Three-year-old Snoopy is one of the dogs available for adoption at Animal Rescue of Carroll.
Three-year-old Snoopy is one of the dogs available for adoption at Animal Rescue of Carroll.
November 27, 2013

Snoopy is small and mostly white, with light brown eyebrows contrasting with his black face. He barks when he's in his kennel, but once released, he's interested only in cuddling.

He also has a severe foot injury and was taken from his owner, along with four other dogs, because of neglect.

I met Snoopy, in a roundabout way, because I was missing my own dog (she's my brother's, technically, but I claim her). I missed being enthusiastically greeted at the door. I missed having a large, soft, breathing pillow. I missed the unconditional, simple love only a dog can provide.

It turned out that my coworker, education and features reporter Audrey Ingram, missed her dog, too - so she suggested we volunteer at Animal Rescue of Carroll's dog shelter.

On our first day there, we didn't expect to find a dog that had kicked off his bandage, bled on the floor of his kennel and needed us to clean and treat his foot.

But what's more, we didn't expect that same dog to be as affectionate as Snoopy was. Even as we soaked his foot, and gave him his medicine, he stood still, rested his head against us and accepted the loving we were giving him.

We worked with seven dogs - walking them, cleaning their kennels, giving them food and water and freely distributing kisses. The seven were kept in the shelter's five kennels; two more are kept in foster homes. The dogs we met were varying breeds, sizes and ages, but each one was friendly, enthusiastic and so grateful for the company.

Although we love visiting the dogs, they don't belong in kennels at a small, chilly shelter. They belong in permanent homes, and that's where you come in.

There are about 10 dogs that are available for adoption through Animal Rescue of Carroll. Through our weekly visits with these dogs, Audrey and I have come to realize how blessed anyone would be to adopt any of these dogs.

There are Snoopy's four counterparts - Gizmo, Josie, Rambo and Melina - who vary in size, age and Labrador retriever content. And although those five are still new to the shelter, four other dogs are immediately available: Sadie, Bailey, Lexy and JoJo, all female adults.

It usually costs $100-$125 to adopt a dog from Animal Rescue of Carroll that has been tested for diseases, given shots and spayed or neutered.

Although my experience with the shelter has been only with dogs, cats are available as well, typically for $75. They are also tested, given shots and spayed or neutered.

Audrey's article in today's paper (Page 1) has more information about how to adopt an animal, as does The shelter can also use volunteers to visit the animals or foster them, as well as donations to pay for food, supplies and veterinary care.

We've met and worked with almost all of the shelter's dogs, and because of that, we've gotten a taste of some of the things that those dogs' future owners will experience.

A cold nose pressed against your hand.

Little paws jumping up on your legs, hoping you'll crouch down and get closer.

A kiss on the face after a walk in the cold.

I can't think of a better holiday gift for all of these animals than to empty the shelter and have them join homes throughout Carroll. But they won't be the only ones who benefit - I promise.

When your face is being kissed and your arms are full of cuddly dog (or cat!), you'll be glad you decided to add an animal from the shelter to your life.