A couple of weeks ago Howard and I were relaxing with a small group of friends when I just sort of blurted out — and I’m not sure where this came from —“You know what I wish? I wish every adoptable pet at North Shore Animal League America gets adopted by Christmas.”
And, wow! The next thing I knew, I was huddled with “Santa” Howard and my dear friends, hatching a plan that would help the nearly 300 family-ready dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens at North Shore who were eager to wake up Christmas morning snug in warm beds — special new members of loving families.
This was our plan: Together we’d cover the adoption fees for every animal adopted from North Shore between Dec. 9 and 11. Adopters would still be scrupulously vetted, as they always are, and would have to meet our rigorous adoption criteria. Covering the adoption fees would mean North Shore could waive them without losing a penny of funding for all the great work they do and all the precious lives they rescue, nurture, and adopt.
Win. Win. Wow! What a whirlwind!
My friends and colleagues at North Shore loved the idea, and we decided to include an off-site adoption day on Saturday, Dec 10, at Lord & Taylor, in Garden City, N.Y. North Shore’s great public relations and web teams publicized the event as “A Holiday Gift from Beth & Howard Stern and Friends.” I collected two adorable puppies and two sweet adult dogs from North Shore and headed out to WNYW’s Good Day New York, where Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly helped me get out the word about this great opportunity. And on Friday, Dec. 9, the adopters showed up, eager to save a life and make a lifelong friend this holiday season.
It was a cold weekend, and most people came from the tri-state area. But wherever you live, I know there are adult and young dogs and cats at your local shelter who would love nothing more than to come home with you for the holidays — and for the rest of their lives. Remember, though, pet adoption is not something to rush into. It’s a major, long-term commitment at any time of year, and it’s essential to the wellbeing of your pet and your family that you make an informed and thoughtful decision. So whenever you decide to adopt and give a homeless pet the gift of a happy home, be sure to think it through and make it a family decision.
After all, pets don’t know it’s the holiday season. They don’t know how to wrap presents. And they don’t know “Jingle Bells” when they hear it. But they do know love when they feel it, any season of the year — and they also know the sound of your voice as distinct from all others. As for wrapping presents? Well, my nuggets know a lot more about unwrapping than wrapping.
So when we talk about shelter pets going home for the holidays, we’re really talking about adoptions that last a lifetime. Right now on my Instagram page are photos of some of my jolly nuggets, like beautiful, blind Sophia and Charlie Chunk, dozing under our Christmas tree. They bring joy to my world every day of the year.
And here’s another photo I love on my page, taken this weekend at North Shore during the holiday adoption event. It shows a lovely family of four — mom, dad, and two excited little girls — who’ve just adopted a cuddly brown and white dog, probably the first pet in the children’s’ lives. The photo frame is so sweet it makes my heart burst. It says, “Thank You Beth & Howard Stern and Friends!”
All I can say is, “Thank you, beautiful family, for making my wish come true for your darling puppy. May all your wishes come true, too.”
And thank you, Howard, and our wonderful friends for making this photo and those shining smiles unforgettable.
And North Shore! All this happened because you work so hard, keep your no-kill promise, and inspire us all. Thank you!
It’s amazing what friends can do together. In this case alone, we helped 268 perfectly lovable dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens go home for the holidays — and for all the joyful days to come.
So stay tuned to North Shore Animal League America. We have so many exciting plans for 2017, including breaking ground for my dearest wish of all, Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center!
And please remember: don’t ever hesitate to wish for good and beautiful things in life. With friends those wishes can come true!
Happy Holidays to All.