Shelter animals deserve a good home

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

The alarm was blaring Thursday morning. I groaned.

But as I rolled to the side to hit the snooze button, there was a little black nose peeking over the edge of the bed that made me smile. My hand found the head attached to the nose and rubbed the soft fur between my dog’s ears.

Ajax has lived with us for just more than a year.  When we adopted him, he was about two days shy of being put down in the Troy City pound.

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My husband was away on a trip with the university football team and I was volunteering at a Pike Animal Shelter Coalition adoption event when I met Ajax, who at that time didn’t have a name.

His former family had moved away and left him and a female dog behind to fend for themselves. Neighbors reported the homeless dogs to the police and shortly after, the female was adopted.

We had two cats, but no dog, and had spoken about opening our home to a cuddly pooch. When I saw Ajax’s nose poke out from the back of a Troy Police K-9 transport, I knew he belonged with us. I walked him on a leash and sent picture texts of him to my husband for his nod of approval.

Now, two years later, I know that nose that now peeks over the bed in the mornings was meant to live at our home.

Ajax was a pound puppy, albeit he was probably about 4 years old when we adopted him. But just because he came from the pound doesn’t mean he didn’t deserve a home.

He’s humble, well-behaved, grateful, loving, happy, fiercely loyal and is even a little afraid of our cats. He is a perfect member of the family.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that six to eight million dogs and cats enter shelters each year and three to four million are euthanized.

That’s a staggering number of homeless animals and if you have room in your heart and home to take an animal in, please adopt, rather than purchase from breeders.

I know that sometimes people have their minds set on a specific type of dog or cat, and that’s OK. More than 25 percent of all shelter animals are purebred. There are also rescue groups for specific breeds that are easy to find online.

Ajax is a German shepherd who came from the most unlikely of places, the Troy City pound. You can find your perfect match, too, at a local shelter.

Every morning when Ajax’s nose greets me, I’m glad we did.