Animal shelters are some of the most needy organizations in the country. And they’re some of the most helpful, too. Read about national and local animal shelters here, plus get information about animal shelters in the news. Read why animal shelters are so helpful, learn about the best national and local animal shelters, and get all your animal shelter information here! [Image courtesy]

Archive for the ‘Animal Shelters’ Category

9LIVES® Cat Food Launches Morris’ Rescue Watch, Benefiting ASPCA® & Local Shelters

Posted on September 30th, 2013

Morris the Cat and 9Lives® Cat Food Ask Fans to Feed Cats in Need by Watching & Submitting Funny Cat Videos

Before he had a loving home, a comfy bed, and a slew of squeaky toys, Morris the Cat was adopted from a shelter. Now, the most famous cat-celebrity in the world, Morris the Cat of 9Lives® cat food, is giving back. 9Lives Morris’ Rescue WatchSM is a campaign to generate food donations for local shelter cats by encouraging cat lovers to do what they love and already do anyway– watch cat videos! Anyone can participate by simply watching 9Lives Morris’ Rescue Watch videos on For every view 9Lives® cat food will donate one meal to a shelter, up to 1 million meals!

Additionally, now through October 18, 2013, Morris is encouraging fans to submit their own fun cat videos to for a chance to be one of three winners to each receive a year’s supply* of 9Lives® cat food and a $3,000 donation to a shelter of their choice.

“It’s time to put the hours we spend watching cat videos to good use!” said Morris the Cat. “Whether you’re watching one of the videos or sending me a video of your own kitty on camera, each view will help care for a cat in need.”


Morris and 9Lives® brand cat food are proud to support the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) to help cats most in need.  With the ASPCA’s help, the 9Lives® cat food donation of up to 1 million meals will go to shelters where they can do the most good.

“9Lives Morris’ Rescue Watch is a fun, easy, and interactive way for cat lovers to help feed and care for cats in need across the country,” said Carrie Schliemann, Director of Cat Food Marketing at Del Monte Foods. “With the increased popularity of watching and sharing funny cat videos, we know fans will help make a big impact on the lives of shelter cats. We’re thrilled to partner with the ASPCA in a continued effort to ensure that every cat lives well.”


Throughout the years, Morris has made it his mission to help cats live well. In 2006 and 2007, Morris led Morris’ Million Cat Rescue adoption campaign and traveled the country to raise awareness and facilitate more than 1 million cat adoptions.

Morris and 9Lives® are proud to support the ASPCA®. Founded in 1866, the ASPCA is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. Like the ASPCA, 9Lives® believes that all cats deserve to live well, and living well starts with eating well. 9Lives® cat food offers great taste and nutrition to help keep cats happy and healthy.

To support 9Lives Morris’ Rescue Watch by watching a funny video or submitting your own video, visit For additional information on 9Lives® cat food, visit

*A year’s supply calculated as 15 bags of 13 lb. cat food to be awarded in the form of one (1) Visa® gift card; approximate retail value: $142.50 USD.

PetSmart Charities®, Cleveland Animal Protective League Team Up to Save Pets in Cleveland Area

Posted on September 19th, 2013

Homeless pets in Cleveland will have a better chance of finding a loving home thanks to a partnership between PetSmart Charities® and the Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL).

The two have teamed up, with support from PetSmart®, Inc., to open a  dog & cat adoption center inside the huge PetSmart store at 6870 Ridge Road in Parma.

Since the adoption center’s soft opening on August 26 (last month), 24 pets have found forever homes!!!!

I toured the Everyday Adoption Center (EAC) this summer while it was under construction. It’s amazing. It has plenty of room for everything a shelter would need to facilitate adoptions. The EAC will surely help hundreds of pets find homes each year and I couldn’t be happier to be telling you about it. I hope you will go and visit – and I hope you’ll consider taking home a furry friend while you’re there to be your FOREVER friend!

The Cleveland everyday adoption center is open seven days a week during PetSmart’s operating hours. PSC logo

Amenities include:

-        Kennels for adult dogs, puppies and small dogs

-        Cat and kitten adoption center

-        Play areas for dogs awaiting adoption

-        Meet‐and‐greet areas for prospective adopters and their families to get acquainted with the pet(s) they want to take home

APL logoThe everyday adoption center is part of a nationwide initiative from PetSmart Charities with the goal of saving more homeless pets. Since May 2010, PetSmart Charities has helped save more than 44,000 pets by opening similar adoption centers in nine states.

If you do get the chance, I highly encourage you to venture out to see the awesome EAC. I’d love to say that it’s one-of-a-kind, but, like I said, fortunately PetSmart Charities has several EACs around the nation, including its flagship EAC and others located everywhere from Arizona and Colorado to Delaware and New Jersey.

When you adopt a pet at one of the EACs, you will help your community and reap these rewards:

  • Savings. When you adopt, you’ll get an adoption kit from PetSmart with more than $200 in discounts on products and services.
  • Health. Adoptable pets are current on their vaccinations and 88% of them are already spayed or neutered — saving you time and expense. At the Cleveland EAC, 100 % of the pets are already spayed and neutered.
  • Trust. PetSmart Charities screens adoption partners to ensure they are qualified to arrange adoptions of healthy pets.
  • Inside information. Adoption representatives have cared for, and sometimes even fostered, the pets available. Ask them about a pet’s personality, medical history and habits to help you make the right choice.

So before you take your new adventure in adoption, check out an example of a happy adoption in Shay’s story…

The EAC's entrance: beautiful!

The EAC’s entrance: beautiful!

Shay’s Story

Shay, a five-year-old Alaskan husky/shepherd mix, was the lucky first dog to be adopted from the adoption center on its opening day. Dat Boumitri and her two daughters, Mia and Melissa, recently moved to the United States from Lebanon and sadly had to leave their pets behind to stay with friends and family when they moved. Since arriving in the U.S., they couldn’t wait to adopt a new four-legged friend. Mia, age nine, saved up her first communion money to adopt the dog herself. The family was drawn to the sweet dog because of her unique, differently colored eyes and calm nature.

The new cat and dog everyday adoption center, officially opening on Sept. 28, frees up kennel space at Cleveland APL’s main shelter location so more animals can be helped, and allows adoptable pets to live in a new pet-friendly venue until they are adopted. This 2,200 square foot center will house approximately 41 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. About 20 pets are expected to be adopted from the new adoption center each week.

“Our partnership with Cleveland APL allows us to promote pet adoptions and reduce pet homelessness in the local community,” said Jan Wilkins, executive director, PetSmart Charities, Inc. “We are thrilled to bring this everyday adoption center model to the Cleveland area; each of these adoption centers allows us to save, on average, more than 1,000 pets every year.”

“Shay’s adoption story is just one example of the many pets we’ve already been able to save through our partnership with PetSmart Charities,” said Sharon Harvey, president and CEO, Cleveland APL. “This new center will benefit thousands of deserving cats and dogs by bringing them out into the community where they can find new, loving homes.”

Shay's new family

Shay’s new family

Learn more about PetSmart Charities’ adoption programs by visiting, and follow PetSmart Charities’ pet-saving endeavors through Facebook ( and Twitter (

New pet adoption centers will open soon in California, Illinois, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets. More than 400,000 dogs and cats find homes each year through our adoption program in all PetSmart® stores and our sponsored adoption events. PetSmart Charities grants more money to directly help pets in need than any other animal welfare group in North America, with a focus on funding spay/neuter services that help communities solve pet overpopulation. PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization, separate from PetSmart, Inc.


Re-homing Your Pet; How to Give Up a Pet for Adoption

Posted on March 16th, 2013

When you make the decision to adopt a pet, hopefully you don’t make it lightly and do the very best you can to give your new companion a forever home.  Adopting a dog and then turning around in a few years and dumping him off at the pound because you no longer want to spend the time it takes to take care of him is just plain cruel and only contributes to the problems of pet overpopulation and overcrowding in shelters.

When you make the decision to adopt an animal, you are committing to taking care of them for the rest of their life.

Unfortunately, life is unpredictable and you very well may find yourself in a situation where you absolutely cannot continue caring for your pet. If you happen to find yourself in such a situation, simply giving up your dog to the pound is not a decision you should take lightly.

Rethink Re-homing

Many people give up their dogs because they feel that they don’t have the energy to deal with behavioral problems. Unless age or other physical or mental ailments are preventing you from taking care of them, you have some options. There are a lot of things you can do to change the unwanted behavior. Consult with a reputable trainer or consider going through obedience training with your dog. Training is just as much about training the owner as it is about training the dog so take some time to work together to achieve the results you are after.

Consider what is truly in the best interest of your dog. If you are considering rehoming your dog because you are in a situation that forces you to move into a small apartment, ask yourself if living in an apartment with you is worse than going to the shelter and risking not ever being adopted back out. The answer is likely to be no. You can always take your pup on long walks outside so he gets the exercise he needs.

Find a New Forever-Home

If circumstances absolutely won’t let you continue caring for your dog, try to adopt him out to your own contacts first. It’s likely that some of your family and friends have a connection with your dog already and you will know that he is going to a good home. is another avenue you can take to find him a new home while you are talking to friends and family.

Don’t just give him up to the first person who wants to take him. Make sure he is going to a good home first. Screen potential adopters and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. You may even want to ask for references and visit their home to make sure you are giving your dog up to a good home. Most potential adopters will understand and if they don’t, there is probably something going on that wouldn’t make them the best match for your dog.

You may not find your dog the perfect forever-home right away but don’t get discouraged and give up! Finding a new home for your pet will take a considerable amount of time and effort but finding the best home for your dog is worth it.

Shelter as a Last Resort

You should only take your pet to a shelter as a last resort. Remember that the number of animals that need homes far outweighs the number of people looking to adopt so when you take your pet to a shelter you run the risk of him never being adopted out.

Most shelters are running at full capacity and often have to euthanize other animals to make room for the incoming ones. Before you choose a shelter do your homework. Does the shelter use euthanasia as a form of animal control or do they classify themselves as a “no-kill” shelter? How do they classify adoptable pets versus non-adoptable pets? Even if your pet seems perfectly adoptable to you, a shelter might deem them as non-adoptable because of something as simple as a cold or tooth decay. These are all things you should consider before signing over ownership of your pet.

If you do take your dog to the pet shelter, don’t lie about why you’re there. Saying that you are giving him up because he isn’t good with kids or cats when that isn’t true will only make the adoption process more difficult.  The more information the shelter has, the more likely they will be able to adopt out your dog.

Author Bio:

Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for nature and a soft spot for Thai food.  He currently freelances for, which specializes in dog doors. In his spare time he enjoys taking his dogs Sam and Bosco to the local dog park. His dogs often tire of fetch before he does.

What to do if You Find a Stray

Posted on February 26th, 2013

If you have ever lost a pet for a prolonged period of time, you will know the unbridled joy that comes with being reunited. You will also know that in the majority of cases the main catalyst for returning the pet to its owner are the altruistic actions of the good people who have ensured your animal makes its way back to you safely.

So it follows that if you find a stray animal that is lost, disorientated and hungry, you would, I hope, try to look after it as best you can and return it to its owner.

But often it’s not as simple as just scooping the animal up and taking it back home. As a domestic animal that has been abandoned or lost, it is likely to experiencing significant stress and fear and this may lead it to misunderstand your virtuous actions as a threat. You may actually further endanger the animal (and yourself) by rushing in to help!

If you do come across a stray animal you need to think calmly and rationally to try and ensure that you pursue the best course of action for the animal itself.  So here is a summary of what exactly you should do to help the stray…

Safety First

As alluded to above, your first thought should be about the safety of the situation, both for yourself and for the animal in question. Take note of the environment; if there is a lot of traffic in the area your attempts to catch the animal may end in a dangerous accident.Stray

Recognize the Signs

Secondly, consider the appearance and behavior of the animal itself. If it’s very skinny then coaxing it out with food is an obvious tactic, although feeding it more than a tablespoon of food prior to having it examined by a vet is a bad idea. If the poor critter is very jumpy then you need to be extremely patient, whereas you should stay away and call the relevant authorities if the animal is being particularly aggressive.

Home or Shelter

The next step is to try and restrain the animal and to lead it back to your house or your car. Make sure to talk in a reassuring voice to the animal as you approach so that it does not get the impression you are trying to sneak up on it. If you cannot restrain the animal, you need to call your local authorities.

Here you are faced with two possibilities: to take the animal to the nearest shelter or to take it home and contact the shelter from there to see if anyone has reported the animal missing.

* It is not a good idea to drive anywhere with an unrestrained dog or cat in your car as they may become aggressive and panicked when you start the engine, and may be hard to extract after the journey is over, so make sure that you have spent time with the animal and made sure of its temperament before attempting to move it.

If You Take the Animal Home:

If you do decide to take the pet home and search out the owners yourself, the first thing you should do is read up on the laws in your local area. You may, by law, be obliged to inform the relevant authorities or even hand the animal over

I can’t stress how important it is that if the animal is starved and malnourished, you get it to the vet as quickly as possible.

If you can keep the animal in your house while trying to do your best private investigator impression, here are the steps you should take:

1. Check the animal for any signs of identification such as a collar or take the animal to the vet to have it scanned for a microchip.

2. Take a good look around your local area to see if there are any missing pet flyers up.

3. Make your own posters that explain where you found the animal and where you are keeping it (although don’t give out your address) and your contact information including a phone number and an email. Place your flyers within the vicinity of where the animal was found.

4. Regularly contact your local shelter to see if the animal has been reported missing.

Keep a record of all the steps you have taken so that you can prove that you have taken all reasonable steps in trying to locate the owners. This is important in the event that you decide to keep the animal yourself. If you do decide to take the stray in, stop for a moment to consider whether you are really up to the huge commitment that having a pet entails.

If you manage to reunite the animal with its owner then all the better, but even if you end up taking it in or getting it to a shelter, you have still given it a better chance of living a happy, contented live in the embrace of a loving family.


Louise Blake is a first time mother and writer for pet sites such as Petmeds, who provide pet products and medication to pet owners.

Trouble for Booming Pet Sector…?

Posted on December 22nd, 2012

The $53 billion Americans are spending on pets and pet businesses will skyrocket in 2013. But experts warn the boom is empowering ruthless puppy mills. Take steps to protect yourself and the animals.

$350 million spent on pet costumes in October? We did, according to the National Retail Federation.

Despite the lingering economic crisis casting a shadow over the holidays, pet spending is exploding. From $37.3 billion in 2001 to nearly $53 billion in 2012, a 42 percent increase in 11 years according to a 2012 APPA study. But experts warn the trend is causing unprepared pet buyers to get in over their heads, which is creating opportunities for shady operations.

You’re not seeing double. Wugadogs are the toy versions of a real-life Boston Terrier named Angus. They’re part of a nationwide ‘Petrepreneuer’ trend in pet commerce.

And despite the gloomy outlook for jobs and overall finances, pet spending is rocketing into 2013 and showing no signs of slowing down.

So why the shopping spree? “People are more interested in pets than ever before,” says San Diego veterinarian Dr. Jessica Vogelsang. Her statement reflects the long-held belief that pets improve human health. How? A neat little chemical called oxytocin, says Kit Yarrow, who chairs the psychology department of Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Oxytocin is a naturally-occurring hormone in our bodies that makes us feel good and evaporates stress. We get a charge whenever we think about, play with, or snuggle up to our pets, says Yarrow. And in these unstable times, a feeling like that is more than welcome to stay awhile.

Pet businesses skyrocket in 2012

The trend is titilating consumers partly because of new pet-focused businesses and services. Buffalo, NY-based ex-graphic artist turned toy designer, Darrin Wilson, 44, agrees. “I think we will see more of a focus on pets in 2013,” he says. “Especially if the economy remains tepid. Pets give us a safe place to hide.”

Wilson created a successful plush toy modeled after his own rambunctious Boston terrier. Interest in his toys, Wugadogs, began in July when he and his wife gave over 300 of the fuzzy critters to the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He has now grown the line to include five more Wugadog designs in 2013.

In Danvers, MA, Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas takes pet devotion into the pews. The Perfect Paws Pet Ministry, which marked its second anniversary in April 2012, usually sets aside dog cupcakes and chewies for pooches who accompany their owners for Sunday service. In the Parish hall, you’ll see folding chairs. “It’s easier to clean,” explains the minister.

‘Petrepreneurialism’ is not just limited to creative pet owners and clergy; the trend has taken over big name companies. Paul Mitchell, Harley Davidson and Old Navy are now offering lines of pet products ranging from dog shampoo, pet attire, and name-brand toys to gourmet treats and food.

With all this attention on pets, and the surge of pet-focused spending, the lure of a cute kitten or puppy to a first-time buyer can be too tempting to resist, especially if there are children involved. And that’s where all the cuteness can get ugly.

Puppy mills thrive on uninformed buyers

Many first-timers don’t know that the kennel or pet store they’re buying from is being honest. “Federal care standards are so minimal and enforcement so irregular that licensed kennels still include many so-called puppy mills, which breed and house animals in inhumane conditions,” says Cori Menkin, senior director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals puppy mills campaign. “Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills,” she says.

According to one well-known animal rights organization, the premium cost consumers pay for pets out of a pet store pales in comparison to the cruelty and abuse the animals suffer in the bowels of a puppy mill.

Puppy mills, according to PETA, can consist of anything from small cages made of wood and wire mesh to tractor-trailer cabs to simple tethers attached to trees. In the April 13, 2009 issue of Newsweek magazine, a Pennsylvania breeder confessed that he kept his dogs in cages because it was “the only way to keep a lot of dogs—to keep them penned up.”

In 2010, Chris Sweeney of DVM Newsmagazine reported in a feature entitled, “Inside the Black Market: Puppy Smuggling,” confirmed that dealers looking to avoid releveant U.S. laws concerning puppy mills can do so relatively easily by simply picking up and moving elsewhere to continue to do business.

While investigating what he called this “multi-million dollar industry,” Capt. Aaron Reyes of the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority was horrified when he found “puppies stuffed in speaker boxes, screwed into the car door panels and wrapped in blankets with their little legs taped to their bodies and stuffed under seats.”

According to The Humane Society of the United States, there may be as many as 10,000 puppy mills operating across the United States.

To avoid empowering these malicious operations, one of the most important steps to take is diligence. Instead of a pet store, consumers may want to look at either a reputable local breeder or an adoption group, says Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Humane Society’s puppy mills campaign. If we can stop the flow of money to these individuals we can help end these practices.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have pet buyers who discover their newly-purchased pet isn’t for them. “Live animals aren’t often returnable, and so they may end up at shelters when the family discovers, say, that their new puppy is too energetic or that baby Easter bunny grows into a rabbit,” says Kahn.

Adopt a dog from a reputable adoption group to avoid puppy mill dogs. Also by carefully researching the breeders that supply pet stores.

Patti Strand, national director of the National Animal Interest Alliance, offers these tips:

  1. Ask the pet store for detailed information on the breeder and their location.
  2. Check those records against its inspections at the USDA’s website.

With homework you can protect yourself and deny puppy mill operators the cash they need.

But despite the dark side of this skyrocketing interest in pets, there is a light side: many abandoned animals will go to good homes thanks to committed pet owners. “Animals have always been a big part of our lives as humans,” says Wilson. “They have often been the only medicine that can truly cleanse our souls. It’s only right we adore them as much as they adore us.”

(Thanks to for this story.)