Saturday, December 10th marked an exciting milestone for ACCT, as the 500th Pen Pal dog was saved through either foster care, adoption or rescue! Since its inception in 2009, the Pen Pal program has paired ACCT’s “long term residents” (dogs waiting longer than others during their stay at the shelter) and dogs exhibiting kennel stress with a dedicated Pen Pal volunteer who works one-on-one with the dog to work on socialization and training, decrease kennel stress, promote the dog for foster care and adoption, and provide follow up with the Pen Pal dog’s new home, to make sure the match sticks! The Pen Pal Program has transformed ACCT from a shelter with multiple dogs that had been in the adoption kennels for almost a year, to a shelter where most dogs’ length of stay is a mere few weeks to a couple of months, and where dogs who may not present well in the kennels (either due to behavior, size, or color) get a special helping hand to find a new home. To learn more about the Pen Pal Program, check out the Pen Pal section of the website!
In recent weeks, Life Saving staff, Adoption counselors and Pen Pal volunteers had been counting down to 500, ready to celebrate both the lucky dog who would be the 500th Pen Pal life saved, as well as the foster parent, adopter, or rescue group who saved the dog! In preparation the Pen Pal Program’s bulletin board was transformed into a wall of photos of the 400+ Pen Pal dogs that had already been saved. The Life Saving Department also prepared two gift baskets to celebrate the 500 dog milestone. One gift basket was designed for the family that saved the 500th PenPal and included a book on positive-reinforcement dog training, training treats, a snazzy dog-themed photo frame, an Easy-Walk harness, holiday-themed dog collar, and a gift certificate to the Fairmount Pet Shoppe. Another gift basket was designed for the Pen Pal volunteer whose dog was saved, and included training treats, a winter scarf, a gift certificate to Kohls, and two movie theatre passes.
On Saturday afternoon, Faye, a cute brown and white female Pit Bull Terrier mix who arrived at the shelter in early October when her original family could no longer afford her, was adopted, making her the 500th Pen Pal dog to be saved! One of Faye’s two Pen Pal volunteers was on-site to help the adopters meet Faye and walk them through the adoption process. Faye was so excited to go home with her new family- a couple with their three children and Border Collie-Retriever mix who live in Norristown!
Congratulations to Faye, Faye’s adopers the Gulsby-Steiner family, and Faye’s Pen Pals Karina Sharma and Katie Nagy!
If you’re interested in adopting a Pen Pal dog, click here!