Grieving past pets, locals get inspired to adopt at Clear the Shelters

Over the weekend, the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA (PHS) participated in a national adoption event called Clear the Shelters. Sponsored by NBC and Telemundo, Clear the Shelters resulted in more than 13,800 animals being adopted into new families throughout the Southern California area. In our neck of the woods, 84 animals– dogs, cats and critters–found themselves sleeping in a home rather than spending another night in a kennel. We are extremely thankful for being able to participate in an event that brought so much exposure to the plight of homeless animals and highlighted their value. I am excited to announce that two of the dogs that I mentioned in last week’s column were adopted at our event. I was able to meet with both of the families and wanted to share their happy updates.

Mark and Janell from Montebello had lost the last of their three golden retrievers back in 2017. They wanted to take a break from getting another pet to grieve and travel, but their grandchildren talked them into “just looking.” Doing an internet search, they found a dog on the PHS website that they wanted to meet. After a family talk, they decided to check on him.

Before they went to the shelter, Mark opened his phone and a picture of his late dog Nani popped up. “Was this a sign that the time was right?” he thought. The family drove to the shelter to check out the young dog they saw online, but quickly learned that he was unavailable. They decided to look around the kennels. That is when they saw Obi, the 10-year-old lab, who was brought the shelter when his previous owner could no longer care for him. Knowing the breed, they were attracted to how laid back he was. Recognizing his senior age, they assumed that he already had training. “Somehow I was able to relate to him because we are about the same age. We can rely on each other for excellent companionship,” said Mark.

Mark and Janell qualified for the Seniors for Seniors program where a senior dog and a senior person are matched and the adoption fee is waived. While filling out the paperwork, Mark looked down at his phone to see Nani’s picture leave the screen. “Yup, it was a sign that Obi is the right dog for us,” he stated. The family renamed the lab Kekon, meaning Brave in Hawaiian.

John and Margo from Altadena lost their dog Cinnamon when she passed away two years ago. Like Mark and Janell, they decided to wait before getting a new pet. That was until Margo saw a tweet on their social media page from the Pasadena Star News. It was last week’s column where they read about Bullet, the dog left behind in a backyard only to be discovered by a utility worker. “I used to work for Edison, and we were moved by the story where a power worker found Bullet abandoned in a yard. We knew we needed to come meet him,” said John.

The couple visited the shelter on Wednesday at the end of the day, but it was about to close. On Friday, John came down to meet Bullet, but decided it was best to wait until the next day when Margo could meet him as well. Nervous that they would miss out on this wonderful pup and thinking that the Clear the Shelter event was on Sunday, they rushed down on Saturday to beat the crowds and adopt Bullet. They soon found out that Saturday was actually the day of the event. They were relieved when Bullet was still in his kennel and promptly adopted him.

Besides Bullet’s sad rescue story, John and Margo were attracted to his energy. “He reminds us of Cinnamon,” they said. “We can’t wait to get him home.” When asked about the feeling you get when you adopt a pet, they responded, “We couldn’t imagine getting an animal any other way. These dogs need homes and we need them too.” They plan to keep his name as Bullet.

Saturday’s event was a huge success, but we still have many animals looking for a new home. Find your new best friend at

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