Courtesty of Erin Buckmaster
A sweet moment caught on camera led to the adoption of an older shelter dog this month after she spent a year without a home.
A dedicated Knox County (Illinois) Humane Society employee was getting Sandy, the 10-year-old pit bull mix, ready for bed several weeks ago when the humane society's director—Erin Buckmaster, who works on a volunteer basis—noticed the ritual on the surveillance camera.
For the previous year, Sandy had the shelter staff tuck her in each night, wrapping her in a blanket on her armchair. (The shelter gave the pups "wonderful" comfy chairs back in 2018.) Buckmaster recorded the ritual and posted it to Facebook.
"She's just a snuggle bug," she tells Daily Paws. Agreed!
The video, which earned more than 6,000 views, prompted a multitude of Sandy inquiries, including from folks in Texas, Florida, and Canada.
"It was just amazing how it took off," Buckmaster says.
But Sandy, who arrived at the shelter after her owner had to move to Florida, ended up finding a new family much closer to the Galesburg, Ill., facility. Buckmaster says a woman whose dog had recently died visited the shelter to donate some supplies.
She wasn't ready to get another dog, but then she met Sandy—and she couldn't resist. She took Sandy home—where she still gets tucked in, of course.
In even better news, the interest in Sandy spurred a bit of an adoption rush in Knox County. Buckmaster says four dogs were adopted Thursday—and the Canadian who asked about Sandy decided to adopt a dog from a shelter near him.
She's hopeful another senior pit bull-type dog, Iris, will also find her home soon. To her, stories like Sandy's remind people there are plenty of excellent dogs in shelters who aren't puppies or sought-after breeds like poodles or Chihuahuas. (Though, we should note, those kinds of dogs do appear at shelters if you're patient.)
Buckmaster hopes it will encourage more people to adopt—when U.S. shelters are under immense pressure—rather than purchasing puppies.
"Why buy when shelter pets die?" she says.