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What Happens After "Happily Ever After"?

The Michigan Humane Society tracks animals beyond their fairytale endings, making for more successful matches, happier adopters, and more confident staff

The Michigan Humane Society tracks animals beyond their fairytale endings, making for more successful matches, happier adopters, and more confident staff

Adopters are frequently excited—and distracted—when meeting or picking up their new pets. The support program allows MHS staff to deliver pet care information in ways that make it more likely to be absorbed. MICHIGAN HUMANE SOCIETY
The big day has arrived for the nervous little wirehaired dachshund mix in the sixth run of the kennels: After three weeks at your shelter, he’s going home with an adopter.

Like so many animals, he was frightened when he first arrived, and spent the first few days trembling in a corner, barely meeting the eyes of kennel staff and taking only the occasional bite of his kibble.

But with some gentle coaxing and a few walks in the sun, he started relaxing, and calmed down enough to win the hearts of a family who passed through. When they asked to meet him, the little dog worked it, thumping his tail hesitantly and gazing up at them with shining eyes. The little boy in the family stroked his back and the dog rolled over to display his fat tummy. By the way the boy grinned—and by the way his mother giggled watching them—you could tell that one lucky little pooch had takers.

Now he’s in the front lobby, still slightly woozy from the neuter surgery anesthesia, and he and the little boy are staring at each other. They both look happy. They both look nervous. They gaze at each other with expressions that seem to say, Are you really the one for me?

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