Adopt a Shelter Dog Month barks for attention

By Chloe Carroll, Graphics Staff

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Nymeri, a recently-adopted Siberian Husky from Heartland Animal Shelter, wags her tail as she is being pet. Photo by Sydney Stumme-Berg

With the recent partnership between Glenbrook North PAWS and Heartland Animal Shelter, Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is an opportunity for both organizations to raise awareness and encourage the adoption of shelter dogs.

Senior Ryan Silver, president of PAWS, said October is an especially good time for the community to come together and provide permanent homes for shelter dogs.

According to Stephanie Muller, Heartland Animal Shelter manager, the shelter is beginning to overflow with homeless dogs and cats.

“Heartland is a no-kill shelter.

“If we don’t have the space to take in new animals, then they’re staying out in [euthanizing] shelters or out on the streets,” Muller said.

Silver, who adopted a white Labrador of his own, said he encourages dog adoption because he has firsthand experience with the loyal companionship that dogs offer.

“[My dog] just clicked with [my family],” said Silver. “And he was my mom’s rock when she went through cancer. … Whenever she needed him, he was there.”

Muller said it is important for dog owners to reciprocate the care that their pets provide them.

“You need to have the right home environment for the dog you adopt,” said Muller. “Responsibilities include feeding them, providing basic care, housing [and] medical care, in addition to just providing unconditional love and support. It’s a two-sided relationship.”

Silver said PAWS and Heartland Animal Shelter plan to embark on a new campaign, developing individual relationships between club members and dogs from the shelter. He hopes the campaign will increase adoption as each PAWS member can describe the animal’s personality for those interested in adopting.

“Though Heartland Animal Shelter provides amazing care and a temporary home for the dogs, a house is a much happier place to live in than a tightly packed, concrete-floored, cage stall,” Silver said.

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Adopt a Shelter Dog Month barks for attention