Pets in Need of Loving Homes Find Families Through PetSmart Charities National Adoption Week
More than five million pets enter shelters and rescue organizations each year. Those who stay longest are often pets with special needs, such as living with chronic illnesses, physical differences such as loss of sight or limbs or behavioral needs, often stemming from their upbringing (some pets prefer rural to urban environments, others do better as the only animal in the home). To help pets of all varieties find loving homes, PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in the U.S., aims to create connections for animals in need of homes during its National Adoption Week March 6-12, 2023.
During PetSmart Charities National Adoption Week, potential pet parents will have the chance to interact with adoptable pets from animal welfare organizations at local PetSmart stores. Visitors will have the chance to spend time with animals including cats, kittens, dogs and puppies in safe and spacious areas. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help potential adopters learn more about the pets they are interested in and ensure they feel confident in caring for them.
For Heidi Marston, director of pet placement at PetSmart Charities, this mission feels especially personal. Marston adopted her dog Gatsby, a 6-year-old blind and deaf Great Dane mix, after touring a shelter for her role at PetSmart Charities. Marston originally took a video of sweet Gatsby to send to a friend who was looking to adopt. But after showing the video to her partner, Gatsby had an instant home with Marston and her family.
Despite being blind and deaf, Gatsby enjoys life just like any other dog. He quickly learned the layout of Marston’s home with some help from sensory items and innovative accommodations to help him navigate and now enjoys running and playing in the yard. Gatsby has taught Marston much about trust and adaptability and despite the challenges he’s endured, Gatsby is the most kind, loving and social dog she’s ever met. Marston hopes others will see the joy adopting a pet—special needs or otherwise—can bring to their homes and consider bringing home a new family member.
“National Adoption Week is an ideal opportunity to give a shelter pet what they need most—people to love,” said Marston. “Many shelters across the country are full and pets of all kinds are waiting longer today for their families. I’ve always been drawn to pets with special needs because they have so much to teach us much. These resilient pets have a different way of connecting with people and that bond is often like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.”
Loving homes make significant impacts on pets and families alike. If you’d like to consider adopting a pet with special needs, Marston recommends the following tips before heading out to local National Adoption Week events:
- Ask the adoption representatives about pets with special needs; see if you’re that missing puzzle piece that helps them to thrive.
- Be honest with yourself about what you can do and what your home has to offer. If you don’t find the perfect fit on the first try, that’s okay! Your local adoption groups will be thrilled to help you find the right pet.
- Keep an open mind! Oftentimes, we skip over the pets that might need a little extra care, thinking it may be harder to care for them, but that’s not always true. For example, if you primarily work away from your home, a puppy may be challenging to care for but a more senior pet who loves napping and requires little exercise could be perfect! If you know what you have to offer a pet and go in open minded, your perfect match will find you!
Those who aren’t quite ready to expand their family can still make a big impact by donating to help pets in need at PetSmart Charities. They also can find their match when the time is right by visiting PetSmart Charities for adoptable pets, adoption centers and events.
PetSmart Charities National Adoption Week Details:
Thousands of animal welfare organizations will bring a host of adoptable shelter pets including dogs, cats, kittens and puppies into nearly every PetSmart store across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Dates: March 6-12, 2023
Locations: Nearly every one of PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Visit PetSmart to find a store near you.