Dear adopter of a rescue dog or cat,

First let me say, thank you. Before you take your new family member home I want you to remember a few things. This sweet animal has recently come off the streets, out of a home where they were no longer wanted or cared for, or out of a crowded shelter. Some have been abused or sick. You can hardly imagine what many have been through.

For the last few weeks or months they’ve been living in a “foster” home. For the first time in their lives somebody fed them, tossed them a ball and let them sleep on the bed. Just as they started to feel secure things changed again. For those heading out of state they were put on a transport vehicle leaving the only love and security they have ever known. For as much as 30 hours they were in a crate until they arrived in a parking lot where they were met by another foster parent.

Jessica leaving the shelter in Macon. She was rescued by The Pixel Fund

For days or weeks they lived with this foster parent until you decided to adopt them. Once they arrived at your home they had no idea if they would actually be able to stay. Perhaps they are taking time to show you affection? Perhaps they chewed something up or chased one of your other pets? Perhaps in their excitement they had an accident on your favorite oriental rug?

Thea and Otis in their foster home in Macon. Rescued by Maine Lab Rescue and The Pixel Fund

But know this. If you give them time and have patience they will come to know you love them and that they’ve reached their forever home. The gratitude in their eyes will never go away, NEVER. On those days when you are feeling down they will somehow be able to empathize with you because they’ve been there and that my friend makes it all worth it.

Chihuahua puppies in Macon on the morning of transport to Maine with The Pixel Fund

Samus, a Macon shelter dog adopted by On Second Thought host Celeste Headlee arrives in her new home