Every image in this post is of an adoptable animal. Photography by Lisa Binns, of Shelter Dog Photography.
I discovered Stray Animal Adoption Program (SAAP) last year, via desperate Google search, when someone dumped an extremely pregnant cat outside of my children’s daycare. I normally have a heart of stone, but there are a few things I simply cannot just walk by, and an extremely pregnant cat is one of those things.
I called the animal shelter, who told me, regretfully, that they’d immediately euthanize. I called around, and eventually SAAP, despite being totally full, helped. My family took care of mom until the kittens were old enough to wean. Then, SAAP found homes for four adorable kittens. They helped connect me with Ohio Alleycat Spay Clinic, to get mama spayed, and I found a forever home for her. My kids learned how to care for kittens and about being responsible pet owners. We all got happy endings.
Happy endings (Happy Tails, they say) are SAAP’s specialty. They are an all-volunteer rescue organization in Northern Kentucky that finds homes for over hundreds of animals a year. They pull animals – even the highest need animals – from shelters, and sometimes, from roadsides or creeks. Volunteer foster families take them into their homes, give them love, training, and veterinary care. Then people like you can adopt animals who have been thriving in loving homes rather than isolated in animal shelter crates.
When we decided to add a dog to our family earlier this summer, we knew that we’d go back to SAAP. We joined their Facebook page, and watched as adoptable animal after adoptable animal scrolled by. When we saw our boy – a 9 month-old lab mix – we knew immediately. He’d been surrendered for being too active and crazy. Since WE’RE too active and crazy, we knew it was a perfect fit. This summer, every member of our family, working together, has been teaching manners to our wonderful dog. Yes, we’ve had to work with him, but we’d have had to work with ANY dog. This one has a heart of gold. He’s starting to have pretty good manners, too.
- Don’t adopt a pet unless you understand the lifetime commitment you’re making, and;
- If you are ready, please consider adopting a rescue.
Do the first, because animals are surrendered all the time – approximately 7.6 million each year, according to the ASPCA . Kittens and puppies get big, and (debatably) less cute. They might eat your shoes and crap on your carpet. If you have invited an animal into your life, you’ve got to be okay dealing with this.
Do the second, because you’ve done your homework, and you know. You know how many dogs need homes. And you know that opening yours literally saves a life. You know that puppy mills are inhumane, and you want to be a part of the solution. You believe in Happy Tails, too.
- Follow them on Facebook. At the very least, you’ll add pictures of adorable animals to your otherwise increasingly dreary newsfeed.
- Adopt your new best friend.
- Volunteer to foster, and help create countless Happy Tails.
- Volunteer in other ways. SAAP says their biggest need is adoption event volunteers, who spend a few hours playing with animals and talking to animal lovers. Go home, happy.
- Donate – Money is helpful, but SAAP always needs dog food, cat food, kitty litter, and beds.
- Throw a party. If you have a thoughtful, interested kid, ask for donations in lieu of gifts at their next birthday. Teach your kid the value of giving back and to appreciate the feeling of contribution.