If you adopted a pet from us last October you’re about to get a special email. On Saturday we’re sending out our first Happy Adopt-A-Versary emails to families who took home a new furry or feathered friend this month last year. In a way, it’s totally selfish of us to want to stay connected to these families. You see, we shelter staff and volunteers don’t just spend time and money caring for our resident guests while they look for their forever families, we invest emotionally as well. From the moment an animal comes into our facility we’re giving them pieces of our hearts.

When an animal becomes what I call a “resident guest” of our shelter that doesn’t just mean we feed them and give them a roof over their heads. We treat their injuries and get them up to healthy weight. We learn what their favorite treats and toys are and go out of our way to get them for each animal. We socialize them and share their antics at our lunch table. We take the energetic ones to Borderland to run and video them learning how to swim. We bottle feed the little babies and take them home to feed through the night. We come in on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and during hurricanes and snowstorms to make sure they’re all OK. We even have a plan for staff staying overnight if a particularly bad storm hits and we are afraid we might not be physically able to get into the shelter the next day.

When they finally go to their forever homes we celebrate with them. We text staff that aren’t working at the time and crow,

“Banjo went home!”

“Vader has a family!”

“Ralphie and Addie got adopted!”

We have favorite stories about what they did while they were here that we remember and talk about for years. Sometimes people send us updates with photos and stories of what they’re up to and how they’re doing. We love it and share those emails all over the shelter. Our favorite though is when we see them again. It might be at the NRT’s Sheep Pasture, Paws In The Park, Borderland, Holiday Photos, or even just around town. Someone will see us in an APCSM t-shirt and say, “I got my dog from there. This one! His name used to be Tucker but we call him Scout now. He’s doing great and we love him so much!” Then we get down on one knee and rub his furry head and tell him and his new owner how happy we are for them.

That’s our favorite!

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