By Erica Greenfield
Once upon a time there was an adorable Bichon Frise puppy. She lived a happy life under the care of her family, but all of that changed the day she was hit by a car. Left with severe injuries and an injured leg, her family refused to pay for her medical care and abandoned her at a shelter.
Although this story is heartbreaking, it has a happy ending because this puppy was rescued by a compassionate woman and nursed back to health. Despite her sad start, she now lives a happy life full of dog park adventures, belly rubs and all the treats a puppy could ask for.
Unfortunately, this is just one story out of the millions of abused and abandoned animals in need of a home. Choosing to adopt a pet is the beginning of a wonderful journey, and whether you visit a shelter, rescue group or adoption event there are pets in all shapes and sizes waiting to be loved and cared for.
If you’re ready for the journey but unsure of where to start, here are some suggestions for great shelters and upcoming events in the Miami area to get you on your way.
THE HOPE EXPRESS SUMMER TOUR: Brought to you by Miami-Dade County Animal Services, the “Helping Our Pets Everyday” (HOPE) Express will continue its summer tour through the month of August. Made possible by a grant from the ASPCA, this mobile adoption trailer will travel around the city to host multiple adoption events. This weekend’s event will be held on Sunday August 10 at Tropical Park (2900 SW 40 Street) from 10 am to 2 pm. If you’re lucky, you may get the chance to meet Jack, a 9-month-old American Bulldog puppy who is available for adoption and is a true sweetheart. For more information on the HOPE Express, please visit www.animals.miamidade.gov .
HUMANE SOCIETY OF GREATER MIAMI: This no-kill animal shelter has been saving homeless animals in Miami-Dade County since 1936. Located in North Miami Beach, pet-owner hopefuls can visit the Soffer and Fine Adoption Center and visit with multiple pets that are in need of a family. All of their dogs will be spayed or neutered, microchipped and set up with vaccination dates. Although adoption fees are $95, they are having an August “Hump Day” special where the adoption fee will be 50% off every Wednesday this month! For more information, visit http://www.humanesocietymiami.org/adopt-a-dog/ .
PETSMART SUNDAYS: Every Sunday, Colonial Palms PetSmart (US1 and SW 136 Street) hosts their biggest adoption event of the week. Dogs and volunteers come together for a public meet and greet. Only pre-approved applicants will be allowed to participate in same-day adoptions, but events are open to the public. This weekend’s event will be Sunday August 10 from 11 am to 4 pm. For other local PetSmart adoption events please contact your local store: http://pets.petsmart.com/adoptions/
Some say owning a pet is a lot of work (and those people are correct!). Not only does caring for a pet require proper grooming and healthcare, but animals require patience and love.
Sure, it can be challenging but we promise you this: there are few greater joys in life than the unconditional love of an animal. Happy adopting!