Happy Birthday

July 15, 2011 12:50:00 PM

Tracy Staedter

Petfinder-leyla-556x450, which is part of the Discovery family of websites, is celebrating its 15th birthday. I wanted to give a personal shout-out to the site, since I adopted my own dog, Leyla (above) two years ago using Petfinder.

Sifting through the website can be simulataneously pleasurable and heartbreaking. There are so many adorable animals out there, but they all need a home. I remember my own experience finding Leyla. As soon as I decided I wanted a dog, I visited the site frequently to look for dogs available in my area. Oddly enough, Leyla ultimately didn’t come from my region. Instead, I found her through a shelter in my area that works with shelters in the South, where animals are euthanized quickly.

Leyla was a stray and about three years old (we think). I have no idea what her backstory is or why she was lost. She had no tags, no chip and someone found her along a busy roadside, skinny and full of fleas. But when I saw her picture online, I could tell that she was a sweet dog. In the two photos posted, she looked relaxed and happy, her ears flopped forward and her tongue hanging happily out.

I filled out the paperwork and paid for her sight unseen. Volunteers drove her up from Alabama to New Hampshire (along with about 20 or so other dogs) and handed her off to me the day they arrived. Now we are good friends. She’s my companion and my friend and I would adopt again using Petfinder.

To celebrate their birthday, the website is holding an adoption event this weekend involving about 1,500 shelters across the country. And their goal in the next two days is to find homes for 15,000 pets. If you’re unable to rescue an animal, you can always donate $15 to the Foundation (I just did), supports thousands of animal welfare organizations by providing direct funding, as well as training, education and grants of equipment and supplies.