Some animals come to MHS, and barely spend any time with us, and some are with us for several months. It is an undeniable fact that some dogs are “desirable” and some are more difficult to adopt out. There are not hard and fast rules as to what animals will be with us a long time and which ones won’t, but whether an animal is with us for a few hours or a few months, we are committed to helping that animal make the best possible impression on adopters.

Our overlooked pets program is one of the ways we track animals that have been with us for an extensive period of time. But almost immediately upon arrival, all of our adoptable animals go through a process to help them get adopted.


Our fantastic Online Photo Team is made up of volunteers who meet at each of the shelters several times a week to photograph our adoptable pets. These photographers are focused on making the animal look as great as possible. There is plenty of evidence that excellent photos help animals get adopted. These photos go on our adoptable pets page, Petfinder, Adopt a Pet, and our social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and this blog.

While the animal is being “marketed” to the public via various websites and sometimes local newspapers, the animal is cared for by a variety of MHS staff and volunteers. They are fed twice a day, groomed and bathed if they need it, walked (or in the case of cats, removed from their cage into a safe, larger area), and they get to work on tricks with our Pawsitive Start team.


Pawsitive Start allows our dogs to show off their best manners and some cute tricks, which helps make them more appealing to potential adopters. We also do Pawsitive Start for cats!

Some animals also need special veterinary care, like surgery on a limb or medication for an illness. Some need foster care, where they live in the home of a volunteer while they work on behavior issues or recover from medical issues. The lives of our adoptable animals are touched by many people on their way to a new home. From intake staff to daily kennel staff, foster parents, evaluation staff, dog walking volunteers, Pawsitive Start volunteers, veterinarians… there is a lot that goes into getting a pet ready to be adopted, and helping them find the perfect family for them.