If you follow any kind of animal organization on social media, you’ve surely seen a story of an animal that’s been in a shelter for some obscenely long amount of time. Maybe you’ve shared a picture in the hopes someone you know will adopt him or maybe you’ve scrolled by quickly in order to avoid the sadness all together. We’ve all been guilty of seeing something similar and not really doing much (or anything at all), but a man in Missouri decided to try something different to get a long-time shelter resident adopted – and it worked.
Queen, a 3 year-old terrier, was found living on the streets in Kansas City, Missouri and brought to the Great Plains SPCA, where she had been for over 400 days when Scott Poore saw her story. Lots of different methods had been taken to try and get Queen adopted, so Poore came up with something totally out the box – he decided to move in with Queen; as in, into her kennel at the shelter.
Poore’s crazy idea worked; according to him, “She loves it. She’s getting a lot of attention. We’re getting lots of visitors, some of which are here to see Queen, and some of which, I honestly think, want to see the strange guy who moved into the animal shelter.” One of those visitors wound up adopting Queen (check out the video of her heading home below), but Poore notes that there are 1000s more just like her: “There are dogs like her all over in animal shelters. It’s not like the shelters are neglecting these animals, but they’ve been forgotten because they’ve been there for so long … and when your kennel card says ‘400 days,’ that doesn’t attract potential adopters. They immediately think there’s something wrong.”
The other, unexpected, thing that Poore learned? How hard animals in shelters really have it. “I love her to death, but this is not the best place I’ve spent a few days at … and this is a very nice shelter. I’ve got a new respect for animals who live in the shelter. When the lights go off and all the employees leave, you would think that that’s the time when the shelter finally gets quiet, but what I’ve learned is that it’s never quiet. There’s always somebody barking, which triggers other dogs barking. There’s not a lot of rest for the animals, and there’s definitely not a lot of rest for me. I don’t think any of these animals get a deep sleep until they’re out of the building.”
So next time you see one of these posts, take a minute and think about what you can do to help a dog get out of a shelter and into a home. If we can all take some initiative like Mr. Poore, imagine how many dogs can find a great home? [Via The Dodo]