What's Shakin' at Dakin

Dakin Humane Society Newsletter


September 8

We Need Adopters!

Dakin Nation, we need adopters! We are working with our Dixie transport partners to bring more animals here who were in southern shelters PRIOR to the hurricanes, and many of those dogs and cats will be coming to Dakin in the days/weeks ahead.  The big need in the south will be to clear shelters to make room for the pets who have families and will (or have) become displaced during the storms.  Those animals will need to stay local so their people can find them. 

So far we have taken dogs who were sheltered close to Harvey’s path in Texas, and more are coming. Calls for help are already coming in from animal shelters trying to prepare for Irma. In addition, each day we take in pets who are surrendered by people in our community, so our adoption centers in Springfield and Leverett are starting to get crowded.

In order for us to help our local animals, as well as those impacted by these terrible storms, we need the community to adopt to make room!  We have so many wonderful animals waiting for their new home (check here to see who we have).  If you have been thinking of adopting, now is the time!  If you’re not in the market, please help spread the word to friends you know who are thinking of getting a pet.

So many animals will need help.  Please visit us, find your new best friend and at the same time know that you have helped to save animals impacted by these hurricanes by freeing up space here at Dakin! 

Thank you!


September 1, 2017

Regarding Pets Being Taken Out of Texas

Folks, if you are seeing pleas for New England people to take in dogs from Harvey, use caution. This was posted in the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators Facebook group this morning:

"For those of you taking animals transported out of Texas, please read this from an email from the Humane Society of the United State's (HSUS) transport coordination team:

‘I want to also caution all of you that there are many, many groups that have self-deployed and are pulling animals left and right. This is devastating because some municipalities in TX have lifted stray holds. As you can imagine, this will be heartbreaking for families that lose pets and cannot find them.’

We all know about the tragic consequences from these kinds of activities after Katrina. Many families had nothing left and then lost their pets as well. Let’s please all agree not to repeat those mistakes and work with the established organizations moving animals out of the affected area. Look for groups in your communities accepting animals from Texas and ask where they came from."


August 31, 2017

Our Need for Fosters

Several people have been kind enough to contact us to ask if they can serve as foster parents for any Texas pets who have been separated from their people due to Hurricane Harvey. We appreciate your good intentions, but the focus will be on keeping those rescued/recovered pets in Texas to make family reunions happen more easily.

What would be great is if you would consider becoming a foster for a Dakin animal! We need foster caregivers, especially for dogs, and with the recent events in Texas, it’s imperative that we find more people willing to help foster our Dakin pets. One reason is that we may find ourselves taking in more pets (who were already in shelters in Texas before the hurricane) in the days or weeks ahead, to give our southern shelter partners the ability to work more specifically with recovered pets missing their people. We are working with these organizations and are standing by to take in more pets, if it will help them.

If you would like to be part of the chain of heroes who are jumping in to help…please consider becoming a Dakin foster parent. We have just added a new Foster Orientation on Saturday, September 9 at 10am in Springfield at 171 Union Street. Click here to register online (that’s required). Thanks for stepping up!

The Best Ways to Help in Texas

In yesterday’s blog, we provided links to some of the leading animal welfare organizations that are Texas-based and are on the front line of the recovery effort. Again, we stress that a financial donation is best, as it allows the recipient organization to buy exactly what they need at that time.

Dakin’s role in transporting Dixie Dogs:

It’s important to note that Dakin received Dixie Dogs from Texas last Saturday (8/26) before Hurricane Harvey hit. These are not dogs who had families and became separated from them.  These dogs were in shelters prior to the Hurricane, and our importing of them turned out to be a good thing, as it freed up space for our southern shelter partners to then take in animals displaced by the storm.  There will be many animals rescued and it will take weeks, maybe months, for volunteers working together to be able to reunite pets with their families after everyone who has lost their dwellings gets resettled.

Here are some other things to keep in mind:

- Please, do not attempt to send supplies of any kind. Dakin staff have flown down to help at big natural disasters (Hurricane Katrina in 2005) and we've been subject to big natural disasters here (tornado, ice storm). The needs change by the hour.  By the time your blankets, dog biscuits, or even things listed on groups' Amazon wish lists reaches the groups - they aren't going to need them.  And now they need to unpack them, sort them, store them, and dispose of them.

- Please, be careful if offering to help other groups with "Harvey" dogs. Any animals found or displaced after the storm happened should not be leaving the area unless their family specifically said they could not keep the pet any longer and he/she needs a new home. Sending displaced pets across the country means their family can't find them and be reunited. Additionally, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has strict regulations in place to control the spread of disease into the state; any dogs entering rescues or shelters in MA must pass first through a state-approved quarantine facility. Don't take an unknown dog off a random truck. You don't know what you will be bringing home to your own pets.

- Our regular partner in Texas, Operation Pets Alive (OPA), are themselves in the affected area (they are just north of Houston). They are OK, but have gotten 30+ inches of rain and are dealing with a lot of flooding.  We will be working with them to take as many dogs as possible.

- The large national organizations are on the ground and on the job. This includes the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and Best Friends. This kind of situation is where these guys really shine - they've got the training, staffing, experience, and resources to handle these situations right.

- Please, don't self-deploy. If and when the large national organizations on the ground have large, established shelters that will need to run for some time, they will let us know they need help, and specifically what kind of skill sets.  If and when that happens, we will be trying to send Dakin staff to assist - we'll need your help more than ever at that time, so we can keep caring for the animals here while staff is away.


August 30, 2017

Our hearts go out to the animals and people who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.  It's these moments among the suffering and devastation that people come together.  People unite and work as one to save lives.

We have received numerous calls from throughout the Pioneer Valley asking how individuals can help.  We have been in contact with our rescue partners as well as shelters in the Houston area to assist where and when needed.

Currently, Houston SPCA and other animal welfare groups like Austin Pets Alive! and our partners at Operation Pets Alive are acting as a hub to other animal welfare organizations, rescuing animals or providing safe shelter to pets and people throughout Houston.

As an organization and community previously affected by disaster, we can say the best thing to do is give locally to those on the front lines.  If you'd like to support the care of affected animals, their families or organizations assisting, we would suggest you donate directly to one of the following local organization or visit their website for updates:

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with their communities and animals wherever they may be as we come together in their time of need. 

Dixie Dogs

Dakin Nation, we always get lots more pets here in the summer, especially kitties, and they all bring their appetites.

Dixie Dogs

Why should the kids be the only ones going back to school this fall?



Demi Moore did it, so did Beyonce and many other women. So why shouldn’t pregnant Peggy have a photo shoot to glamorize her baby bump?


Clear the Shelters is a national event designed to encourage the adoption of shelter pets. When Dakin partnered with WWLP 22-News to promote it and participate in it for the first time, we never expected results like this!

Dixie Dogs

They have two eyes, four legs and a tail (depending on the breed) just like any other dog, but who are these Dixie Dogs that keep popping up in conversations between people talking about canines?

Are You Feeling Lucky?

Have we got a cutie for you to meet…it’s Lucky! He’s so handsome he’s even got his own video on his adoption page. 

Dakin Nation, can you use your purr-chase power and be a rock star for kitties? We’re low on dry cat food and need some quick deliveries!

When Hotelier Leona Helmsley died nearly 10 years ago, many were shocked to discover that her will left her dog Trouble a $12 million trust fund. After much debate, that amount was reduced to $2 million.  The incident made headlines and put the spotlight on the issue of estate planning for pets.

Looking to spoil your dog with a healthy, homemade summer treat? Our pals at Paw Street Barkery have shared one of their most pupular recipes with us.

Summertime is hectic, with people and pets enjoying the great outdoors.  It’s also a risky time, as pets often break free and become lost.  Here are some tips to help you recover your four-footed friends.



What do you do when you see a dog that’s showing signs of distress from being left inside a car that is getting hotter by the minute, and their person isn't there?



Step inside either our Springfield or Leverett Adoption Centers and you’ll see an unusually high number of cages with spinning wheels, cardboard tubes, tiny food dishes, water bottles and, yes, mice. We’ve got a record-high number of them right now.  So how did that happen?


What a difference six years makes. In 2010, Dakin welcomed 1,873 kittens.  The total number of kittens brought to us in 2016 was 1,270.  Why the reduction in kitten intake?

Barks & Brews 2017 was a "2 Paws Up" success! On Sunday, June 11 over 500 people (and LOTS of canines) gathered at Fort Hill Brewery in Easthampton to celebrate a day of fun in the sun with their best friends.

Feline Weight Watchers Patrick Bukowski and Celeste Nai in action

Dora, a gorgeous 11 year old tortoiseshell cat, came to Dakin earlier this year when her person passed away. She was scared and depressed by the loss of her companion and familiar environment until she met Dakin's Feline Weight Watchers team. 


Call her the rat whisperer. Although she loves all animals, Dakin Volunteer Kimber Bennett has a special affinity for Dakin’s “smalls.”


When Kay Gregory combined her love of animals with her creativity and generosity, the Dasiy* Candle became a reality.