The beginning of a new year brings a natural inclination to reflect on the one that has come to a close. All manner of top 10 lists were created to highlight and memorialize all things 2010 (Time Magazine even has "The Top 10 Everything of 2010"). Here at the Richmond SPCA, we think in lives saved when we look back at a year. During 2010 we placed 3,154 dogs and cats in loving homes, and each and every pet who goes home is important to us. Each animal was loved during his or her stay at the Robins-Starr Humane Center, and as we cared for them and bonded with them, there were particular adoptions that carry additional meaning for our staff.
I asked our staff to nominate the animals who stood out to them and have assembled the following - Top Ten Adoptions of 2010.
10. Ray: It was hard not to fall in love with this chocolate lab, named for the musician who shared his lack of sight. Ray found a home with a family who saw past his limitations and worked to accommodate his special needs.
9. Frimbo: Harmony in our catillions can be a delicate balance, and Frimbo was one cat who tended to upset the others because she wanted to play constantly. A home with another cat of the same temperment - Petey, also an alumnus of the Richmond SPCA - was just what this spunky kitty needed!
8. Rina: She may have been the most-featured dog, from blogs to radio and TV coverage, Rina didn't lack for exposure in her quest to find a home. Her adoption story was highlighted again on our blog in November after our foster care coordinator made Rina a permanent member of her own family.
7. Bubba Gump: The blog and video of this special guy getting hydrotherapy to recuperate from his orthopedic surgery launched him into hearts of many who never met him. His adoption was a success for both our medical treatment and behavioral training teams. Our gratitude also goes to the donor who provided therapy sessions at Paws to Swim.
6. Lucas: This guy is proof that once you get past a gruff exterior, sometimes you find a big softie. Lucas had serious behavior issues to overcome, including dog aggression, and our trainers devoted themselves to developing a management plan his new family would be able to continue. He's now in a home with a single mom and her three daughters who absolutely love the lap dog he has become.
5. Susie Q: A senior cat with a "finicky" personality might not be at the top of everyone's lovable list, yet Susie Q managed to be a favorite with our staff, even those who might have been grazed by a bite in her spunky moments. It was no surprise that a former staff member was the one to give her a home.
4. Mona: Known for her "bedroom eyes," everyone loved Mona's face, but she was rather particular about making friends. Although she has a strong cat-itude and isn't particularly cuddly, there's a special person to match every special cat, and Mona met her match in May.
3. Vincent: On Saturday March 20, thousands of pet lovers were gathered outside our humane center for the Dog Jog and 5K Run, while inside, a family was falling in love with a handsome, one-eared hound. He had come to us with severe, untreated allergies that had taken away his hair, but by the time he left us, Vincent looked amazing. He'd become such a well-known favorite, his family created a Facebook page so we could all keep up with Vincent's Forever Home.
2. Mittens: In spite of being a friendly and playful cat, it took three years for Mittens to catch the eye of just the right adopter. Mittens' need for a home with no other cats and history of urinary tract infections seemed to cause him to be passed by in spite of his great feline-ality, but we never had a doubt that the right home would find him, which it did in December, just in time for the holidays
1. Sara Lee: The first emailed nomination said simply, "Nobody didn't love Sara Lee!" Nearly every other staff member who submitted a nomination included her in some way as well. It seemed a matter of fact that this gentle mannered diabetic German shepherd mix had been our top placement of the year. The story of her placement was also one of our most-read blogs of 2010.
"You should see Sara Lee. She LOVES playing in the backyard in the snow....absolutely in her element.
We sent off her DNA for analysis..........She is part Chow, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, English Setter, Lab, and Rhodesian Ridgeback!!!! whatever her genetic heritage, she is the best dog, but of course you know that. We have her scheduled for the preassessment class to get her certified through Delta to be a therapy dog. She's a natural.
She has grown quite close with Sgt. Pepper, our Border Collie/Newfie mix. She has also fallen in love with our Ethan Allen sofa in the family room!
Please let everyone know she has adapted so well, and seems to be content and happy. I walk her two miles in the morning and two in the afternoon. She runs and plays in the back yard, loves to hang out in front of the french doors soaking up the southern exposure sun coming through, and I already mentioned her love of the sofa. We could not feel more blessed. I want to thank you again for saving her. We want to share her with the world."
Tabitha Frizzell Hanes is the director of communication for the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our commenting guidelines.