Together we can make an impact: More than 95% of the dogs featured as a Pet of the Week in 2018 were adopted or accepted by rescue services


Here are six of the 47 dogs featured as a “Pet of the Week” in The Cullman Tribune in 2018. (Cullman County Animal Shelter)

CULLMAN – Throughout 2018, The Tribune ran a print and online series called “Pet of the Week” in partnership with the Cullman County Animal Shelter, featuring dogs available for adoption at the shelter.  When we started, we were prepared to deal with our share of heartache, since the focus of both entities was on dogs who had been at the shelter for extended periods or had issues that made them less likely candidates for adoption and might be facing euthanasia in the near future.  Not all of the pets featured were “short-timers,” but quite a few were on dangerous ground due to age, effects of abuse or neglect, or even breed reputation.

When Animal Control Sgt. Chris Westmoreland and shelter volunteer Donna Ruttkay ran the numbers last week, though, the results were astonishing and delightful. Out of 47 dogs featured in the series during the year, only five could be found that were not adopted or taken by pet rescue services from other parts of the state and country.  Of those, according to Westmoreland, three became ill or had other issues come up after being featured that forced the shelter to remove them from the available list. One was featured near the end of the year and is still available for adoption now.

In the end, of 44 featured dogs that could be adopted, including those facing near-future termination, only two were not adopted, and one of those still could be!  Only one adoptable pet featured in The Tribune’s series had to be put down.

We would like to see all available animals find their ideal forever families and homes, but this success rate still gives us great joy.  Our sincere thanks go out to all the pet lovers of the Cullman community, along with numerous rescue services that have found our animals forever homes across the country!

Westmoreland talked about what the shelter’s partnership with The Tribune has accomplished:

“To me, it means a lot, and it helps us get these animals who need adoption and need forever homes; it gives them another outlet that people can see.  For those that can’t see our Facebook page and that don’t have the opportunity to come up, then it just means a whole lot to us to be able to get that information out there, and let these people see how great these animals really are.”

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