There is always a need for adoptions at Cleveland Animal Control.
When a stray animal is found, caught or an owner gives up a pet to animal control, the animal has 72 hours to be adopted before it will be euthanized.
This goes for all sorts of animals, unless there is a tag or some sort of identification found. Then the animal has 10 business days for retrieval or adoption before being put down.
Cleveland Animal Control works with Cleveland for a No Kill City to try and get as many pets as possible adopted, located back to owners or sponsored.
Many people visit the shelter every day looking for a lost pet or to gain a new family friend.
Bristol May was no exception. May took one walk through the facility and quickly found not one new pet to love, but two.
May recently moved to Cleveland with his 6-month-old Saint Bernard/Lab mix, Tank. He previously lived with his brother, who had three dogs, in Chattanooga.
After May moved to Cleveland, he noticed how lonely his gentle giant had become. Though Tank weighs more than 90 pounds, he is still a puppy and needs a constant playmate. This does not work for May’s loaded work schedule.
“He started whining all the time and began chewing everything apart. He stopped eating and drinking — it was so unlike his character to act out this way,” May said. “Tank had grown up so far with other dogs, and was not used to being alone.”
May decided to try to fix the problem.
One afternoon after work, May decided to stop by the local shelter to see about finding a new furry friend for Tank.
He walked down the halls and picked the three largest dogs he could find to meet in one of the bonding rooms.
The process to meet with the dogs is fairly simple.
One of the employees or volunteers at the shelter will bring the dogs to the bonding room individually.
From there, individuals and families can spend time petting and playing with the animal. They can decide if the animal would be the right fit for their home. People are even permitted to bring their family pets to interact one on one to see how their personalities click.
“I just was not feeling any of these huge dogs I picked out. When I lived with my brother he had three small dogs for Tank to play with, but I thought it might be helpful to find a dog closer to Tank’s size. I just was not having any luck connecting to these animals.”
Then he saw the two Feists who stole his heart.
“They were huddled toward the back of the cage and shaking — I assume it was because they were in a place that was so loud. When people walk through the halls of the pound the dogs start barking so loudly — demanding attention and jumping up the cage walls to be seen. I’m sure it can be scary for dogs that are not used to those sounds and conditions,” May said.
May was intrigued by the behavior of these two dogs.
“They were not excitedly bouncing around or even looking over at me. They looked like they were trying to hide — I just wanted to pick them up and take them home,” May said.
May asked one of the volunteers if he could see one of the dogs. He was not interested in getting both dogs in his new apartment, but thought one might be a great addition to his family.
May sat in the chair of the bonding room and as they placed the trembling dog in his arms, she immediately placed her head on his shoulder and stopped shaking. May knew the dog was meant to be a part of his new home.
When May discovered the second dog in the cage was the dog’s sister, he could not imagine separating them.
The volunteer brought the sister to see them together. The two dogs huddled in the corner and continued to tremble from the sounds. May decided he wanted both dogs, but needed more information on the costs of adoption and the process that followed.
The cost to adopt any animal from the shelter is $50. That includes a vet exam, worm check, deworming medication, if needed, a set of vaccines, and the cost of getting the animal spayed or neutered. At the $50 rate they can either be taken to Dixie Day Spay and Neuter or Appalachian Animal Clinic.
May had reservations about paying $100 for the dogs, considering how much money he was about to spend at the store purchasing dog food, bowls, toys, flea preventative, etc. Luckily Cleveland for a No Kill City decided to sponsor both dogs and pay for all the adoptive fees. They even sponsored May in getting the dogs flea treatments and antibiotics to boost their immune systems.
May signed all of the adoptive paperwork and from there the dogs were transported to Dixie Day Spay and Neuter for the routine checkup and spaying.
Annie and Molly are now in good health and happy to have found their new home with May. The dogs love to spend the afternoons playing and eating their favorite treat: tuna-flavored Meow Mix.
“These are the first dogs I have ever adopted from the pound and it has been nothing but a positive experience. Knowing how close these two dogs were to getting put down makes me realize how many more dogs need to be adopted from the shelter. I will always get my pets from there now, and save lives,” May said.
Cleveland Animal Control, located at 360 Hill St. S.E., is open for adoptions Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon.