The Humane Society of Catawba County discusses their longest-stayed residents

Kate Wimberly
Staff Writer

Last year, the Humane Society helped over 3,200 pets find their forever home. Between both shelters and foster homes, 750-800 animals are currently looking for a permanent family.

Alicia Blackburn, Director of Marketing for the Humane Society of Catawba County, explained that the average stay for an animal is about 35 days. Professional photographers take pets’ photos when they come into the shelter, which has proven a big help in getting them adopted. She shared some of the dogs and cats that they have sheltered the longest.

Bristol, an American/Pit Bull Mix just had her 699th day in the shelter. She is almost 4, so she has spent almost her entire life in the shelter. She is very sweet and playful. Staff fight over who is going to walk her. She is super energetic and playfully challenges authority so she needs a firm, confident handler. It is recommended that everyone in the home be 10 years or older due to her rambunctious nature. Her favorite toy is a stuffed hedgehog that she carries around on walks.

Dyno has been in the shelter 483 days. He has tons of energy and is warm towards people. He is described by Staff as a “lovable goof” as he will try to drink water with a tennis ball in his mouth. He is great with children and gets along with other dogs as well. Dyno loves the outdoors and would be perfect for a home with a big, enclosed yard, where he can run and play.

Perry has been in the shelter a combined 439 days. He has been adopted a couple of times, but returned through no fault on his part. He is housebroken and obedient to commands. He is shy due to moving around so much and requires patience as he does not warm up immediately. He requires a building of trust. He is described as sweet, lovable, and silly.

Comet has been in the shelter 400 days. He is super intelligent and tests people to see what he can get away with. According to his trainer, he respects her and knows a lot of commands. He has that fun hound energy, which means he loves jobs. For Comet, his trainer is willing to train the family to work with him in order to make sure he finds the right family. It is recommended that his home has no cats, as he finds it fun to chase them.

“Part of our mission is we don’t give up,” shared Alicia Blackburn

If a dog has been in their shelter more than 6 months, the adoption fee is $75, rather than the usual $150. This covers the pet’s spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccines, and other care services.

If a cat has been in their shelter longer than 6 months, the adoption fee drops from $30 to $15.

Nancy has been at the shelter 551 days. She has been adopted and returned due to her owners’ lifestyle changes. She has a fun cat personality, and is mischievous, inquisitive, and loves attention.
Princess has resided in the shelter 393 days. She is described as being lovely inside and out. She is a tabby with bright green eyes. To be a lap kitty is her biggest goal in life. Princess has a dietary restriction that requires her to be on wet food, rather than dry.

Checkers has resided at the shelter 350 days. He is described as “super chill and mild mannered.” He doesn’t much care for being picked up and over handled, but is becoming more affectionate each passing day. He is a great companion cat.

Companies or individuals will sponsor the Pet of the Week, and if they are adopted by the end of the week, the adoption fees are waived. Through the Pet of the Week program, dogs and cats gain exposure that they might not otherwise get in order to find their forever home. Through this program, it is 73% more likely for the dog to get adopted, and 71% for the cat, as reported by the Humane Society of Catawba County.

“I have always been drawn to animals. My mom would never let us have animals, but I was drawn to our outside cats. I felt more connected with them. I currently have 21 animals that we give shelter to, with only 3 being dogs. We rescued our first dog 7 years ago. Reuben completely changed my life. Our passion is to help people see our animals that may get overlooked otherwise. It is rewarding and fulfilling, making a difference for these animals in our community. Now I’m in a position to help make the community a better place for animals to live in. There’s no better feeling,” shared Alicia Blackburn.

You can also find the Pet of the Week and other information on Facebook and Instagram. For more information about volunteering, a full list of pet-caring services, upcoming events, or pets available for adoption, see