By KayLynn Roberts-McMurray 

The Ely Times

There is something special about October for millions of dogs. It’s not the pumpkin desserts, holiday sweaters

Burrell Bybee with his new friend Fred (left), and Marty.

Burrell Bybee with his new friend Fred (left), and Marty.

, or Halloween costumes, it’s the promise for many a better life. October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month which means it is a perfect time to help a homeless dog find it’s new loving home. Adopting a pet is quite fulfilling, and very rewarding, especially when there are so many shelters spilling over with animals. Statistics from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) report that there are approximately 3.9 million dogs that enter animal shelters each year across the nation. Approximately 1.4 million dogs are adopted out, 542,000 dogs are returned to their owners, and unfortunately 1.2 million dogs are euthanized each year.

Thankfully the animal shelter here in Ely does not have the volume that larger cities have, but there are still plenty of dogs in need of a home. Animal Control Officer, Bobby Armijo says “we do a pretty good job at getting the dogs adopted out, but we can have up to 10 dogs at the shelter at any given time” and that puts them over capacity. A 5 day business hold is placed on every dog in the event the owner comes to reclaim the dog. After the 5 day hold is up, the dog becomes available for adoption. In the past, when the Ely animal shelter was at full capacity, animals were sent to Reno to the NSPCA facility, but they too are at full and have not been able to accept any animals for several months now.

So how do you adopt? An adoption application must be completed, and the adoption fee is $25.00 to adopt a dog. If the dog is not spayed or neutered the adoption agreement requires proper sterilization of the dog within 30 days of the adoption date as well as licensing the dog. Having your pet chipped is also suggested but not a requirement.

The local shelter is a great place to find a dog of every type, size, age and personality. You can save a life and greatly improve your own. Burrell Bybee had just lost one of his dogs of 14 years. He wanted another dog and he knew the only place he would go to look was the local animal shelter. He headed down to the shelter to find a new friend for himself and a companion for his other dog, Marty.

A male yellow lab, heeler mix dog, sat quietly in his kennel at the Ely City Animal Shelter as Mr. Bybee walked around the facility checking out the dogs that were available for adoption. The dog was barely a year old when he was first brought in as a stray according to the shelter staff.

The dog was adopted out twice, and each time, he was found wandering the streets. The shelter became his home off and on for the past year.

This dog needed a safe, loving, forever home. Burrell noticed the lab, heeler dog wiggling with excitement, as he jumped into his arms, licking his face. There was no question of where this dog belonged, Burrell completed the adoption paperwork, loaded him up in his truck and took him to his new forever home. Fred is the dog’s new name, who now has acres to run, another dog to play with, horses, and goats to keep watch over and his owner’s lap to lay on at the end of each day. It’s uncertain the life Fred led before, but he seems quite playful and bears a smile bigger than any dog you’ve seen. It’s as if he’s trying to express how grateful he is for the new life he’s been given.

There are plenty of other ways to help out if you are unable to adopt. You can support the shelter by donating treats, toys, blankets, straw for the outdoor kennels, or food for the shelter pets. They even have a foster program. For additional information you can visit the shelter at 1003 Lacawanna Road, Monday thru Friday 7:30-4:00p.m., go to the website at , or contact Officer Armijo at 775-296-0567. Even the smallest effort can make a difference.