Bernie needs a home, according to shelter manager Mia Chandler. | Laura Pemberton

Archived Story

Paying it forward

Published 11:58am Friday, September 21, 2012

By Laura Pemberton, Staff Writer

Bernie recently saved a life. Now he needs a home.

Bernie is a 2-year-old orange tabby who has been living at the Lake Martin Animal Shelter for four months. He recently donated blood for a blood transfusion to save the life of another cat.

“He, in my book, is a no-euthanize because he saved a life,” said Mia Chandler, shelter director. “I think he deserves the best of homes.”

Bernie may have a hard time finding a home because he is a plain orange tabby.

“People pass up wonderful pets who would be great family additions because they’re too plain,” Chandler said.

Sept. 18-25 is Adopt a Less-Adoptable Pet Week, and Chandler wants people to get to know animals for more than just their appearance.

“People tend to only look at healthy ones, but all of them deserve a chance and a home. We all have quirks, but we all deserve someone to love,” Chandler said.

She said many pets are deemed less desirable because of their age, color or medical status. Black pets are generally less likely to be adopted, as are pets with any health problems.

“Some conditions can be treated for literally pennies a day. They shouldn’t be a deal breaker,” Chandler said.

She said problems like mange and heartworms are both affordably treated conditions, and sometimes the shelter will try to help the new owner with the expense.

Hunter is perfectly healthy, but he also needs a home.

He is a 2-year-old lab who has been at the shelter for four months. He is an active dog, which Chandler said can seem overwhelming to potential families at first.

“A shelter is an audition,” Chandler said. “This audition is a little different because lives are at stake – so many wonderful pets don’t make the cut.”

Chandler said euthanizing animals is hard, but the shelter doesn’t have room for every pet.

“That’s something that’s really frustrating: to have to put down happy, healthy pets,” Chandler said. “But the intake is so high, and with a low rate of adoptions and identifications, you have to do the math.”

To learn more about how you can adopt a pet from the Lake Martin Animal Shelter visit or call 256-234-5533.