Imagine watching the dozens of daily visitors walk past your kennel when all you want is their love. You bark and bark hoping to get their attention, but instead it frightens them away. You lay in your room hour after hour wondering when your person will find you. You get walked, treats and the love of the staff and volunteers, but you dream of the day you have a family and bed to call your own.
When you come to the SPCA Albrecht Center, you’ll find animals of all different breeds, sizes, ages, colors and personalities. The wonderful thing is there is a home out there for each and every one of these unique pets. However, there are some that wait much longer for their forever home. Whether it’s because they are senior pets, bark at the passersby or cower at your touch, these animals are overlooked day after day.
Though we are a no-kill shelter and these animals will be with us until they find their new families, it is just as detrimental to their health to sit in a shelter for months at a time. No matter how many walks or cuddles or enrichment toys, it has been proven that an animal’s mind will start to decline from shelter life after a period of time.
The animals most at risk to this mental health deterioration are the ‘misfits’ – the ones that are overlooked each day. Our staff and volunteers do their best to educate our supporters and adopters about the animals with particular needs. However, we understand that not every family is able to support the needs of these pets and, of course, we don’t fault the adopters that need an “easier” pet. Like I said, there is a home for each of our adoptable animals, from the puppies, kittens and fluffy, small pets to our large or single-pet dogs and cats.
This article is a call to action for adopters that are able to consider adopting one of our incredible ‘misfits’ and to introduce our readers to some of these unique and amazing adoptable pets:
Mae is a three and a half year old black lab mix. She is heartworm positive, but the cost of treatment is covered by the SPCA Albrecht Center - heartworms are very treatable and Mae will still live a long and healthy life. She was adopted from the SPCA Albrecht Center, but was returned due to her anxiety. Mae loves her toys and cares for them like they are her babies. They help keep her calm, especially during storms.
Don’t let Mae’s instinct to cower when she first meets a human worry you. All she needs is someone who will take the time to approach her slowly, allowing her to warm up to them. When she does, she will lean up against her human to feel safe and there are no doubts that she will be a loyal companion for the rest of her days.
You may have seen Jack Frost all over social media for “Jack Week.” He’s basically famous, but he hasn’t let it go to his head. He is still a loveable, two and a half year old pitty-mix that simply had a bad past. Jack came to the SPCA Albrecht Center from a cruelty case in which he and two other dogs were left outside in freezing temperatures. He was extremely malnourished, but with the quick action of staff and volunteers, he fully recovered and is better than ever.
He is incredibly smart and works with some of our dedicated volunteers on training. He has already learned to sit, go ‘sleepy,’ rollover and touch. He loves his time with humans, but doesn’t love the idea of living with other animals. It typically deters adopters when they meet an adoptable animal that needs to be in a single pet home, but who needs more than one pet when they have the love of a million in one?
Cali Lee Rose is our longest resident cat. She has been at the SPCA Albrecht Center for over a year and a half! She is a gorgeous two year old, black and orange tortoiseshell that loves to bask in the sun. She is housed in one of our cattery rooms with four roommates that she gets along with very well. Cali is the perfect example of an adoptable pet that has simply been overlooked. She gets along with other animals, humans of all ages and is an absolute sweetheart. However, her love of spending time on the cattery patio doesn’t get her noticed as much as her other roomies.
These are just a few of the ‘misfits’ and long-term residents at the SPCA Albrecht Center. They deserve their second chance with a loving family and just want someone to give them the time and care they need. If you are considering adopting and are in a position to take in a pet with particular needs, all we ask is to take the time to visit with them and talk with our staff about their unique personalities. They need you.
If you have adopted one of our pets with special needs, please let us know how they’re doing and share your stories by submitting to our Happy Tails at www.letlovelive.org/happy-tails.
Claire Roberson is the SPCA Albrecht Center’s Development Director. She is an Aiken native, but spent some college years in Charleston, interning with Charleston Animal Society. She is excited to now be working in animal welfare in her hometown and is proud of the community efforts to better the lives of Aiken’s animals. Her family includes her husband, Logan, a SPCA adopted black lab, Ozzy, a SPCA adopted Siamese mix, Luna, and Claire’s first love, Anakin, a 17-pound rescued Maine Coon mix.