If it were up to us, every day would be Clear the Shelters day. Clear the Shelters is a nationwide pet adoption drive scheduled for Aug. 18, 2018. Hundreds of participating shelters across the country will lower or waive adoption fees in an effort to help animals in need find their forever homes.
Since 2015, when the national campaign was first launched, more than 168,294 (and counting!) pets have found a home from Clear the Shelters day, according to Clear the Shelters’ website.
So, if you have been thinking of adopting a pet at the pet shelter, this just may be the perfect time to go out and find your new best friend. And like most rescue pet parents, you always wind up wondering “who rescued who?”
At Chewy HQ, we are constantly surrounded by pets that have come from the animal shelter. Here’s a glimpse of some of the many shelter pets we have hanging around our office and homes, and their heartwarming stories.
Courtesy of Nicole Janiga
Age of Pet: 7 years old
Location of Adoption: Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Chewy Pet Parent: Nicole Janiga, Content Marketing Specialist
Why the Pet Was Surrendered: Zoe’s family’s youngest child was allergic to her.
Background Story: When I moved to the Fort Lauderdale area, it was my first time without an animal to care for, and I realized how much I missed it. A week into my move, I realized how much I missed having a dog. Being able to afford both the time, space and financial commitment, I sought out a dog that needed a home.
I posted on a neighborhood Facebook group that I was looking for a pet to adopt, hoping to save a dog that needed to be rehomed from going to the shelter. It was devastating to see how many responses I got, primarily from older dogs whose families didn’t want to care for them anymore. Zoe’s family reached out to me explaining their story.
Zoe had been rehomed to live with a family member that couldn’t look after her anymore. I set up some time to meet her to see if it would be a good fit, however, the family told me that regardless of whether or not I wanted to proceed with an adoption, they were surrendering her to the shelter. I met them at the shelter and filled out the paperwork out that day.
We didn’t know Zoe was dog selective at the time of adoption, and though I’ve owned dogs my whole life, I’ve never experienced a dog that had issues with other dogs. As soon as we realized this, we took precautions with bringing her around other animals. We always warned other owners that she is very picky with other dogs. We would introduce Zoe very slowly and gradually to make sure that she wasn’t uncomfortable and that other dogs weren’t ever put in danger.
Zoe also struggled with a food allergy that took some time to discover and pinpoint (who knew she would be allergic to beef?). This led to some health issues in the beginning, which included multiple vet visits, before finding her perfect fit of dog food.
Life at Home Now: Zoe is currently living her best life, and is always by my side—at dog-friendly establishments, of course! She loves going to the beach and visiting the barn where I board my horse. One of her favorite dog toys is the grunting Booda hedgehog plush dog toy (we have three at home and counting), and she eats Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula trout and salmon dry dog food. She shows off her Florida pride with a Blueberry Pet Spring Prints pink flamingo dog leash and matching harness.
Courtesy of Estefania Alvarado
Nickname: Marrs, Marlikins or Princess
Age of Pet: 4 Years Old
Location of Adoption: Marlins Park Adopt-a-Dog Day on Father’s Day, Miami, Florida
Breed: Pug-Terrier mix
Chewy Pet Parent: Estefania Alvarado, Talent Acquisition
Why the Pet Was Surrendered: Marley was surrendered at 10-months-old. I’m not sure of the background story, but I like to believe it was due to strict housing issues in Miami because who can give up such a loving girl?
Background Story: After my Yorkie of 13 years passed away, I wasn’t ready to get a new companion and waited almost a year before starting my search. I automatically knew I wanted to adopt because of the overcrowded shelters in Miami and all the potential love living in them.
My friends and I would go shelter hopping every weekend and along the way, two of my girlfriends adopted pups. For me, however, I couldn’t seem to find that special match. After two months, the search was on but not as much as before when my friends found their rescues.
On Father’s Day, my family and I went to a baseball game. Upon our arrival, we found out it was Adopt-a-Dog Day, also known as bring your dog to the b-ball game day. We didn’t pay much mind to the dog centric activities in the park because we were celebrating Father’s Day and we didn’t have a dog.
After the game, we were heading back and I broke away from the group unannounced to check out the adoption event. An interaction with a friend, who was running the event, and a signature later, Marley—or Mona Lisa at the time—was all mine! It all happened in less than 15 minutes! I walked back to the group and introduced my new kid. It wasn’t until the next day that it all really sunk in. I was a dog mom again!
Marley was a calm pup coming home—or so we thought! On Day 2, when we went to get her microchip certified, we were informed she had kennel cough. The vet prescribed her medication and told us she would be up and running in no time. They were right, because a couple of days later we had this little black ball of energy doing figure eights in our living room. She became very hyper and took to chewing shoes. It took her a few months to get acclimated to her new environment, but after the adjustment period she opened up to the cuddle bug she is today.
Life at home now: Marley is the center of my universe now. She’s a certified support animal, and she definitely provides the companionship and love we often seek out whenever we’re feeling down.
Marley loves to collect my shoes now and sleep with them. Luckily for me, she got over the chewing phase and has a fixation on toys, especially the ZippyPaws Emojiz squeaky plush dog toy. She gets walked four times a day and is a frequent visitor to our local dog park—not to mention Chewy’s office, too. Marley still hasn’t realized what a nanny cam is and who is speaking to her at random points of the day.
Courtesy of Kendall Curley
Nickname: Bob or The Goob
Age of Pet: 4 years—adopted when he was just under a year.
Location of Adoption: An adoption event at a pet store
Breed: A Boblington Bobble or maybe an American Shorthair? Not sure.
Chewy Pet Parent: Kendall Curley, Associate Editor
Why the Pet Was Surrendered: Bob was actually found abandoned in a box on the side of the road. He was rescued and put up for adoption.
Background Story: When we first met Bob he was absolutely terrified and actually bit me and got super panicked because of all the people around. But I didn’t want to give up on him, so we took him to a quiet area in the back of the store. There, we let him walk around and settle down so we could see his real personality. Once he calmed down, his ridiculous personality started shining through. We knew he was the right cat for us when my mom meowed at him and he meowed back.
When I first took Bob home he didn’t want to leave his carrier. He stayed huddled inside his cat carrier for about 3 hours until he ventured out. From then, he spent the rest of the evening underneath my bed. Later that night, he crawled up and slept next to my head, just above my shoulder. Every day he inched a little further outside of my room. We had to be very patient with him. If we tried to bring him out into the house, he would panic and we’d have to start the exploration process all over again.
As he got comfortable and started trusting us, we started to see the knucklehead, goofball he really is. He is THE best cat, with all the personality.
Life at Home Now: These days, Bob can be found skulking around our screened-in porch looking for geckos, which he fails at catching (he is not the brightest bulb and is a terrible hunter) and lounging on his PetFusion ultimate cat scratcher, which we cover in catnip for both our and his entertainment.
Courtesy of Stephanie Brown
Nickname: Looney Tunes aka Tunes aka Tunie
Age of Pet: 1 year old—she was about 8 weeks old when I adopted her.
Location of Adoption: spcaLA in Long Beach, California
Breed: Domestic Medium-haired Cat (Tortoiseshell)
Chewy Pet Parent: Stephanie Brown, Senior Editor of Chewy.com’s blog, Pet Central
Why the Pet Was Surrendered: Luna was found on the street in the city of Long Beach and taken to the shelter as a stray. She had no littermates with her so she was considered a “singleton.”
Background Story: I grew up with every type of pet imaginable—dogs, cats, guinea pigs, parrots, fish, lizards… the list goes on. But Luna is my first pet as an adult. I had wanted a cat for a long time, but the timing never seemed right. So instead, my boyfriend and I would visit local animal shelters and pet adoption events at Petsmart to get our kitten fix. Then one day, we saw Luna.
I was immediately struck by her strange appearance. She was a funny-looking kitten. Her head was much larger than her body, and she had odd-colored fur. Her head and her undercoat were tortoiseshell, but she had a top layer of wispy, white fur. With her big yellow eyes, she looked a bit like a werewolf, which is why we named her Luna. It means “moon” in Spanish and Italian.
Luna at the shelter looking like a little werewolf. Courtesy of Stephanie Brown
I really liked her personality, too; she was a playful little hellion but also enjoyed curling up in your lap.
As far as the adoption process was concerned, it was fairly simple. A shelter worker interviewed me to see if I would be a good fit, and she confirmed with my landlord that I was allowed to have a pet. After that, Luna was mine! I did have to wait until she was spayed to bring her home, which took about a week. That was probably the hardest part—the waiting!
Life At Home Now: Luna and I have been through quite a bit in our first year together. I’ve relocated a few times and Luna has taken it all in stride. We’ve lived in three different states: California, New Jersey and Florida. She’s flown across the country with me. She’s driven down the East Coast with me. She’s stayed in hotels, family members’ houses, an Airbnb and finally, our new apartment.
She’s still very playful (sometimes overzealously so) and loves to cuddle. My boyfriend and I joke that she’s like a Sour Patch Kid: “First she’s sour, then she’s sweet.”
Luna loves to chase after things. She is a little huntress. She really likes cat toys and especially loves her Neko Flies Foxfur cat toy attachment. She literally flips for it when I wave it in the air! She also likes to drag it around with her like it’s her prey. You can change out the toys on these wands, but she loves this one the best. While Luna can play all day, I get tired waving the wand around all the time. That’s when I turn on the Petlinks Mystery Motion Concealed Electronic Motion Cat Toy.
Through it all, Luna has been by my side, my constant companion, my little shadow. She runs to greet me every day when I come home from work and meows and meows and meows. (I like to think she is telling me all about her day and how much she missed me.) She cuddles with me on the couch when we watch Netflix together. She sleeps next to me at night, usually in the center of the bed, I might add.
She definitely has a torti-tude—she does what she wants, when she wants and if you don’t like it, tough. But she is the sweetest snuggler who shows affection with lots of sandpaper kisses. Who knows where the future will take us next, but I know it will be with her by my side.
Courtesy of Stephanie Coleman
Age of Pet: 7 years
Location of Adoption: Good Karma Pet Rescue of South Florida
Breed: Silver British Shorthair Mix
Chewy Pet Parent: Stephanie Coleman, Pet Attendent at Chewy Studios
Why the Pet Was Surrendered: Medical expense
Background Story: Betty was surrendered to one of the local shelters as it was discovered she had multiple tumors in her abdomen and shoulders—one of which was cancerous. She was pretty much immediately put on the euthanasia list. Thankfully, the wonderful team at Good Karma Pet Rescue of South Florida picked her up and were able to get her treated for her conditions. Once fully recovered, she came one day into the Chewy office for a photo shoot, and I fell for her straight away. She drooled when I pet her and she hopped around like a rabbit (arthritic hips to go along with her other issues!), but what was not to love?
We had to keep Boopy in the guest bedroom for the first few weeks as part of the introduction to our other cat, Gary. After a week, we opened the door just a tiny amount so that they could smell each other. When we were confident that they had grown accustomed to each other, we were able to open the door and let her roam.
Boopy and Gary were not the best of friends at first, but now they get along great! However, Gary does like to play a little rougher as he is only 3 and Boopy still has some movement difficulties. In general, they have a pretty normal brother and sister relationship.
Life at Home Now: Boopy now loves life in her new home. She has plucked up the courage to sleep on the bed along with her brother, Gary. She still drools when getting pet and hops merrily along when it’s time for breakfast or dinner! Her favorite toy is the KONG Twisted Boa teaser cat toy that she attacks while lying down. She loves giving kisses to anyone who gets near enough! Oh, and she also likes to come to work sometimes to help Mom.
Like these pets, all pets deserve a forever home. If you’d like to take home a new pet, all you have to do is put your location in on the Clear the Shelters homepage to find a participating shelter near you.
After all, what pet doesn’t deserve a life filled with love, a cozy home and a family?
By Chewy Editorial
Featured Image: via DavidPorras/Shutterstock