Today is Smokey's 8th Birthday
But last year, on this same day, Smokey was just on his way to meet his new family.
Three days earlier, Smokey's very best friend, his human surrendered him to the West Valley Animal Shelter in Arizona.
Smokey, like many of the dogs at this "shelter" was given just 3 days to find a home before being "e-listed" or euthanized. Unfortunately many dogs are unable to be themselves due to the overly stressful surroundings. Many are depressed and beyond scared
Smokey wasn't what most people would look for in a dog to adopt. He was over 80lbs, had missing hair (demodex), crusty eyes from his sores, and although he would always wag his tail, he was very nervous and hesitant to warm up.
But then a miracle happened... Someone spoke for him when they saw his photo on the Friends of Arizona's Shelter Animals Facebook rescue page!
And just like that, he passed his evaluation with flying colors!
I will be the first to admit that when I saw his video, and saw that he was nervous and unsure, I wasn't confident that he'd be so docile and passive toward almost everything. But nothing phased him, and so began his journey to California!
A very lovely volunteer stepped up and took Smokey on his "Freedom Ride" to bring him closer to California.
Smokey shared his freedom ride with another dog who was e-listed at the time named Marley.
Smokey arrived at his rescuers home and spent some time settling in before I picked him up and brought him to his new FOREVER home!
Smokey was the sweetest dog from the moment he arrived. He was a bit shy, and didn't show much energy due to the medication he was on for his demodex, but he socialized well and settled right into his new home with his new brother and sister.
After a few vet visits (Thanks to the Grand Animal Hospital), a new prescription, loads of medicated baths, and a good diet ...
Smokey was back to himself!
The perfect addition to our family! Even Strudel the cat thinks so.
An amazing roadie when it's time to travel for work!
A watcher, of my every single move (literally, he never leaves me).
A good friend to incoming rescues ...
He went to his first horse show.
Slept through his first movie.
Had his first snow cone from Snowopolis
Ate his first (and last) sandal.
Celebrated his first Christmas with us!
And took his first family photo!
Now we are celebrating Smokey's 8th Birthday. None of us are quite sure when his birthday really is, but since September the 30th, 2014 is when I adopted him ... We're celebrating his birthday on September 30th from here on out.
Adopt don't shop, friends! Every dog deserves a home. Unfortunately we don't always know why dogs are in the pound or end up in the situations that they end up in. In Smokey's case, his owner loved him and did perhaps the most selfless thing any loving pet owner could do, he turned Smokey in when he realized that he could no longer provide Smokey with the medical care that he needed. I can only hope that somehow his owner has heard through social media or something that Smokey is in the most loving home, that he's spoiled daily and is living very good life. Perhaps this post will reach enough shares to get to Smokey's previous owner.
According to ASPCA.ORG
Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.
Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.
Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.
About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
It's estimated that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat. (Source: APPA)
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 40% of pet owners learned about their pet through word of mouth.
The majority of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members. 28% of dogs are purchased from breeders, and 29% of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues.
More than 35% of cats are acquired as strays. (Source: APPA)
According to the American Humane Association, the most common reasons why people relinquish or give away their dogs is because their place of residence does not allow pets (29%), not enough time, divorce/death and behavior issues (10% each). The most common reasons for cats are that they were not allowed in the residence (21%) and allergies (11%).
Nothing will change unless we do.