By Heather Skolnick
We’ve all heard the adage about how a dog is Man’s Best Friend, but really, in today’s age, shouldn’t it really be amended to be Everyone’s Best Friend? As a dog owner myself, I know I believe it. And this community is certainly a great one to raise a canine child, with its abundance of parks and trails for our four-legged friends to run around and play.
While there are many options for a family to find a dog (or cat!), one terrific, local option to consider is Adopt-A-Dog, a recognized charitable organization based in Armonk. The organization’s stated mission is to “Save, Socialize and Secure Loving Homes for Unwanted or Abandoned Dogs and Cats,” according to their website.
With so many unwanted pets, adopting from Adopt-A-Dog is a wonderful way to bring a pet into your family. Adopt-A-Dog just celebrated its 35th anniversary at the end of April. In their 35 years, over 13,500 animals have been saved and placed in loving homes. That’s an incredible number of animals who found forever homes thanks to Adopt-A-Dog’s wonderful efforts. This amazing statistic can be attributed to three friends who saw a need in their community to address the growing number of dogs in need of a home.
Executive Director Kristen Rice explained the organization in these words: “The dogs here have lost their homes, their families, and their world. These poor animals don’t know where their families are, or why there were put in this situation. That’s why we go above and beyond to accommodate the needs of every animal entering our shelter. We focus on all aspects of our animal’s quality of life to ensure a smooth transition into an adoptive home.” And they sure do.
Local resident Felice Erlich brought a new pet into her home about two-and-a-half years ago from Adopt-A-Dog. Her family’s experience with the organization started when she and her daughter began volunteering.
That is when they saw first-hand how amazing and loving the staff were to the animals. Felice said of the staff, “They were very clearly doing what they loved.” Felice and her family ultimately took home Dali, a two-year-old dog who had recently undergone surgery. Felice remembers, “The staff was so dedicated that they even insisted on her staying on at the shelter for one more week after her surgery so that they could be sure she was ready to ‘go home.’” Felice’s daughter was so moved by her own experience with Adopt-A-Dog that she began her own fundraising campaign called ‘Sarah’s Blanket.’ She makes pet blankets with all the proceeds going directly to Adopt-A-Dog.
There are many ways to be involved with this wonderful organization. First, of course, if you are looking to add a pet to your family, please consider Adopt-A-Dog. Fostering a pet is another option. This shorter term commitment can be for a puppy or kitten to an older dog or cat. Sponsoring a pet financially is a great choice if you want to support the organization but are not ready to add a pet to your family. Or, volunteer! Time can be spent with the animals or in other ways. Adopt-A-Dog also has an Amazon Wishlist–items can be purchased directly through Amazon and will help support Adopt-A-Dog’s needs. Adopt-A-Dog is a wonderful asset to our community. People come from both near and far to find their new best friends right here in Armonk!
Heather and her husband became New Castle residents nine years ago, at which time canine child Freddie joined their family. Since then, a daughter and twin sons followed suit. When Heather isn’t spending time with her family (including Freddie!), she works for a footwear company.