Usually our Happy Beginnings stories come to us straight from the adopters who’ve given a homeless pet their new happy beginning. If you have a happy adoption story and photo that you’d like to share and inspire others to adopt a pet, we’d love to hear from you. Please send an email with the photo attached to firstname.lastname@example.org. This time though, we have a Happy Beginnings story from a shelter that lists their pets for adoption on Adopt-a-Pet.com! The Forget Me Not Animal Shelter sent us this story as part of their application for an Adopt-a-Pet.com Happy Beginnings Fund grant, which help create more “Happy Beginnings” with funding for adoptions programs at shelters and rescues. Forget Me Not writes, “Jasper arrived at the shelter as an 11-year-old Labrador/Boxer mix boy, who was impounded by the county after his owners moved away and left him at their former rental home. They had told the landlord they would be back for their dogs (Jasper came in with a 5-year-old Boxer and an elderly Chihuahua), but after a month had gone by, the landlord had no choice but to ask the sheriff to remove the abandoned dogs.
The owners were located and came to Forget Me Not Animal Shelter, where they paid the impound fee for the Chihuahua and took him away… but said “you can have the other two,” leaving Jasper and his Boxer friend homeless.
Some dogs might become depressed, but Jasper seemed to really enjoy his time at the shelter; we believe he was mainly left outside all the time with his former family, so the one-on-one indoor attention and play time he received from our wonderful volunteers seemed like a grand improvement to Jasper. We did worry that it would be difficult to find a home for a dog nearing the end of his life, but optimistically listed him and hoped for the best, while continuing to make him happy and comfortable for what could be the rest of his life at the shelter.
We are the only animal shelter in an extremely rural and impoverished county (Ferry County) in Washington State. Ferry County has an area approximately the size of Delaware, including large portions of Colville Tribal lands, and large swatches of state and national forest. We seem to be a magnetic dumping ground for unwanted pets, many of whom are lucky to be found by hikers or hunters, often several miles from the nearest home.
The number of abandoned, abused, and neglected cats and dogs in our county far exceeds the number of available qualified adoptive homes; as a result, we have built a thriving (though costly) distance adoption program. Our distance adoption program relies heavily on the advertising provided by Adopt-a-Pet.com. Potential adopters find our wonderful available pets online, where every listing lets them know we have monthly deliveries to the Seattle (about 6 hours each way from us) and Spokane (about 3 hours) areas. [Read more about their Distance Adoption program here.]
Thankfully, our distance adoption program did the trick for Jasper, and he was adopted to a wonderful, loving woman in the Seattle area who needed Jasper just as much as he needed her. While no one can say how many years Jasper has left, we are all thrilled that he will spend his last years happy and loved.