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Desperate Eyes, Pleading Hearts

Many Treasure Valley strays are available and ready for forever homes

Article by Shasta Ockerberg

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Bringing home a pet is a big responsibility. Lots of planning and consideration need to go into such a big decision. Millions of animals are surrendered to shelters every year and only a fraction of them are adopted. More and more, shelters are working to open their doors to animals, and to create a comfortable environment for them to live in until they are adopted.

In the Treasure Valley, there are many adoption agencies and rescues that are searching for forever homes for dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, reptiles, birds, hamsters and more. For example, Simply Cats in Boise is a no-kill, no-cage organization that takes in cats of all backgrounds. Interested parties can take a "Meet Your Match" test to see which cat they would best match with. The organization saw a major increase in cats being surrendered when the housing market skyrocketed. "People are forced to move into affordable housing, and most of the time there's a no pet policy," says Maddie Corey, the outreach and fundraising coordinator for Simply Cats. "Cats adopted from us 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 2 years ago are being returned so the family can move." Simply Cats saves cats from euthanasia by creating successful adoptions, and is completely funded by donations. In 2021, 1047 cats were taken in, and in 2022, 403 were adopted. While the cats are well taken care of at the facility, they are still waiting for the day that they can go to their forever home. 

Another rescue in the Treasure Valley is Save a Bun Rabbit Rescue. This nonprofit organization takes in stray rabbits through surrenders or adoptions in order to keep them from being abandoned. People don't realize that releasing a domesticated rabbit outside sentences them to a life of struggle, and ultimately, a quick death. The founder of Save A Bun, Jenean Hammer-Huber, says, "I probably get 15 to 20 phone calls a day about surrendering bunnies. People buy [rabbits] because they think they'll be good starter pets, but then 8 months later, they realize that they need more work and care than expected." Save A Bun offers free education for rabbit owners and the option for an adoption coordinator to come out to their homes and help prepare for the new family member. Once a family has an idea of how to care for a rabbit, they can be one of the best animals to own. Jenean says, "Education is extremely important for this type of animal. I do feel that if more people were educated prior to purchase, we would have less dumping and surrendering."

There are too many animals in constant states of anxiety, wondering when or if they'll be welcomed into a home with a family who will love them for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, adoption centers and rescues here in the Treasure Valley make it easy to adopt. With virtual interviews, questionnaires, match tests, and more, adopting an animal has never been more accessible. No animal deserves to wonder why or if their family is coming back for them, so lots of time, planning, and consideration needs to go into the adoption process. Information: and 

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