
Three is better than one
Sweetness was taken from a street where she lived but was not cared for by anyone except her rescuer. Initially frightened, she quickly calmed down under the tutelage of Thundering Paws volunteers. After being vaccinated, spayed, and microchipped, she went to the Adoption Center at the Bee Cave PetSmart, where Thundering Paws keeps adoptable cats.
Dulce was born at Thundering Paws. Her mom, Harriet, came to us profoundly pregnant and delivered five healthy kittens shortly thereafter. Four were adopted, but aptly named Dulce didn’t get an application and grew up at the Bee Cave PetSmart, staying with her mother. Harriet loved to nurture cats.
A couple came in to visit cats. Their old kitty had died and their 7 year old male needed some companionship. It is usually difficult to get the adult cats adopted, but this couple were not interested in the kittens. They chose Sweetness and Dulce, who learned to be friends while being together at PetSmart. After a few weeks, they adopted Harriet!
Rain the cat
In May 2013, Dripping Springs was pounded with rain. During this deluge, a kind man was driving down Highway 290, close to the entrance to Belterra, when he saw something orange in the middle of the road. He stopped and scooped up a starving, bedraggled kitten with one eye closed from a raging respiratory infection. He was led to Thundering Paws.
The volunteers who picked the kitten up from the vet named him Rain. We began feeding and medicating, and he recovered fully. Rain was a personable little fellow, and would even burrow under bedcovers and purr.
He seemed to love everyone: people, other cats, and dogs, so naturally he was adopted. Some time later he showed his new “dad” Clyde this incredible yawn. Poor thing must have only gotten 19 hours of sleep that day!
Special cat, special adopters
A veterinarian from an Austin clinic called us with this story. Clients had brought in their cat, whom they called Meanness or something equally dreadful, for sitting in the litter box a long time. The vet diagnosed a urinary tract infection and gave them antibiotics to give their kitty. They said that they didn’t want to be bothered and for the vet to just euthanize her instead. The vet said, “No.” She then called us and asked if we would take her. We consented, and named her Laurel.
Laurel taught us that even difficult cats can be adopted to loving homes. She had behavioral and health issues. Over time it became clear she needed craved attention, and needed a home of her own. But who would take an older cat with medical and behavioral problems? Fortunately, just the right people found us, and Laurel’s final years were happy.
Jennifer and her husband, Shelby, came and met Laurel. They agreed to take her, and we had all her considerable medical records faxed to them. They took her home and sent back wonderful stories of her sleeping on Shelby’s chest or curled up on Jennifer’s pillow. She sat by Jennifer when she worked at home. They sent us pictures of a much calmer cat, one with a family and no other cats with which to compete. A happy home at last!
If those stories warmed your heart, check out these 7 innovative and inspiring ways some shelters and rescues have used to save pups’ lives.
If you want to search for some of the adoptable pets available in the greater Austin area, check out our pets of the week. Also, the Bastrop County Animal Shelter is having free adoptions through Sunday, May 3rd to help with the overflow of pets.