SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 180: “Don’t Shop – Adopt”

A building side reading “Home of Pet Adoption Fund,” grabs my eyes as I drive an industrial area in-route to Home Depot to pick up cleaning solution for the urine my dogs have graced my home carpets with. Got to love them, it’s their house too, right?

And with pets on my mind, stopping to say hello just seems like the right thing to do. I flip a U-turn, and to the barks of welcoming canine, manage to squeeze into one of the last two remaining parking slips.

To the office I go, where again, I am greeted by the voice of more four-legged friends, all of who are asking for my attention. Looking at the clock I realize it’s 4:45pm, the room is full of adopting families and doors close at 5:00pm, it feels as if I have just ingratiated myself to a party without an invitation.

The room full of dog lovers and volunteers are all scurrying to feed, water and board countless dogs for an evenings rest, so much so that it is difficult to get a word in edgeways.

No one is rude, just very busy. I do my best to tell of 365, but every time I open my mouth, my introduction is muffled by two small guests in cages to my right; looks like I’m being upstaged, but in the end, and with ten minutes left until quitting time, the hard-working and dog loving Megan, shares a moment or two with us.

Our talk is very brief, but I later do a little on-line research and find out what really makes this place tick, and Megan is at the front of the quest in finding loving homes for the many homeless animals that she so apparently loves.

It appears that Megan gives countless volunteer hours of her life to helping place the pets that fill the cages, and runs, of Pet Adoption Fund, the largest non-profit, no-kill animal rescue organization in Southern California.

Animals that have been rescued and now sheltered until they find loving permanent homes, a huge task; and one that is staffed primarily by volunteers. Existing solely on donations the facility houses around 175 dogs and 75 cats, of all sizes, ages and breeds.

Since 1983, Pet Adoption Fund has cared for, rehabilitated, and found responsible and happy homes for thousands of pets, never rejecting the old, the disabled, or the socially challenged. And with a no-kill policy they are committed to providing shelter and care to all deserving yet less fortunate animals, many of whom may never get a second chance at a loving home.

As Megan and I have our brief chat, we are joined be other volunteers who are giving of their time to walk and play with the animals who are still looking to be adopted.

I get what they are doing; both of my dogs are rescued. And knowing there are so many sweet animals who need a home, I’ll never buy a pet again.

Like I said, Megan is hurried, the day has ended, and she is on her way to urgent care (seems she is coming down with what she thinks is strep throat). But although ill, Megan beams, “Always try to look at your glass a half full.”

“We have to think positive,” she smiles.

She is sick; dogs are barking to the left and to the right, and now she has found herself in front of the camera. If that is not looking at the glass half full, I don’t know what is.

“We need to take better care of our planet,” Megan expounds. I’m hoping we keep hearing this sentiment; it is one that I am always happy to listen too and to write of.

“I still see a lot of people littering and it drives me crazy. We need to be cleaner, it’s not that hard to pick up after ourselves and to recycle more. It would be great to one day see everyone driving more electric cars, even though they have their own environmental issues. Nothing is perfect, but we at least need to make better choices.”

The last of the Pet Adoption Fund residents have settled into their sleeping quarters and with a pleasant voice, Megan concludes her comments with this; “Don’t shop, adopt.”