Area residents participating in the Erna R. Badstieber Paws & Claws Adoption Center’s “A Home for the Holidays” program were asked to pick up their animals between Dec. 21 and Dec. 23 of last year and have them returned no later than Jan. 2.
Nobody participating dropped off their animal on time; but, that’s actually exactly what Center Manager Jan Berry hoped for before it all started. Four dogs and one cat – all essentially being test-tried over Christmas – found forever homes through the program, which is designed to reduce kennel numbers for a few days and help people find the furry companion they’ve been wanting.
“Most kept them right until after the first of January and then made the decision to adopt,” Berry said. “So, by Jan. 3 they had all been adopted."
Berry noted how the program – just like with regular adoptions – was designed around finding the right fit for each household. Although there was no requirement saying that somebody taking an animal home for a few days had to adopt, she said that it’s imperative to create as ideal of a situation as possible. For example, a dog known to be a little physical or have any sort of aggressive tendencies wouldn’t be allowed to go into a home with little children.
“We are very careful about which ones go where,” she said of the animals she and her staff oversee. “If we have a dog we think might be a little more difficult then we usually don’t let it go out on this type of a program. But this went great, I was really, really happy with the results.”
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Berry isn’t the only one who feels this way. Ashley Rodriguez, who has been working at the shelter for the past six months, noted how she was ecstatic that several community members stepped up to the plate to provide better futures for several animals.
“In my opinion, I think that it was really nice,” Rodriguez said. “It gave the animals an opportunity to see what a loving home is because sometimes, we find these strays where the families dumped them and didn’t want to come back for them. So I think that this is just a really amazing thing."
Some positives during this holiday season were really needed, as one or more people shattered a portion of the Center’s storefront area the Sunday before Christmas and stole $20 or more from a donation jar. That was a frustrating incident, but Berry emphasized how most people – like those who recently made adoptions – are trying to accomplish some good.
“There are so many good people out there, we can’t let one person or a couple of people sway the way we feel about what goes on here,” Berry said. “There are some really good people out there who support us, and come in and get our animals …”
Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.