Living the “Spud” Life!

Hi… new name is Mocha Latte and I want to thank all my friends at AAC who helped me.  My forever home is just over the border in what my Mom calls Idaho (Victor). I have a large home to explore and lots of toys and a couple adoring Aunties. Busy learning the house rules but, still like to sneak up on the counter when left alone and have also been known to enjoy a sip or two from the toilet.  Life is so good…and I’m finally happy!

Scooby Wins The Lottery

My childhood nickname was Scoob. In the spring of 2014 my husband David and I bought what we dubbed “The Scooby Van”, the perfect road-trip vehicle. Then in mid-March of that year we lost Travis, our 17-year-old border collie, the love of our lives. But by August, our hearts had healed just enough to think about adopting again. I went to AAC’s website one morning and there he was. The photo was labeled “Scooby”.  He was the cutest puppy I had ever seen. Once I convinced my husband to take a quick glance on the website, from his desk that busy Monday morning, I heard dead air on the other end of the line, then, “Oh yeauh.  Go get him”. We knew it was meant to be and by the end of that day Scooby had loaded up into the van and he was headed home with us to Victor!

The story goes that Doc Heather had gone to the Wind River Reservation to rescue some puppies and out from under a trailer popped a skittish, tri-colored puppy, no other siblings, just Scooby. Heather asked, “Hey, can I take him too?” Thankfully for us all, the answer was yes and after a stint with a foster family, he was ready for adoption. (I’ve never found out who fostered him but if you are reading this, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the love you gave him in those first weeks!)

Scooby had the biggest paws we had ever seen and needless to say, he grew and grew and grew, finally settling on 75lbs.  He was curious but always quite cautious. Whether from his first weeks under that trailer or inherent in his genes, his go-to emotion is fear. He could have so easily turned into a bad dog, a fighter, a biter.  But gradually he began to trust us and after some puppy training and lots of lovin’ he has turned into the perfect, sweetest, best doofus ever!

I work from home so he is my constant companion.  He has great neighborhood friends to wrestle with and he goes for lots of walks in the woods. He sleeps on the bed with us each night and never worries about where to get his next meal. But what he loves most of all is when we are all loaded up in the van, just the 3 of us and we are off for another one of our van adventures.  He’s chased the seagulls in the surf on the Pacific coast and swum in the Columbia River Gorge. He’s camped in Moab and hiked in Glacier.  And he’s even been on a ferry to Chelan, WA. He’s always ready to see the van doors swing open and to hear those words, “Load up!”

Thanks to AAC, our hearts are healed and Scooby, well, he won the lottery!

Best Buddies

Our new kitten Queso has taken a shine to our pit bull.  Every morning when the dog jumps into bed the kitten seizes her opportunity to attack his wagging tail.  He lets her chomp his tail for awhile before wrestling with her.  The 70lb pit bull plays with the 3lb kitten as if they were both puppies.  He dances and jumps around her as she swats at him.  They both seem to love it and keep coming back for more. To see the gentleness in my dog that has gotten into many dog fights is truly heart warming.  Now that Queso is around they get to hang out together when I go away to work.  I got the kitten for my own comfort, which has been great because she is such a loving and friendly cat.  However the real winner here is my dog who has found his best buddy in a little kitten.

Squash Settling In!

Squash here, just checking in! I am loving my new home! I get to hike so much and go for walks everyday!  I am losing my squishy weight and even get to jump up with my human on the hammock now! I get chew toys, peanut butter ( but I feel like they are giving me the diet stuff!], and toys galore!

My new sister Clover has finally adapted to my shenanigans and I have taught her that 6 am is breakfast time! Why does everyone wanna sleep longer?!

Ronnie’s New Family!

Jared and I are happy to say our family is complete when we adopted Ronnie. We go on walks on the Snake River as well as hanging out in the lakes as much as possible. Although Ronnie isn’t much of a swimmer and/or a hiker we still manage to keep him on his paws :). Ronnie is such a lover to say the least, cuddling is one of his best quality’s. Ronnie is adapting to our family and friends well, he is famous for his sweet smile! We are so excited to spend the many years he has with him!

AAC in the News!

Did you know that all of the AAC dogs in our program go into a foster home EVERY night and weekend. That means the AAC organizes approximately 2,500 sleepovers a year! Placing dogs in foster homes is a huge piece of our staffs daily job and we could not do it with our our list of hundreds of people willing to invite animals in need into their home. Not only do the dogs get to lead a normal life during their stay with us but we get to learn about the environment they would thrive in. Instead of spending the night in their kennel they get to go home with loving families, have playdates with friends, get the exercise they need and the love they deserve. “From reducing stress to increasing adoptability to improving behavior, foster homes provide a long list of benefits to homeless pets, executive director Carrie Boynton said.”  This model is proven to benefit nearly everyone involved including the future adopter of said dog! Check out the Jackson Hole News & Guide’s article on our foster program and sign up here!

“The Adoption Center has just launched Seniors for Seniors, a program that homes well-seasoned cats and dogs — typically 7 years and older — with people 65 and up. The shelter’s “expert matchmakers” will help seniors find a pet that fits their lifestyle and housing situation at a reduced rate of $50 for dogs and $15 for cats.” AAC staff truly believes that everyone deserves the chance to have the unconditional love of a pet. They hope that the newest adoption program, Seniors for Seniors, puts that into action for Seniors that may not want a puppy or kitten but an animal their own speed. Read more about seniors and their pets here.

DNA tests are always a hot topic in the Animal Rescue field. When dogs enter the AAC program the staff has to use their best educated guess on what the animal’s breed is based on physical features and behavior. Often times we know little to nothing about the dog and cannot guarantee the breed. Some like to do a DNA test just for the fun of it, to see what their beloved pet is made up of! Others like to do it for medical or behavioral reasons. In some cases, a DNA test can bring awareness to certain medical needs that a breed is known for or change a training plan based on what breeds the dog is made up of. Read JHN&G’s take on DNA tests and why one particular owner got one done!

Tate’s Weight Loss Journey

Hi.  My name is Tate, but most of you probably know me by my former name, Ms. Potato.

You could say that I am a girl with a bit of a past as I entered “the system” after being seized during a SWAT raid on my house in Idaho.  I was taken to the Idaho Falls shelter where I did some time in gen pop before I was transported to the AAC in Jackson.

During my intake session the AAC staff took me over to medical next door at Jackson Animal Hospital where I was deemed to be morbidly obese, weighing in at 77 lbs.  I took some offense to that characterization and the way they talked about me as if I wasn’t in the room, but the next thing I knew, I was placed on something called a “diet” and only fed a mere two times a day.  While the food I was given wasn’t bad, I can’t say that it was good either; it tasted like sadness, like a salad without Ranch dressing.

It was during my intake that I was given the name Ms. Potato as nobody could quite sort what breed of dog I was and it was said, again – like I wasn’t in the room – that I looked like a Russet potato with legs.  Haha, really funny.

My time at the AAC was comfortable, except for my hunger pains.  The AAC staff took good care of me during the day, giving me lots of pets, but, sadly, not many snacks.  Lots of nice people came by the shelter and would take me on walks around town wearing the “Orange is the New Black” “Adopt Me” vest that, frankly, did little for my figure.

I looked forward to every evening and the weekends when I got to go stay at my halfway house with my foster mom Kelly. She was the best.  She would take me on walks with her dog Ella and when she wasn’t at home, Ella and I would cuddle on Kelly’s bed.  The best thing about Kelly’s place was when she would move my favorite chair next to the window so I could lay on it and keep watch over the neighborhood.

During these two months there was a kid who was always at the shelter and I could tell that she was way into me.  She would give me lots of pets and an occasional treat when the guards weren’t looking.  I knew I was her favorite when she swabbed my mouth for a DNA test so that the question about my breed could finally be put to rest.  (By the way, I’m 50% Chinese Shar-Pei, 37.5% Airedale Terrier, with a 12.5% air of mystery.)

This kid was super persistent with her mom, trying to talk her into letting the kid spring me from this joint.  I spent one weekend with them as my fosters during which I was on my very best behavior.  A couple of weeks later I went to stay with them again and I laid it on thick with the mom, showing her my charming personality and how hilariously cute I am.  I made myself right at home, dozing belly-up in front of their fireplace.

Sure enough, my plan with the kid worked like a charm and the next week we were all back at the AAC getting my parole papers.  It was my best day!  After leaving the shelter they took me to get my very own collar and a tag.  I was no longer a homeless dog.

From that moment on, my name became Tate.

I like my new home.  In addition to the kid, there is a bigger kid who lets me sleep in her room, and I now have 4 dog siblings.  At first there were some adjustment issues with my dog sister Jessie.  Just like most tall, skinny, beautiful girls, she is a little crazy, but the other dogs advised me that if I just let Jessie think she is in charge (even though we all ignore her and do what we want), everything would be cool. They were right.

I love my new siblings even if I don’t look like them.  They are all hounds and have long hound dog ears.  Alas, my ears are tiny; as a side-by-side comparison showed, they are smaller than a Dorito.  Mmmmm….Doritos….I love Doritos.  Initially I was afraid that the body shaming over my ear size would continue forever and I looked into getting some ear extensions, but my new family has embraced me with all of my unique proportions – small ears and nubbin tail included!

My new family has kept me on a diet, and although the flavor of the food has improved, the quantity has not.  They frequently make jokes about how I ate too much Taco Bell back when I lived in “the crack house.” They also tell me that I need to keep working on my fitness and they take me on lots of walks.  My new mom has said they will even try me out on some hikes, but only in the shade and not during the heat of the day because apparently I don’t have the most efficient cooling system.

I enjoy running around in my fenced yard with my new brothers and sisters and I am an ever-vigilant watch dog patrolling the perimeter, protecting everyone from any free roaming ungulates that dare to approach MY house.  I have worked out a deal with my new parents: in the winter they dig paths through the snow for me and in the summer I dig holes in the yard (along with one of my brothers) for them.  I see it as a win-win.

While I don’t love being on a diet, my rations have slowly increased and when the kid took me for my weigh-in this week, I was down to a svelte 48.6 lbs!  I feel so much better and have so much more energy than when I first moved to Jackson.  I hate looking back at the old pictures of myself.  I am proud to say that I am no longer a Russet potato, but now I am more of a fingerling.

If you see me on the streets, feel free to call me the Real Slim Tatey.

Suns Out, Tongues Out ~ Summer Happenings!

We are finally feeling like summer has arrived and that we have hopefully seen the last of the snow. Visitors from around the world have been stepping foot in the Animal Adoption Center (AAC) and families are in the market to adopt! We are so grateful to be apart of such an amazing community and we would love to take a minute to catch everyone up with what is happening this summer at the AAC. Not only do we have a lot of events for you to join us at but we have plenty of cats and dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages that are eager to find their forever homes. We are sure that we can find a great fit for you or your family! Check out our available animals here.

Our summer events start off next week where we will be one of the featured nonprofits at the Slow Food People’s Market, a family friendly farmers market every Wednesday, 4-7PM, from May 29th – September 18th at the base of Snow King. Join us on July 19th from 4-7PM at Phil Baux Park to meet some adoptable dogs and learn about our programs. Shop for local vegetables, fruit, cheese, meat, milk, bread, eggs, and a great selection of prepared food for dinner and dessert. Plus live music and drinks!

The following week we will be joining the Summer Concert Series to Save the Block on June 26th at. Bank of Jackson Hole presents the Summer Concert Series to Save The Block. Save The Block has partnered with Orijin, Melvin Brewing, and Jackson Hole Still Works for free drinks with great live music! Stop by the green space between Persephone and Healthy Being  Juicery to learn more about the campaign to Save The Block’s historic character. Come support Cafe Genevieve, Persephone Bakery, and Healthy Being Juicery & Cafe and featured nonprofits including us! Biking and walking is encouraged along with bringing your lawn chair or blanket.

The weekend of June 28th and 29th the Animal Adoption Center’s Spay/Neuter Wyoming team will be traveling to the Wind River Indian Reservation for the second spay/neuter clinic of the year. Over the course of this two day clinic, a team of 4 vets, 7 vet techs and multiple volunteers will spay/neuter approximately 200 animals of registered tribal members. We will be accepting food (human and animal) donations at the Animal Adoption Center until June 27th to be distributed to those in need on the reservation. Over the past 10 years, AAC’s Spay/Neuter Wyoming program has facilitated the spays or neuters of over 12,000 animals and these mobile spay/neuter clinics are one of our main ways we can do this!

Leading up to our annual fundraiser, New Leash On Life, we will be selling raffle tickets for our Grand Raffle. The winner gets to choose between three different trips. Pack your binoculars for Africa, bikini for Mexico or wine glass for Napa! Help the Animal Adoption Center save the lives of homeless by entering to win one of these amazing vacations! Purchase your tickets online, in person or call 307-739-1881. 1 ticket for $25 or 5 tickets for $100. Drawing held at the New Leash on Life on July 13, 2019. Need not be present to win.

Moving into July is our annual fundraiser, New Leash On Life, on July 13th at Snake River Ranch from 4-8pm. Please join us in celebration of the Animal Adoption Center’s 15th Anniversary. Enjoy an evening with live music, dinner, cocktails, auctions, yard games, adoptable furry friends and more! All proceeds from this fun and inspiring event support the AAC’s life-saving rescue, adoption, education and spay/neuter programs which positively impact the lives of thousands of animals each year. Buy tickets before they sell out here.

Diehl Gallery presents Donald Martiny’s second solo exhibition, Praxis & Poesis, and they have generously chosen the Animal Adoption Center for the exhibit to benefit. Join Diehl Gallery at the Artist Reception on July 18th from 5-8pm at 155 West Broadway. The exhibit will be open to visitors from July 18th-August 7th.

We are excited to announce our partnership with Dog Is My Copilot (DIMC) on August 14th. DIMC saves thousands of shelter animals by transporting them to organizations where they will be adopted. They will be flying animals Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in Phoenix to Driggs, Idaho to join the Animal Adoption Center’s adoption program. Keep your eyes peeled for new dogs and fill out a foster application if you are interested in helping out!

Each summer we have a handful of youth interns that joins us on their summer break to learn all about animal welfare and the rescue world. Their end project is to put on their own Lemonade stand. All profits will go directly to the Animal Adoption Center. Stay tuned for the date in August!

Old Bills Fun Run is the last hoorah of summer! First, Mr. and Mrs. Old Bill donate $500,000 to the match. The Community Foundation then solicits additional matching contributions from donors called Co-Challengers. The Animal Adoption Center is one of the many qualifying nonprofit organizations that participate in Old Bills each year. Gifts are made to the Community Foundation by a donor on behalf of a local charity or charities. Nonprofits can raise as much money as they wish, of which the Community Foundation matches the first $30,000. They still receive 100% of donor contributions in excess of $30,000, but that money is not matched.

We are elated to be spending the summer celebrating our 15th Anniversary with YOU! If none of these events work with your schedule you are more than welcome to stop by during operating hours, Tuesday-Friday 12-6pm and Friday from 11-3pm. We also have our dog-walking, foster and volunteer program and we always welcome the helping hand!

5 Years With Monroe!

I am celebrating 5 years with my pup Monroe! I went to the AAC on a whim (after a long time wanting a dog of my own) where one of AAC’s staff asked what I was looking for in a dog. I had said a medium sized dog with medium sized energy for all of Jackson’s adventures and that’s when I was introduced to Monroe. I fostered Monroe for the weekend where I was introduced to all of his snuggling capabilities, and also had my first taste of Monroe’s personality.

After two weeks or so with Monroe, I decided to head up to the Park and paddleboard. I left Monroe at my home near Josie’s Ridge in his kennel. When I left the Park a couple hours later, I had a few voicemails from my former neighbor, Heather, who was also Monroe’s vet at the AAC. She let me know Monroe was safe at home….after Monroe had decided to make a trip to Smith’s grocery store, wander the aisles and (thank goodness) run into Heather.

Monroe has given me a run for my money more times than I can count, but he has also given me and many others so much joy. We have learned a lot together! After another year in Jackson, Monroe has lived in Bend, OR, then Burlington, VT and now Portland, ME. He has swam in both oceans and skied, climbed and biked many mountains.

As someone who must have been familiar with Monroe posted on his original adoption Facebook post, Monroe was “the best cuddler in Jackson Hole”. He still lives up that title here in Maine and I am so thankful to the AAC for setting me up with my adventure buddy.

Josie the Cajun mutt

When Josie first came to the Animal Adoption Center in September 2016, she was an absolute mess! She was brought to Wyoming via a “Dog is My CoPilot” flight from Louisiana, where disastrous flooding was causing many shelters to evacuate. When we got her off the plane and to the AAC, we discovered she had kennel cough, Giardia, and seizures. We immediately placed her in a medical foster home. I (Amanda) had been working at the Animal Adoption Center for about 6 months and was so ready for a dog of my own. About a week after Josie arrived, I decided to foster her. Conveniently my boyfriend was out of town on a climbing trip during this time, so Josie and I had plenty of time to bond. I knew immediately that she was my dog.

As Josie got healthier, her true quirky personality started to come out! She is the most loving and loyal dog I have ever know. She is a total goof ball and has episodes of the most spastic “zoomies”.  We also discovered her love for kittens. Whenever we foster litters of kittens she seems to think they are her own babies and carries them around, cleans them, and snuggles them. She gladly accompanies us on all adventures and snuggles us at night. I am so grateful that this one of a kind creature came into my life. The love she has shown me is beyond anything I could ever imagine.