Harvest Moon holds pet adoption event
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Mon., Sep. 23, 2013
Dogs ruled the parking lot at Harvest Moon Health Foods Store in Putnam on Sept. 21. Shop owner and dog-lover Linda Tagg invited several animal rescue groups in for a pet adoption event. Representatives from the NECCOG animal shelter, Dog Orphans, the Putnam Animal Shelter, the Lebanon Animal Shelter, and Our Companions Animal Rescue were on hand to discuss the ways their organizations worked and how people could begin the adoption process.
Each organization had slightly different policies for adoption. The event allowed people to talk with the representatives, learn about the animals in their care, and which one might best suit their needs.
Our Companions is a shelter for dogs and cats that offers rehabilitation, sterilization services, training and educational programs. Cats live in houses outfitted with scratch posts, tunnels and toys. Dogs have their own park on the sanctuary’s 43 acres. Their adoption process keeps animals with their owners while a search is undertaken for new homes. Anyone wishing to adopt an animal must fill out an application, followed up with an interview and home visit. Approximately 200 volunteers pull feeding, exercise and tuck-in shifts, according to volunteer Deb Couture.
Dog Orphan assistant kennel manager Shannon Wheeler was on hand to talk with people about the dogs the Webster, Mass., organization had to offer. The no-kill non-profit can house up to 25 dogs at a time. Many of them come from California and some southern states where shelters aren’t required to sterilize animals. “Little dogs adopt out quickly,” Wheeler said. She’d brought two older chihuahuas with her to the event. Someone filled out an application for one of them that morning. Wheeler expected that once the application process was complete, the adoption would happen quickly.
NECCOG Animal Control Officer Diane Collette brought three dogs, a female shepherd, a pit bull mix and a catahoula mix. Her shelter currently has 12 dogs and 30 cats. The longer an animal stays in the shelter, the better the staff know its personality, she said. And people can make appointments to get to know the animals before adopting. NECCOG picks up strays from the eight-area towns it serves. It takes in occasional owner releases depending on the animal and the reasons for the release.
At the end of the day, Tagg gave each organization cans of organic dog food. “I have a passion for animals and for helping them,” she said. Once she got the idea for the event, she called NECCOG. “It blossomed from there,” she said. Next year she hopes to invite even more organizations, including purebred rescue groups like Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue and a Boxer rescue out of Grafton, Mass.
Pictures of her golden retrievers, Marshall and Tucker, hang on the wall behind her cash register. She got them soon after two previous dogs died within days of each other, one from kidney failure and the other from old age and "a broken heart." Tagg teared up talking about them. She plans to honor their memories by helping to house more animals in the future.