Put Humane Society Calumet on your short list if you are considering companion animal adoption (or fostering)

Right after Candy got adopted, I decided to take a couple of weeks to revisit my decision to wait on getting a new dog. So back online I went to find companion animals I wanted to consider.

One of the dogs that caught my eye on Petfinder was Banjo, whom I originally thought might be a rat terrier because of his photo and description as “mixed breed.”


No doubt I saw a similarity to Candy, my first foster dog, which explains my initial attraction to Banjo.

Banjo, a probable yellow Labrador Retriever mix, at Humane Society Calumet, in Munster IN, Saturday, July 6th, 2019.

Once I saw him, Banjo had “lab” written all over him which the volunteer said he probably was. Banjo came from a high-kill shelter in Mississippi and besides passing all the behavioral tests with flying colors, Humane Society of Calumet knew little else about him.

The above photo was taken inside the vestibule on the Animal Clinic side as Banjo had come down with an upper respiratory infection. They graciously allowed me to see him there, after making clear that I couldn’t interact with any animals after that. I’m thinking that as I didn’t have any animals at home, as well as mentioning, how I had fostered Candy through her bordetella stint may have played a part in their decision as well.

What else made for a great first impression were the cheerful attitudes and welcoming, inclusive demeanor of everyone I dealt with–from the adoption coordinator and reception volunteer on the phone to both the staff and volunteer Christine who brought Banjo out to meet me.

Gayle, Chicago South PAAWS

Agreeing to let me see Banjo was very accomodating . After seeing that Banjo was a much larger dog (larger dog and lab=energy on the high to extreme end was my thinking) than I was looking for,Christine took it up a notch by making me feel good when I made mention of this (still sharing their adoption process information including the affordable $150 adoption fee that included neutering) by telling me “It always help the dogs to get out and have interaction with people” regardless of my decision to adopt.

As I told several people afterwards, this is the kind of reception I expect to get from a shelter or rescue that I am considering adopting an animal from or working with.

What a wonderful thing to say…and come across as you absolutely mean it!

Yes animal homeless shelters are very, very busy places–like people shelters, there is always more to do than people to do it– but the decision to make an interaction “short and snappy” should be balanced with long-range thinking. And that is, even if the person who walks through your doors doesn’t end up adopting an animal that day, they could adopt later and send others your way.

Also remember that each person who walks through your door could be your next fostering parent, all-around volunteer, sponsor, or donatee. Small donations add up too!

Many people end up adopting animals because they feel guilty or feel pressure (often unconscious for sure) by the animal sheltering people. However when the animal isn’t a good fit personality or lifestyle wise, it does neither you nor the animal any good.

Which is why I cannot recommend enough that you check out Humane Society Calumet (formerly Hammond Humane Society, which I never knew, though living in the area for many years)…click here to learn more about the Humane Society Calumet back story and rebranding effort).

Also note they have some great reviews on yelp as well…

Image Credit: NWI Times

“The organization has grown and changed so much since I started as a volunteer in 2004,” CEO Rachel Delaney said. “I’ve had the pleasure of watching us transform from a small animal shelter to an organization that also includes a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, wildlife center, education center and resale shop.”

Source: nwi.com

Wonderful people to deal with.

And they are a hop, skip, and a jump from the Chicago South Suburbs too.

Inspired Cases “Adopt, Foster, Sponsor…” Phone Case: Show Your Support

I just ordered the popular “Adopt, Foster, Sponsor…” poster (also featured on Woof & Meow’s “About” page. I have a growing collection of tees, jewelry, and other stuff to promote pet adoption and remind everyone “If you can’t adopt “Foster,” if you can’t Foster, then Sponsor…).

It’s on sale for $15 and just $10 when you use the coupon code over on Inspired Cases. Can’t tell you if it’s a “true promotion” and the price will go up or always be advertised at $15, but with the coupon and a $.99 shipping charge, this was a relatively low risk purchase (though admittedly what I DIDN’T DO is look to see if it’s a Chinese company–often the case with these lower priced goods) with mostly very good reviews.

Adopt, Foster, Sponsor Educate - Do What YOU Can Case

I went looking for other pet cause related phone cases after this one came up in my Facebook feed. It isn’t unreasonably priced at $22.95 from Rescuers Club if it’s a high quality case. And who knows, maybe, I will go back and add it to the collection.

Chicago Southland Animal Lovers: Let’s “Calm the Canines” Next July 4th

Most of us love Fourth of July fireworks. Because of their highly sensitive ears and (often) traumatic experiences, many many animals do NOT like them one bit.

Which makes July 4th one of the biggest days of the year for animals to run away and otherwise take cover from fireworks. So many animal groups have been posting articles and entreaties to remind people that they should take those extra steps make sure animals are feel safe and comfortable this holiday.

Which as this infographic highlights means that July 5th is the busiest day of the year for many animal shelters.

Animal shelters can be very stressful places for pets anyway with July 4th ratcheting up the fear and stress levels for many. To help their residents feel less stressed out, The Maricopa County Animal Shelter (AZ) started their Calming the Canines event where volunteers come and read or simply talk to and comfort the dogs and other companion animals in their care.

Over 300 people turned out for the event last year.

Maricopa County Animal Shelters created “Calming the Canines” to help their residents make it through July 4th. Image Credit: The Dodo

What a fantastic idea. And one that other shelters around the country have borrowed. Most if not all the shelters in the Chicago Southland are closed this Fourth of July. No doubt the hard-working staff looks forward to the respite and celebrating the holiday.

But wouldn’t it be a “Yankee Doodle Dandy” of an idea is someone in our area will take up the mantle and do some version of “Calming the Canines” event.

Shelter animals would love it. It would make the day a lot less scary for the animals. And without a doubt, even those who remain unfazed by what’s going on, would appreciate the company.

And the extra TLC.

Taking the idea one step further, maybe we could piggyback it with some block canvassing to educate people about being more aware of what animals go through this time of year and get people to do a in-home version of “Calming the Canines.”

Like putting on calming music or trying some soothing aromatherapy to help their own pets feel relaxed, especially if they are going out to watch the fireworks and no one will stay behind.

And let’s not forget about the resident dogs. Often resident dogs are kept outside much of the time, so bear the brunt of all those neighborhood fireworks going on. Ideally, they should brought indoors until the day is over (though unfortunately in many neighborhoods, the fireworks have become a weeks long thang, starting before the Fourth and going on as long as they have them). It’s the noise.

Outside dogs, of course, are especially in danger of running away, turning up in a shelter or animal pound the next day. If they are lucky. More frightening is they could get run over by a car or hurt by hurling or descending fireworks.

Equally awful are those folks who thinks its funny to shoot fireworks near or at the neighborhood resident dogs or feral cat colony. It’s NOT. It’s cruel.

Personally I think this should be a charge that carries fines and community service.

But I’ll get off of that flashpoint for now.

Point is, we all need to be more aware that Fourth of July fireworks (like thunderstorms) aren’t the same fun-loving event for animals as it is for us. It can be very traumatic. So let’s be extra compassionate and keep them safe and calm the Fourth…in fact, all 365 days of the year.

Remembering, that it takes a village, after all.