Shelter Pets Strike a Paws for Petmate

Vacation isn’t a term typically associated with the life of a shelter pet. Animals are often ushered through the doors of Arlington Animal Services in need of medical attention, socialization and a strong dose of TLC. But for some of these dogs and cats, a small vacation—posing for photo shoots, eating treats and playing with new toys—has been a reality. For four dogs and one cat, a day of fun and photos at the Petmate offices in Arlington not only gave them a break from the usual, but became the opportunity of a lifetime—a chance to meet someone who would love them forever.

Eight months ago, Ashley Cassano, a Petmate employee, began coordinating with Arlington Animal Services each time a four-legged model was needed in a photo shoot for a new pet product. This, she realized, would not only help her take photographs of new toys, collars, kennels and litter boxes, but would also allow a different animal from the shelter each week to spend a day at the Petmate offices being doted on, given treats and posing for pictures.

Naturally, word spread quickly that charming adoptable dogs and cats were making their way in and out of the office. The day long visits became a great opportunity to meet and observe each adorable adoptee and share the news with coworkers, family and friends looking to adopt a new family member. Through this facilitation, five pets—Ziva, Bongo, Lady, Lily and Humphrey “Bogie” Bogart—were all successfully adopted and now live with their new families in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Following each visit, pets are returned to Animal Services along with a donation of items like kennels, bedding and litter boxes from Petmate. Today, Ashley continues this effort, making frequent trips to the shelter in hopes that the next pup or kitty she chooses to work with will soon find a forever home.

Arlington Animal Services rescues hundreds of animals each year from abuse, neglect and abandonment, and it is truly rewarding when a shelter animal finds a forever home with a loving family. Without a dedicated staff and volunteers who contribute greatly to rescue and adoption efforts, the program would not have success stories like these. In addition to providing rescue for abandoned and stray animals, Animal Services encourages responsible pet ownership by offering licensing programs, field enforcement services, and educational programs for Arlington citizens. Chris Huff, Community Services Educator for the City of Arlington, works closely with these and other programs, including Respect-A-Bull, Inc., an organization dedicated to lowering the number of Pit Bulls in shelters by offering free spay/neuter and education clinics. For more information about adoption or other programs provided by the city of Arlington, please visit or call 817.459.5898.

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