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October: Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

This month is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and the Healthy Paws Foundation continues on its mission to help homeless pets across the country. To date, the Foundation has donated over $2.2 million to pet rescue organizations.

The Healthy Paws Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides cash grants to no-kill pet adoption nonprofits for life-saving vaccines, spay/neuter surgeries, medical treatments, food, housing, and other needs of homeless pets in their care. The foundation is funded by Healthy Paws’ “Every Quote Gives Hope” and “Refer-A-Friend” programs. Learn more about the mission to save more homeless pets and how you can help.

Help homeless pets by referring your friends to Healthy Paws

For every completed application, the Healthy Paws Foundation will donate $25 to homeless pets. Whether you’re a current Healthy Paws customer or not, you can use our referral program to refer your friends to Healthy Paws. Learn more and sign up for the Refer-A-Friend program here.

Resources for new pet parents and pet adoption

If you’re looking to grow your fur family by adding a new dog, here are some helpful resources when considering adopting from a pet rescue organization.

An Adoption Success Story: A Shy Greyhound

David, a Seattle resident and Healthy Paws customer is pet parent to Candra, a six-year-old shy greyhound that he adopted from Greyhound Pets Inc. in Woodinville, Wash., which specializes in rehoming dogs used in the dog track racing industry.

As someone who grew up with parents who taught him rescuing was the right thing to do, David and his family have rescued multiple dogs over the years.

“It’s like recycling; how can we do our little part to make the world a better place? Rescuing a dog who needs help versus introducing a new one to the world seems like the logical thing to do,” he said.

As a city-dweller, he chose a greyhound because they do well with short walks, love to sleep and are content inside.

Candra has some quirks. She suffers from separation anxiety and is territorial of her house. She feels most connected to the people she knows, but anyone can win her over with a butt rub or a treat. 

Despite the challenges, Candra is endearing and loyal. And bringing joy to a hard-to-please dog is satisfying in its own way.

“She’s not the easiest dog but learning how to keep her happy and the reward you get from the soulful look she gives you and the tail wags is worth all the effort,” David said.

The adoption process

Greyhound Pets thoroughly vetted David and his partner with a house visit, neighborhood tour, and questions to gauge their readiness.

“They pointed out things we’d need to consider – like where to put the food bowl, which parks had fences that were suitably higher for a greyhound to be off leash and more,” he said.

Lessons learned about adopting a greyhound

Within a month of adopting her, they left Candra with a pet sitter for a weekend trip. David had to return the next day to “rescue” her when she became too anxious.

She was also terrified of stairs and had to be carried up and down. It took two months for her to stop peeing in the house. She was also grabbing stuff off the countertops and spreading items around the house – sometimes chewed up.  When put in a crate she would try to bust out – chewing on it and shredding her bed.

David researched separation anxiety and learned from watching her on video that she was only a wreck for the first 15-20 minutes, then would go to sleep. He learned that leaving without making a fuss is best for anxious dogs. They give her a chewable treat and “sneak out” while she is distracted.

Advice for would-be rescue adopters

After rescuing three dogs, David said even challenging ones mellow out and seeing them progress tightens the bond. Once the dogs know they have a safe home, they learn to respect and trust their pet parents.

“You have to stick it out, and it’ll be so worth it. Just go into it knowing you’ll need to spend more time with them upfront. Try to do half-days at home if you go to an office for work. You can work up to leaving them for a full day, but it’ll take time for the dog to be comfortable,” he said.