Dakin Moments of 2019

by Lee Chambers

A day at Dakin Humane Society is packed with special moments from the early morning hours when staff and volunteers serve up breakfast for our residents, until closing time, when the last adopter happily heads home.  Each day brings memorable moments for everyone, and looking back at 2019, there are some that stand out.

Puppies are not for leasing

In February, two people brought a pair of puppies to Dakin and explained that they signed a contract to lease them from a local pet shop (an illegal practice). They had fallen behind in paying the extremely high lease fees, and according to the contract, had to surrender the dogs to a shelter to somewhat lessen their debt. We directed them to the Massachusetts consumer protection office, we reached out to state officials, and the pet leasing stopped at that shop. We also reunited them with their adorable pups.

Bodhi goes home ~ an adoption first!

Last winter we adopted out our first-ever diabetic cat. Bodhi T. Kitty was diagnosed upon intake, and his treatment was challenging. A loving foster caregiver gave him his insulin when needed, and handled blood glucose checks. As it turned out, Bodhi won his foster’s heart and ended up staying right there.

Spay/Neuter Clinic adds second surgical team

The non-stop demand for high quality, affordable spay/neuter surgery has led us to expand our services.  In addition to Dr. Therrien, we now have Dr. Carroll heading a surgical team in our Community Spay/Neuter Clinic.  They stand ready to take great care of your beloved companions.

Medical Director appointed

In 2019 we hired our first medical director to oversee our team of veterinarians and provide high quality, effective medical care to animals.  Dr. Dena Long has previously worked in Florida and New York, and we’re happy to welcome her to Dakin.

Ty ~ It took a village

In early summer, an emaciated 21-pound pit bull was brought in to Dakin. Ty was a longshot for survival. He couldn’t walk, couldn’t lift his head, he weighed half what he should have, and his body temp was at a nearly fatal level. Our staff and volunteers, including an incredible foster caregiver, got Ty on his feet, literally. By the end of the summer, he had gained 17 pounds, was splashing in puddles, chasing and eating flies, and then started a new life with a terrific family.

When a crisis strikes ~ shelter partners working together

As Hurricane Dorian unleashed its fury on the Bahamas in late September, staff and volunteers at the Humane Society of Grand Bahama scrambled to save in-shelter pets. Tragically some were lost, but many more were transported north to shelters including ours. We took in some of the 80 that made their way to one of our most valued shelter partners, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in NJ.

Dakin Humane Awards ~ Local animal advocates recognized

In September we gave Dakin Humane Awards to people whose love for - and advocacy of - animals has made life better for animals and the people who love them in and beyond the Pioneer Valley. The recipients were nominated by members of the public.  Congratulations to our honorees; Senator James Welch, Officer Joel Wun and K-9 Officer Xito, Paige Pinney & Lorie Page, Lillian Barden and the late Mary Almeida.

The rat rescue ~ Coming together to save smalls

In November, nearly 300 small animals including guinea pigs, gerbils, mice and rats were abandoned by the side of a road in upstate New York. They were transferred to a local animal shelter, but their numbers were overwhelming to the shelter, so Dakin stepped up to bring nearly 30 of the rats to our adoption centers. Several of these friendly rats are still available for adoption, and you may just be surprised by how smart and interactive these pets are!

2019 was a banner year in many ways.  We celebrated our 50th anniversary, as well as the 10th anniversary of our adoption center in Springfield.  We also enjoyed another year of incredible support and enthusiasm from people like you.

Our partnership with you made these moments possible.  Your support enables us to serve not only the animals that need us, but the people who love them.  We value every interaction as an opportunity to demonstrate how we can treat all beings with care and respect.  Thank you for helping to build a better community!


Give a gift, change a life!  Please visit www.dakinhumane.org to make a year-end gift!


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