Looking for a Worthy Dog Charity to Donate Holiday Dollars To?

If Monday's spectacularPurinaONEcharitable gifthas you inspired to donateto a worthy dog charity for Christmas, look no further than The Simon Foundation. Adopting a shelter dog...

Julia Szabo  |  Dec 22nd 2010


If Monday’s spectacularPurinaONEcharitable gifthas you inspired to donateto a worthy dog charity for Christmas, look no further than The Simon Foundation.

Adopting a shelter dog is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. But it isn’t always easy, and doesn’t always have a happy ending. The sad reality is that two thirds of adopted dogs wind up returned to shelters. That’s why nonprofit organizations like The Simon Foundation are a bona fide dogsend.

The Simon Foundation is a private animal shelter in Connecticut that makes adoption easy by matching people with the rescued dog that’s just right for their lifestyle. The idea is to help reduce the rate of returns – and ensure that adoption remains a positive experience from beginning to happy end.

And so, rather than letting adopters cruise the cages, where they might make their selection on impulse (never a good idea), Simon Foundation staff bring a few pre-selected candidates out to meet the people. “When adopters tell us what they’re looking for in their application, we select four or five dogs that meet those criteria,” says executive director Stephanie Ferguson. “From there, it’s a process of elimination until a match is made with a dog that’s fine-tuned for their lifestyle.”

At that magic point, The Simon Foundation arranges to do a home check without the dog – and after that, thepet is delivered to his or her new digs. Talk about convenient, full-serviceanimal adoption!

These precautions ensure that most of the adoptions stick. But if for whatever reason an adoption doesn’t work out – even, say, as long as five years later – The Simon Foundation will always take a dog back. No hesitation or questions asked.

Prior to auditioning for their potential new owners, adoptable dogs are bathed in The Simon Foundation’s state-of-the-art grooming room. And after they go home, if their new owners make travel plans that don’t include the dog, The Simon Foundation offers boarding to its K9 alumni at a discount. (Boarding and grooming services are also available to dogs who weren’t adopted here, and the Simon Foundation is expert at handling dogs with aggression issues – the type of dog that most kennels routinely refuse.)

Whether they’re awaiting their forever homes or returning for a visit while their owners are away, dogs thoroughly enjoy The Simon Foundation’s accommodations, which include indoor-outdoor runs with radiant-heated floors, and expertly supervised socializing sessions (or “doggie play groups”).To see how happy the residents feel, check outthat smile on the pretty face of foxy Roxy, in the photo above.

Sometimes, traveling means needing to drop off the dog quite early or late in the day, which for many boarding facilities is “after hours.” But The Simon Foundation is a24-hour facility. “Our night staff alternates shelter dogs to curl up in bed with them,” Ferguson explains. “Most of our boarders have come from a shelter somewhere, sometime. And many times people are concerned that coming back to the kennel environment will be stressful for them. Then their dogs come running into our facility wagging their tail!”

That’s the ultimate endorsement – but it makes perfect sense, especially for Simon alums. Saysexpert Behavior ManagerJoanne Lincoln,”This was our dogs’ home, they lived here, they knew they were loved. It may not look like a home environment, but when our dogs come back, they’re very happy to see us.”

So if you’re on the East coast and looking to adopt a wonderful K9 companion custom-tailored for your needs, pleasemake The Simon Foundation your destination. And if you’re not in the market for a new dog, but you’re looking for a worthy dog charity to donate money, time, or skills to, you couldn’t find a worthier cause than The Simon Foundation, which depends on the kindness of dog lovers like you and me. To contact them, go here.