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Bruins support local no-kill shelter

Many dogs at Sammie’s Friends are waiting to be adopted. Photo by Zach Fink

Sammie’s Friends, a local animal shelter, has a mission to encourage adoption of cats and dogs in lieu of purchasing pure-bred animals. Overcrowding has led this local shelter to join in a movement to save kenneled animals and give them a forever home, many of which happen to be the homes of Bruins.

According to Sammie’s Friends’ Operations Manager, Alex Maloney, they take in about 2,000 animals every year, and about 99.9% of them are adopted. Sammie’s Friends helps these animals find a good home, while giving them the best care they can in the meantime.

Bruin students agreed that adopting animals is a great cause. Many students have amazing adoption stories of their own.

Senior Madison Templeton currently has two dogs from Sammie’s Friends, and has a great story about how her dogs came into her life.

“So, we already had three dogs, and then one of my dad’s patients found out about Sammie’s Friends,” said Templeton. “His patient was saying that they had a lot of dogs in the kennels, and they would love if someone could watch a couple dogs for a while until they found a home. So, my dad said, ‘Okay, we can watch two of your dogs,’ and they gave us two. I didn’t even know they were there until I got home from school and my parents told me to go look in the backyard. I saw two little puppies running around and [my parents] said, ‘It’s going to be really hard, but we have to get one by the end of two weeks,’ and so we just cuddled and played all day.”

Templeton said that she liked Sammie’s Friends, and happens to know people who volunteer at the shelter.

“I was going to become a dog walker, but senior year is a little stressful,” she said. “Right now, I really don’t have the time, but I will try to volunteer later. I know a lot of people who are dog walkers, and I think it’s a really great organization.”

Templeton also agreed that adopting is very beneficial.

“A lot of the dogs are in breeding for a really long time, and they don’t know what it’s like to be in a family,” said Templeton. “I think it’s good that [Sammie’s Friends] takes a lot of animals off the streets, and it’s a no-kill shelter, so they’re not killing the dogs there. They will get a chance to be in a family.”

A great thing about Sammie’s Friends is that it’s a non-euthanize shelter, which means the animals there won’t be killed if they don’t get adopted, or if there is something wrong with them.

“Euthanizing animals is a huge issue in this country,” Ms. Maloney said. “Four million animals get euthanized in this country every year, and most of them are cats, unfortunately. However, the reason for that is because people don’t spay and neuter, so if you’re adopting a shelter animal, you’re saving a life.”

Sammie’s Friends has had complications with hoarding, but our community has been helping out by adopting animals and taking care of them.

“We work with Animal Control, especially in hoarding situations — when it gets to an unsafe point, they step in and help us out, and the community also helps us out a ton,” said Ms. Maloney. “They’ll take in animals temporarily while we make room in the kennels, so the shelter isn’t overflowing while we’re making sure all the animals are adopted.”

Freshman Bailey Ham has also adopted animals from Sammie’s Friends. Ham told her story about how she got her two cats, Ziggy and Dumbledore.

“We went to Sammie’s Friends and we picked two out,” said Ham. “They’re very nice, they interviewed us about how many cats we have and how many other animals we have. Then, we filled out this form, and we got to take them home.”

Most of the adopted animals behave very well once the get a new home. Ham said that her cats behaved well after taking them home from the shelter.

“They’re behaving really well, but one of them has really feral tendencies because they were from a feral colony, but other than that, they’re great,” said Ham.

Junior Bruin Scout Pettitt also thought that her dog Bella behaved well after she got her.

“She behaved really nicely when we had her, but she passed away recently,” said Pettitt. “She was really nice, super friendly, super excited when people came over, she was just a great dog.”

Being an adopter of a dog, Pettitt gave reasons about why adopting a dog is better than buying an expensive bred dog.

“When you’re buying from a breeder, you feel guilty because it’s just that kind of bred dog where it costs a lot of money, and I feel like that shouldn’t be how it goes,” said Pettitt. “I feel like you should be able to adopt one; a puppy, a full grown dog. It helps them get out of the kennels and it makes you feel really good inside.”

Ham agreed with Pettitt.

“Shelters get really overrun and there are animals on the streets, and that means a lot more animals are going to get euthanized,” she said. “If you just keep buying bred dogs … there would be way too many dogs to humans.”

Seeing animals come and go every day, Ms. Maloney agreed that adopting an animal from a shelter is a great and valuable thing to do.

“It’s saving a life, think about supply and demand when you breed dogs,” she said. “If there are six dogs in a litter, that means six dogs in a shelter will die. People that aren’t getting dogs from a shelter are people getting them from a breeder.”

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Bruins support local no-kill shelter