For a minute, the stress went away and it seemed as if everyone forgot the semester was coming to an end. Students, faculty, and passersby all gathered around the five crates each holding a dog eager to play and meet a potential family. One by one the dogs were let out to be: cuddled, pet, and walked across the campus.

The dogs were on campus as part of an adoption event organized by senior Roma Avila with Cache Creek Rescue. The rescue group operates a non-for-profit, no-kill shelter in New Lenox, IL that relies heavily on help from volunteers to set up events and transport animals to each adoption site. The organization knows all too well what it’s like to lose a home and does everything possible to relocate the animals it takes in.

Mary Jo is a volunteer who donates her time and resources to help the shelter when she can. She has done this before, but this was her first solo event. Because she is alone, she can only bring as many animals as she can manage and that can fit in her vehicle, luckily she owns a truck. She showed up promptly at 11:00AM and had the dogs ready to go in 20 minutes with the help of a few students.

This was the first campus event for the rescue group; they are used to working with pet stores and clinics to promote the adoption of their animals. There is some skepticism about the event on campus because student residents are not able to keep dogs or cats as pets at the university. However, there are plenty of students who commute and there is a lot of interest from faculty, staff, and people off campus. The shelter is happy to do the event whether or not an animal is adopted in order to promote the shelter and raise awareness, as well as take the dogs out for a ride. The adoption fees are $300 or less for the dogs on site:

Bailey – Labrador mix (female) 

Cassidy – Labrador mix (male) 

Eli – Pit Bull mix (male) 

Lulu – Terrier mix (female) 

Rascal – Labrador, Pit Bull, Boxer mix (male) 

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Because the rescue offers on site adoptions, dogs that meet eligible owners can be taken home after adopters are screened instead of going back to the shelter.

Bailey was the first to say goodbye as CUC faculty member Ashlee Davis Middendorf and her husband came and without hesitation, made Bailey a part of their family. Once all the paperwork was done, Bailey was off to a home with her own bed.

Cassidy was next. The smallest and youngest puppy found a home after a staff member shared his picture and within minutes he was en route to a permanent roof and bed of his own.

The last dog to say farewell was Rascal. As Mary Jo began to pack up, student and senior Kelley Guastella came by and did not want to go home without the puppy.

Although the dogs parted ways with the shelter, it is the best goodbye Cache Creek can hope for. The event was a success and even raised a little money for the rescue group. Mary Jo left the campus with a happy heart knowing there would be more room at the shelter for new faces in need of new beginnings and a “furever” home.

Eli and Lulu along with several other dogs and cats still need homes, please visit their website for details and location information. The rescue has a variety of dogs and cats that may not be present at events, but are available for adoption, so be sure to like them on Facebook for updates.

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