SURPRISE! If you can be near Bridgewater, MA tomorrow, we'll be there with a whole slew of our shirts. We're also going to be filming a little bit to help promote the documentary. Come on out for some coffee, snack and a reuse and schmooze session with me. For more info on the location, check out The Rockin K Cafe all Day At Bogarts
Congratulations to all of our Earth Day Coloring Contest winners!
Thank you to everyone who entered our contest and I think it's safe to say that there will definitely be another coloring contest in the future! And we'd like to send out a special thank you to Coyle & Holden. When the contest was launched, the age groups started at 3, but they proved that age doesn't matter!
Click here to see all of the great entries!
There are a lot of dogs who have worn our "Adoption... Think About It" bandana, but the story of Jake and his road to a loving home is extra special. It makes promoting animal adoption even more important to us. This story was written by Brenda Pane, whose determination and patience helped find Jake that loving home.
Jake's journey to a new life began on October 6, 2012 when he was found stray and brought to the Hayward Animal Shelter. He was estimated to be about 1 1/2 years old. At first, he was just like any other dog to me - a sweet, cute pit bull in a sea of sweet, cute pit bulls. However, he was more unhappy about being in his kennel than most dogs are. He would practically knock you over in a mad rush to get out of the kennel when you would open the door to walk him. He would also bark and bounce off the walls of his kennel when he wanted to get someone's attention.
Jake had multiple factors working against him. First, he is a pit bull. There are always a lot of them at the shelter. Also, pit bulls have a bad reputation. Most people don't want to adopt them because they are afraid of them or don't want to deal with the stigma that comes along with having a pit bull. Second, since he behaved badly in his kennel, this made him intimidating and undesirable even to the people who were looking for a pit bull.
The first time I took Jake to Petsmart in San Leandro, CA to show him for adoption, I was actually surprised by how well behaved he was. He was calm and polite and acted nothing like he did when he was in his kennel. Jake proved to be great with large and small dogs, and even passed a test with cats! He quickly became my favorite dog at the shelter, and I was determined to save him. I already have 2 large dogs and can't realistically have a third one long-term, so adopting him wasn't an option.
When I took him to Petsmart on February 2, 2013, I was told that his time was up and he was going to be put to sleep the next day if he didn't get adopted. He didn't get adopted, but there was someone who was very interested in him. When I got back to the shelter, I told the supervisor about the person who was interested in him and asked if Jake could have one more week. She agreed, but unfortunately, Jake didn't have a home by the end of the week. However, we had an adoption event at the shelter that day that found homes for 7 dogs. This extra kennel space enabled Jake to have another week. Jake was living on borrowed time that continued to be extended for one reason or another. Everyone at the shelter had fallen in love with him and was pulling for him.
On March 8, Jake's stress level became too high and the shelter supervisors made the difficult decision that he either needed to go to a foster home or be put to sleep. By this time, I had spent about 30 hours with him one-on-one at Petsmart and the shelter's adoption event and had also taken him for countless walks at the shelter. I knew him very well and couldn't let this great dog be put to sleep. I brought my dogs to the shelter to make sure they would get along with Jake and after a short introduction, the 3 dogs were playing like they had known each other their whole lives. This made it easy for me to decide to foster Jake. He loved being at my house and was able to unwind quickly from the stress of the shelter. My dogs helped him burn off 5 months of pent up energy. He quickly learned how to use the dog door and was house-trained in just 2 days. I brushed his teeth, clipped his nails, gave him a bath, cleaned his ears, and restrained him while putting a bandage on his tail. I took toys out of his mouth and moved him while he was sleeping. I trusted him 100% during everything.
On March 31, Jake finally got adopted to a great home. The only downside was that he didn't have a yard or another dog to play with, but he was going to go for four walks a day and play with dogs at the park. Unfortunately, due to an unexpected job offer in another country, Jake was returned from adoption after only three days. I was heartbroken. Jake came back to my house and acted like hadn't missed a beat with my dogs, who were happy to have their friend back. I figured that the only way this could be a positive thing would be if Jake got an even better home in the end.
That exact thing happened on April 13. After sitting with Jake for a total of 40 hours doing adoption outreach, Jake's 9th visit to Petsmart was the one where he finally found the perfect home. A customer named Justin came in to shop for his dog and came over to say hi to Jake. He mentioned that he has a female dog that looks just like Jake and that he wanted to get her a friend. I told him how much Jake loves other dogs and showed him a picture of Jake asleep on the couch with my dogs. I told him about all of the great personality traits I had seen in Jake while fostering him.
Justin went home and came back with his dog, Cali. It turns out that he adopted her from the Hayward Animal Shelter about a year ago. The two were instant friends and tried to continue to play with each other even while we were filling out the adoption paperwork.
I have already gotten a great update from Justin along with pictures of Jake and Cali lounging on the couch and videos of them playing in the yard. I couldn't be happier with this outcome. Although I miss Jake, I was not sad when I said goodbye to him because I knew he was going to a great home and that I had helped make that possible. Also instrumental in his adoption were all of the volunteers who walked him and gave him love while he was at the shelter to help maintain his sanity. The shelter supervisors gave him the extra time he needed to find a home. Also, Petsmart has played a big part in increasing our adoption numbers by letting us show adoptable pets in their store every Saturday. Jake becomes dog number 81 to find a home at the Petsmart in San Leandro, CA after starting to show dogs there in 2011.