Our Story & The Shelter Pet Project

There’s a big age difference between my furry sister Nala and me, but one of the things we have in common, is that we were both rescued and not bought. Our mommy and daddy are animal lovers, and they would never even think of buying a doggie. I’m gonna share our story today, and tell you about The Shelter Pet Project.

Nala’s Story…

Nala was brought to a nearby Humane Society in November, 1998 — she was the only girl out of a bunch of boy puppies. Even though my mommy and daddy have always had doggies in their lives, they had just moved into their house the year before, and just never thought about it. My mommy told me that just a few months prior, she had lost someone really special. She had never met this special someone, but she said he/she was supposed to be Taylor’s younger sibling.

Mommy was devastated for many months. It wasn’t until January 1999, that mommy’s aunt suggested that they get a dog. “Why not?” mommy’s aunt asked. “You’ve always had dogs… now’s the perfect time.” It was at that moment, that mommy saw a light at the end of her dark tunnel.

That night, mommy, daddy, and three-year-old Taylor, went over to the local shelter and picked out a little cream-colored girl doggie. Little did Nala know, that she would mean more to my family than she could ever know. They picked her up just two days later, after she had been spayed and micro-chipped. Nala is Taylor’s very first doggie.

The Shelter Pet Project
This is a photo of Nala the night she was adopted.

The Shelter Pet Project
This is Nala at just a few months old!

My Story…

In the years since Nala was rescued, mommy and daddy have toyed with the idea of getting a second doggie. She would tell daddy with a hint of sarcasm, “Let’s get another doggie.” And he would reply, “Yeah, right.” They’ve only ever owned one doggie each — they had no experience at all at owning two.

It wasn’t until mommy saw a Facebook post from one of the many rescue organizations she subscribes to, that she ever thought seriously about adding another doggie to our family. There she was… a cute little black Border Collie that needed rescuing. Mommy posed the question to daddy again, but this time, instead of answering with sarcasm, he said, “OK.” Mommy couldn’t believe it — she really didn’t. She wasn’t sure why, but the idea of getting a second doggie terrified her. But the more she thought about it, the more they both decided it was finally the right time to get a second doggie.

She filled out the questionnaire and sent it to the rescue organization, who promptly called her. Unfortunately, during the time she sent over the form and received the phone call, she had received a lot of suggestions from friends and family against getting a Border Collie. They thought she would be too much work and be hard to handle. Mommy was so sad to tell the rescue organization that they were no longer going to be able to adopt the little black doggie. Even though they didn’t rescue “Blackie,” mommy decided to keep searching.

She signed on to Petfinder.com, and searched locally for girl doggies to rescue. They were in agreement that they had wanted a bigger doggie this time, and so searched for larger breeds. That’s when she found me and my two sisters. We were all Shepherd mix puppies, saved from the streets with our furry mommy by a rescue organization. The photos on this page (in the middle) are the photos that my mommy saw of us when she found us on Petfinder.com. Mommy sent an email to ask if me and my sisters were still available, and we were! So she made arrangements to see all 3 of us the next night!

My mommy, daddy and Taylor all drove about two hours to meet us. They first met with one of my sisters who looked more like a Collie/Shepherd mix. Mommy said that she was such a cute doggie, but that she was also very independent and didn’t really want to spend time with them. This sister was the smallest out of all three of us.

After that, they went to visit me and my other sister. My other sister, the tan one with the black face, jumped all over them like a crazy puppy! My family wondered how Nala would deal with her. Then there was me. I sat very shyly on my foster mommy’s lap, and eventually made my way over to visit my prospective family. I ended up sitting on my mommy’s lap, then on Taylor’s lap. I guess they fell in love with me, ’cause the next thing I knew, they picked me up and put me on the seat next to Taylor in the car. I was going home with my new family.

The Shelter Pet Project
This is me the first night we arrived home!

The Shelter Pet Project
And this is me just a few days later,
getting a check-up at the doctor’s office!

I am so glad that my family adopted Nala and me — we both needed a second chance, and they were so kind to give one to us. They’re always telling people how they rescued us from shelters. Since that time, they advocate for adoptions and discourage people who want to buy furries from stores.

The Shelter Pet Project…

It so happens that I received an email from a nice man from HelpsGood.com last week… he told me that he was helping The Shelter Pet Project, a public service campaign from two leading animal welfare groups, The Humane Society and Maddie’s Fund, and the leading producer of public service advertising (PSA) campaigns, the Ad Council. He was hoping I would want to share this new campaign that’s aimed at getting people to adopt a shelter or rescued pet versus buying one.

The Shelter Pet Project

The Shelter Pet Project is the “result of a collaborative effort between two leading animal welfare groups, The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund, and the leading producer of public service advertising (PSA) campaigns, The Ad Council.”

I thought I would ask the nice people in charge of The Shelter Pet Project and The Ad Council a few questions, so I could help others learn more about The Shelter Pet Project.

What is the idea behind The Shelter Pet Project?

The Shelter Pet Project is a public service ad campaign focused on spreading the word that pets in shelters are wonderful and lovable, and encouraging potential adopters to consider the shelter as the first place to look when acquiring a “new best friend.” We want to break down misconceptions surrounding shelter pets and make sure people know that “A person is the best thing to happen to a shelter pet. Be that person. Adopt.”

Why is it so important to adopt a pet, rather than buy one from a pet store or breeder?

There are so many loving animals in shelters just waiting for a good home. When you adopt you’re not only getting a new best friend but you’re also helping to save your pet’s life. The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund estimate that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States with 4 million pets adopted each year. Still, 2.7 million are euthanized each year, and while this number is decreasing, it’s a long way off from zero. Every adoption gets us closer to the goal of saving all healthy and treatable shelter pets nationwide . And if someone you know is looking for a purebred dog, approximately 25% of shelter dogs are purebred, so shelters and rescue groups are still the best source for your next pet.

How many pets are sitting in shelters, waiting for their furever homes?

The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund estimate that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States.

How easy is it to adopt a pet from a shelter or a rescue group?

Usually the adoption process is pretty straight-forward. After you’ve selected a pet who seems right for you, most private shelters will let you visit to get acquainted with the animal. When you’ve decided, you’ll likely fill out an application, potentially pay a low cost fee to help defray some of the spay/neuter, training, housing costs, and then be able to take your pet home right away. Rescue group adoptions tend to be much more personalized so the process might take a little longer since they can give you a lot more information about how the pet might fit with your family.

What can people do to help spread the word about The Shelter Project?

You can help The Shelter Pet Project spread the word in lots of ways. Like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, share the URL or a funny video with a friend.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about The Shelter Project?

We’re always looking for great adoption stories especially because we know people are three times more likely to adopt a shelter pet if they hear a success story from a friend. Please share your story with us or just talk to a friend who is thinking of bringing a pet into their life. You can help make a difference in a pet’s life (and your friend’s).


Another furry angel in heaven…

Our hearts go out to Zen’s furry and human family. Zen, a female husky who has been battling the big, bad C Monster, finally lost her brave battle. Please take a moment to visit their Facebook page and leave some supportive words. Woofs & hugs, friends! <3 Dogs in Cars…

Send in your Dogs in Cars photos!… (Ongoing series) Next Dogs in Cars is set to post 12-6-11! If you haven’t yet joined this series, or if you have new pics you’d like to share, send them in! If you already have my email, send away! If you need my email, contact me first!!

Happy Thursday woofs & hugs, friends! <3 ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl) P.S… If you’re a human who blogs about your furry, or a furry who blogs about your human… or even a furry who blogs about your life… I invite you to follow me via Google Friend Connect (see box in the right-hand column –>), and join me on Facebook. Please let me know you’ve visited — I love reading other blogs and making new friends. <3

*Extra Woofies*
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13 Responses
  1. We LOVED this post – and this projekht!

    We pawticipated on Thankgiving –

    Mom and I felt ‘a shelter pet is the best thing to happen to a person’


  2. BeBe says:

    Our home is all adopties too. Thank you for persuing the better life for all the homeless pups out there. Bailey and Nala are very lucky!

  3. siku marie says:

    We wish every pup without a home could have an ending as happy as yours and Nala’s…and the White Dog Army’s. The best way to change the world is through awareness and this is a wonderful campaign. Thanks for spreading the word.

  4. At the end of my day, your post is a great way to end it! What touching stories that remind me of the pups in shelters and rescues that need that ‘2nd chance’ at a wonderful life and amazing, dedicated family like you and Nala have!!!

  5. We only adopt in the Link Bartholomew household too. How lucky you and Nala are to have found such good parents. We enjoyed reading your gotcha stories.

  6. 2browndawgs says:

    It is a wonderful story about how you found your furry friends. It is great that they have found such a wonderful home.

    By coincidence I wrote today about our decision to acquire another dog (yes, purchased from a breeder). I hope you will stop by to read another point of view. 🙂

  7. Ellen says:

    I love to hear how people find their fur family. You both found such a wonderful home!

  8. Benny & Lily says:

    Aahhh what great stories
    Benny & Lily

  9. How we enjoyed reading your stories We think you both picked the most wonderful home you could ever have.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  10. Roo says:

    Such wonderful stories about you, your sister Nala and your family Bailey 🙂 Made us all leaky over here. In a good way 😀

    Added the link to The Shelter Pet Project to my site. Thank you for telling us about it! What a special project!

    Waggin at ya,

  11. Priscilla says:

    That’s a lovely story of you and Nala, Bailey! I’m glad that your mom has found both of you and you all form a happy family.

    We got Mika from SPCA three years ago then we adopted Eva’s mom, Hana as she was diagnosed with heart enlargement problem. Her breeder wanted to rehome her so we got her. God bless her that she brought Eva together with her as a surprise Christmas prezzie.

  12. Scrappy says:

    what a beautiful story…it seems you BOTH actually rescued your mom!

    my post today is kind of about that…saving our hearts from all that tough stuff that life brings…thinking especially of Zen’s family and all those who are grieving over the children they never were able to see grow up:(

    Luckily for all of us, life also brings goodness and hope and Nalas and Baileys to lift our spirits and show us how to truly enjoy the moments we DO have together!

  13. Bailey, we really enjoyed reading about how both you and Nala were rescued. It always makes us happy to hear stories like this. All of us kitties were rescued from the feral life. Thank you for spreading the word about rescues as opposed to buying.

    Purrs & Kitty Kisses,
    Cindi Lou and The Kitty Krew