Adopt A Shelter Pet Day: Shelter Pets Rock!

Today is Adopt A Shelter Pet Day and we’re focused on pet adoption. I say every day should be adopt a shelter pet day! I’ve heard people talk about shelter pets as though they’re less than, not as good as a purebred or they’re in a shelter because they’re damaged in some way.

Actually that isn’t the case at all for a lot of shelter animals. Pets end up in shelters or rescues for many reasons. Their guardians pass away, or the family may be moving somewhere and can’t take the pet with them for some reason. There are many reasons pets end up in shelters, but it doesn’t make the pet “damaged goods”.

adopt a shelter pet
Bo (left), my first pet adoption and Jessie, my second

Yes, there are some very ugly cases of abuse, neglect, hoarding that lead to pets ending up in shelters. These pets may often have health and behavioral problems, but the shelters and rescue groups that take in these cases take the steps necessary to nurse the pets back to health and do the work to help the pets trust people again.

Want A Purebred?

If you’re determined to have a purebred, rest assured it’s possible to find one in a shelter or rescue group. At least 25% of the pets in shelters are purebred. There are also breed specific rescues in many areas, if there’s a particular breed you’re interested in adding to your family.

Why Pets End Up In Shelters

Unfortunately, pets often end up in shelters because owners didn’t do the homework before getting a dog or cat. Having a pet is very rewarding, but they also need love, attention and care. It’s important to know the investment of time required for exercise and grooming, as well as associated costs.

Take a hard look at all aspects of pet ownership and be 100% sure you can cover the pet’s needs before bringing them home. It’s heartbreaking for the pet and often for the family to give a pet up.

Why I Choose To Adopt a Shelter Pet

All of my pets have been shelter babies, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Shelter pets know they’re lucky to have forever homes, and when given a chance will shower love on their people.

adopt a shelter pet
The crew: Marty (left), J.R. (top right) and April (lowe right)
My Love Affair With Cats Began With Bo

My love affair with cat companions began with my orange tabby boy Bo (top picture) in 2002.  I’d just purchased a house, but was working all day. With that schedule, adopting a cat seemed like a viable option.

I went to PetSmart (they have adoption events every weekend) to visit the adoptable cats.  There were a couple that were nice, but I didn’t feel a strong connection to them. I decided to think about it and visit again the next day.

Upon arriving that next day, in the first cage was an orange tabby boy.  He saw me and immediately started talking to me!  He kept focused on me as I walked around. I stopped at his cage and reviewed his information. Eight years ago, name of Bo. He continued to plead with me, “please, pick me!”  At that point, I knew he’d picked me, I couldn’t leave him there, so he came home with me that day.

For the next nine years, Bo taught me so much about cats.  I learned how loving and fun cats are, he was my teacher in so many ways!  Forever my “soul kitty,” I was devastated when he passed away. As a lasting tribute to Bo, this site was established in his honor.


When I adopted my cat Marty in 2011, he was in a shelter that euthanized pets if the shelter was full.  My cat Bo (pictured above) had passed away a couple of months earlier.  I knew I would adopt another cat, but didn’t feel emotionally ready when I saw Marty online. Because of his extreme shyness, he would hide would potential adopters visited, so Marty didn’t have much of a chance of being adopted.  For this reason, he was on the list to be euthanized.

Marty met all the criteria I was looking for in a cat, but the timing wasn’t the best. Then, as though Bo was sending me a message, I knew he would want me to help another cat. With that in mind, I went to the shelter to adopt Marty.

He’s still quite shy, but he’s made great progress since joining the family. Marty is the Fully Feline spokescat, and carries on the mission for his brother Bo.


When I left corporate life in 2007, it was the right time to adopt a dog. Bo was a very friendly and social cat, so I thought he would be ok with the idea.

I began searching online.  The dog needed to be small, and definitely cat-friendly. One day, I found a toy poodle.  Her name was Jessie, she was a white toy poodle, 8 years old, rescued from a puppy mill.

When I met her, I fell in love instantly.  She was full of spirit, jumping up and down in her kennel, excited at the prospect of finally getting out and going home.  She came home with me that day.  Bo looked at me as if to say “what have you done?” when I brought her home. They grew to be casual friends.

Coming from a puppy mill, Jessie didn’t get much in the way of medical or dental care.  Her teeth were not good, so she had to have several pulled.  Through that, she bounced back quickly.  Although tiny in stature, she was huge in spirit and spunk.

I grew to have immense love and respect for Jessie.  She was a great little companion, and when she passed away in 2015, my heart was broken.

J. R. and April

Following the death of my beloved Jessie in 2015 (pictured top above), months passed and my deep sadness remained.  Jessie turned me into a poodle lover, so I knew adopting another poodle was in the cards for me.  I faithfully checked online for poodles available for adoption and met one.  She was very fearful and was going to need a lot of care to be the dog she deserved to be.  A sweetie, definitely, but the adoption process didn’t go smoothly and I took that as a sign she wasn’t the right match.

I kept looking online, and one day I saw a pair of miniature poodles available from a local foster based rescue group.  Not wanting to adopt a pair, I hesitated.  I wanted one dog since I already had my cat Marty.

The pair continued to pop into my thoughts, so I decided to set up a meet and greet with them.  Sweet dogs, meeting all the criteria I was looking for.  In checking with the rescue, I asked about the possibility of adopting one of the pair. They’d had a rough go of it before being rescued, the rescue wanted the pair to stay together.

I took a few days to think about it, went to meet them again and decided to take a chance with the pair.  Things haven’t always been easy, but since adopting them in 2015, they’ve become an integral part of our family.

Both dogs have blossomed and it’s been great to see how their confidence and personalities have grown.  Marty’s even decided they aren’t so bad, for dogs!


My adoptive pet companions have added so much to my life.  They’ve changed my life forever! Even though our site indicates we’re all about cats, we love dogs too and want ALL homeless pets to find good homes.

If you’re looking for a pet, please check, or local rescue group sites and/or Facebook for pets to adopt in your area.

Adopt a shelter pet.  It will change their life…..and yours!












Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.