June is Adopt a Cat Month! 5 Reasons to Adopt an Adult Cat

Adopting an adult cat is a savvy feline adopter’s best-kept secret. But we’re here to let the cat out of the bag! Here are five reasons why you should consider adopting an adult cat!

1. Clear Purr-sonalities

Kittens are adorable, but you can never be sure just who they’ll grow up to be! Adult cats have more established personalities, meaning oftentimes, what you see is what you get. If you’re looking for a cuddle bug, couch potato cat and find a feline who seems to fit that bill in the shelter, that’s likely who you’re bringing home!

2. There’s More “Claw and Order” when you Adopt an Adult Cat

Adult cats often already have much of their training out of the way. This means you’re less likely to have to worry about litter box training, your new furry friend using a scratching post instead of the furniture, or other common kitty conundrums when adopting an adult cat.

3. There’s Less Mystery to their Hiss-tory

Many times, when you’re adopting an adult cat from the shelter, especially if the kitty is an owner surrender, the staff can tell you a bit about their history. You can ask if the kitty has lived successfully in the past with other cats, dogs, or kids to gauge how they may fit in your home. You can also learn about your furry friend’s interests and behavior in their previous home.

4. Adopt an Adult Cat and You’ll be “Feline” Relaxed

Kittens love to go, go, go! When adopting an adult cat, you can expect more time to put your paws up and relax. Adult cats still need enrichment and entertainment, but they are often far more independent than their younger counterparts. Just want to curl up and watch some Netflix after a long day on the job? An adult cat is the one for you!

5. Change a Life… or Nine Lives!

When adopting an adult cat from the shelter, you open up space for another kitty to take their place on the adoption floor! That means you aren’t just saving one life, or even your cat’s nine lives, but many, many more! Not sure where to start? Check out all our adoptable cats here!

Have you been purr-suaded? Don’t let Adopt a Cat Month pass you by! Add a feline friend to your household today at the Humane Society of Utah!

ES(A+): Nimbus’s Story

Nimbus sat in his kennel, watching adopters walk past him. He tilted his head, wagged his tail, and gave his best puppy dog eyes. Someone had to take notice of the 8-month-old husky pup, eventually, right?

Nimbus had been adopted and returned once due to no fault of his own. Although Humane Society of Utah staff members work hard to create a comfortable environment for the pets in our care, returning to the shelter can be difficult. He was beginning to demonstrate some stress-related behaviors as the shelter weighed on his mental health.

Little did Nimbus know, his soon-to-be family had been keeping an eye out for him for quite some time. He wouldn’t have to wait much longer to go home.

“We wanted a husky in our household,” Jasmyne said. “We had been watching Nimbus for a while, and decided to adopt him for our son’s birthday.”

So, Nimbus finally went home! But just like his human family surprised Nimbus with his adoption, he also had a little something up his sleeve. Nimbus would go on to fill a very special role within his new family.

Becoming an ESA

Jasmyne has a young son with Autism, and he suffers from night terrors. Nimbus was always meant to be a companion for his young friend, but no one could have predicted that he would turn out to be an ESA, or Emotional Support Animal, as well!

“Nimbus has been a breath of fresh air for our son,” Jasmyne said. “He is always by his side. If he is having night terrors, Nimbus immediately jumps on his bed, laying with him to comfort him.  We’re in the process of making him an ESA.”

It is important to remember that ESAs are not service animals, as they have not undergone specialized training to perform tasks for their guardian’s health. However, medical professionals prescribe ESAs to provide companionship and/or mitigate anxiety and other mental health issues. ESAs play a special role in their human companion’s life; not just any pet can fill it!

Helping out his Puppy Pals

The humans in Nimbus’s household are not the only ones who benefit from Nimbus’s presence! He now has two doggie siblings who Nimbus loves to play with.

“We have a very chunky blue heeler and a corgi red heeler mix,” Jasmyne shared. “The blue heeler loves to go out and play with Nimbus in the yard and chase him. It’s so good for her health to exercise out there with him!”

Jasmyne’s other pup wasn’t as sure about Nimbus in the beginning, but they are slowly but surely becoming friends. Jasmyne describes Hank as “loving Nimbus in his own way.”

Nimbus shows his enthusiasm in a unique way— he likes to sit on the other dogs in his household to get them to play! Jasmyne says he constantly wants to play with anyone who will entertain him, but he is very gentle about this, especially when it comes to kids and the elderly.

Happily Ever After

So it would seem that Nimbus is living his best life, full of pup cups, freeze-dried chicken, and car rides! His new family notes that he is quiet for a husky, and he doesn’t talk or howl much. Instead, Nimbus expresses himself through his cuddle bug personality and attachment to his humans. Jasmyne describes him as an amazing fit for her family.

“He is such a good boy, and we wouldn’t want to change anything about him!” She concluded.

Kitten Season is Here! What to do if you Find Stray Kittens

As the weather gets warmer, an influx of stray cats give birth, marking the beginning of Kitten Season. Kitten Season is arriving early this year, prompted by a milder winter. This led to an uptick in phone calls from concerned citizens about stray kittens and cats they have found.

“Kitten season brings an influx of kittens into our community, but discovering a litter does not necessarily mean they are in distress,” said Juli Ulvestad, Pet Resource Director at the Humane Society of Utah. Ulvestad emphasized the importance of understanding the needs of these young felines, stating, “In the first few weeks of life, kittens’ best chance of survival is with their mother.”

You’ve Found Stray Kittens. Now What?

HSU advises the public to leave stray kittens where they are found in most cases. We know this advice can be difficult to heed after so many years of hearing that kittens should be brought to the shelter. However, data shows that kittens have a much better chance of survival if left where their mother cat can care for them. Even kittens who appear unattended likely have a mother cat looking out for them. Should her kittens go missing, the mother will be distressed.

There are a few cases in which leaving stray kittens may not be the best course of action. If the kittens are cold, malnourished, overly dirty, or appear sickly and you haven’t seen a mother cat return within a few hours of finding them, HSU suggests either fostering or contacting your local animal services. Should you feel equipped to care for and bottle-feed the kittens until they are old enough to be spayed or neutered, fostering may be a good option. If not, your animal services department will help you determine the next best steps for the kittens.

What About Adult Cats?

In the case that you are finding stray adult cats, HSU suggests a Trap Neuter Return program. TNR programs humanely trap cats and bring them to a shelter to be spayed or neutered. Next, the cats are then returned to the area where they were found. HSU offers humane trap rental and a TNR program for stray cats, learn more and sign up at utahhumane.org/catnip.

“Spring” into Prevention! Warm-Weather Safety for Dogs

Ahhh, birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and you’re ready to return to the great outdoors with your pup at your side. But how do you ensure that your number-one companion stays safe and healthy as you venture back into the beautiful nature that Utah has to offer? Follow these tips and tricks to prepare for warm-weather adventures with your dog!

Up-to-Date? Vaccinate!

As the frost begins to thaw, so do many nasty illnesses that call the soil home. This combined with heavier foot traffic outdoors makes having up-to-date vaccinations more crucial than ever. Cases of Leptospirosis and Lyme disease in particular increase in the warmer months, but don’t fear! Our Murray clinic has an “Adventure Dog” vaccination package for this exact purpose.

Watch for Water Wellbeing

We know how tempting it is to dust off the old life jackets and get right back into water activities as soon as temperatures warm. However, Utahns must remember that spring snowmelt causes lakes, rivers, and streams to rise. Be extra cautious of even lazy-looking waterways, as they are likely faster and higher than they appear.

Check the ‘Chip

More trips to the great outdoors mean more chances for your dog to wander off and potentially get lost. Studies show that lost pets who have microchips with accurate information are more than 50% more likely to be reunited with their two-legged family members. Don’t have a microchip? Stop by our Murray clinic to snag one!

Thorns Among the Roses

Among all the beautiful foliage that blooms in the spring, there are bound to be a few weeds. Unfortunately, a few of these fauna are doggo-dangerous. Foxtails and burrs are just a couple of the harmful plants that dictate some extra warm-weather safety protocols. Be sure to thoroughly examine your pup following outings and remove seedlings from their paws, fur, noses, and other extremities.

Keep their Heart Healthy

Unfortunately, many creepy crawlies like to enjoy the warmer weather, too! Pest-related ailments become more common as spring rolls around, including issues with fleas, ticks, and worms. Increase your pet’s defenses against parasites with heartworm medication! Our Murray clinic is proud to offer monthly tablets to help boost your pup’s warm-weather safety.

Spring into prevention! Find more information about all the spring safety services our Murray clinic offers at utahhumane.org/clinic-locations/murray-clinic.

From the Puppy Mill to the Real Deal: Batman’s Story

The Nebraska transfer van finally pulled into the Humane Society of Utah’s parking lot on January 26th, 2024 at 1:30 PM. After delays due to poor weather, mechanical issues, and even a breakdown on the road, the highly anticipated arrival of nearly 50 dogs rescued from one of The Humane Society of United States’ “Horrible Hundred” puppy mills, had come.

Various rescues from around the state gathered to pick up portions of the fleet. HSU took in nine dogs, consisting of four corgis, two german shorthaired pointers, and three labs. One of the corgis was a 6-year-old male with intensely blue eyes and a spirit that could not be broken.

An Uphill Climb Ahead

Despite spending his life thus far as a breeding male, likely primarily in a small kennel and with little to no access to humans or dogs outside of breeding scenarios, Batman showed a certain bravery and determination soon after arriving at HSU. That’s how he got his name— HSU staff decided that surviving all he had endured surely made Batman a hero. So, he and his fellow corgis became HSU’s very own Justice League.

Although they were now safe from the horrors of the mill, Batman and his fellow puppy mill dogs did not have an easy road ahead of them. They had likely never walked on a leash, had access to the outdoors, or had anyone to love and care for them outside of the bare minimum. Even with Batman being the most courageous of the group, he was still apprehensive about interacting with staff and the wide world around him. Walks were a challenge, and often he preferred to stay in his kennel entirely. 

Still, HSU team members were persistent. With spray cheese, encouragement, and a whole lot of love and care, the staff watched in awe as Batman and the other puppy mill dogs made great strides. They became more confident, curious, and open to the possibility that life had so much more to offer than they had experienced. Soon, it was time for them to hit the adoption floor.

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

HSU wanted to be clear and transparent with adopters that the puppy mill rescues had been through incredible trauma. These pups would have some unique challenges adjusting to their new homes. One interested adopter, Aryn, was prepared for just that. After seeing a post from HSU on social media, Batman caught her eye.

“I’ve always known I wanted to get a puppy mill dog or dog with a traumatic past, and I finally was in a place [where] I felt I could give one everything,” Aryn said. “The day we got him, there was a lot of emotion. Excited to have him, heartbroken for his past, and a bit intimidated. My fiance and I always wanted a dog, but as soon as we saw Batman, I had to have him.”

After heavy counseling. Aryn and her fiance met Batman. They instantly knew he was the perfect fit for their family. Aryn describes Batman as “exactly what we needed.” They took him home that very day.

From Puppy Mill to Real Deal

Today, Batman is happy in his new home. Aryn said that she and the rest of Batman’s family have been careful to go at his pace. They dial things back if he seems unsure or scared. Batman is a very spoiled dog now, and he means everything to his new family.

“Our favorite thing is his bigger-than-life personality,” Aryn said. “He is so energetic and playful, he loves to chase and be chased, and he is also so cuddly. Batman demands to sleep in our bed and loves to follow me around. He is the sweetest and most funny dog.”

So, Batman and his fellow puppy mill rescues beat the odds, and they are now living the lives they deserve. We want to give great amounts of thanks to HSU’s community, who shared posts on social media, made donations, and took a chance on these sweet pups who had been through the unimaginable. It is with your support that we are able to make stories like this one possible.

Waiting for the Right Home: Sage’s Story

A brown and black dog sits in a camping chair inside of the right home for her.

It was June 13th of 2023 and Sage (formerly Natalia) tilted her head in curiosity as a potential adopter peered excitedly into her kennel. Sage’s initial surrender into HSU’s care, as well as a return following an adoption that didn’t work out, were both attributed to her energetic personality feeling like too much to handle for previous guardians. She was beginning to lose hope that she would ever find the right home. But, as it turned out, Sage’s luck really was about to change!

Setting Sage Up for Success

Emilee knew from the moment she met Sage that this sweet, scruffy pup belonged with her family. During her chat with our adoptions counselors, HSU staff disclosed to Emilee that Sage may not be the easiest dog in the world. They let her know that Sage had been adopted and returned, and they told Emilee about how high-energy Sage was.

HSU staff had fallen in love with Sage during her stay. They wanted to be completely transparent about Sage’s needs to give her the best chance of going to the right home… and not coming back.

“[The counselors] told us that Sage had been brought back to the shelter, and we are still blown away by this. She’s such a gentle but energetic dog, and she blended perfectly with our family,” Emilee said.

So, as you might have guessed, Emilee was not deterred by Sage’s past but rather chose to look to her future. Sage left HSU that day with her tail wagging behind her; this time, she did not have to return.

A brown and black dog lays on her human's lap and looks directly into the camera in the right home for her.

The Future Sage Deserves

Today, Sage is absolutely thriving with Emilee and the rest of her found family. Emilee said that Sage is full of personality and is always making her laugh. Sage’s favorite pastimes include hanging out with her cousins, camping, and getting plenty of snuggles!

Emilee even had a funny story to share about Sage’s favorite seat in the house… a multi-seat camping chair! Sage is actually pictured in this chair at the beginning of this blog.

“Every time we would go camping, Sage would kick my husband out of his spot on the double chair. Eventually, one of my family members gifted us a three-person chair. Now we can all fit around the campfire!” Emilee laughed.

Emilee concluded Sage’s story with strong encouragement for others to adopt: “Our lives truly wouldn’t be the same without Sage. I love that HSU is sharing her story so people know shelter doggies are just as good as any!”

A brown and black dog sits outside in the fall leaves along with a cream dog and a black dog in the right home for them.

Humane Society of Utah Hires New Resource Center Veterinarian

We are so excited to announce that we have hired the incredible Dr. Libby Gutting as our new resource center veterinarian!

We recently had the opportunity to conduct a short interview with Dr. Libby to get to know her and her journey to the Humane Society of Utah.

How did you find yourself at HSU?

I graduated from vet school at Oklahoma State University in 2010.  After that I stayed in Oklahoma and did a year-long Shelter Medicine and Surgery Internship. I then moved to Milwaukee, where I was the Medical Director at Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control for the past 11 years.  

After that long, I felt it was time for me to learn more and offer my experience somewhere else. I wanted to stay in the animal welfare field, as it is where my heart is, so I began my search looking for a position closer to my family, who all live in states surrounding Utah, so this was the perfect place for me!

What does a typical day on the job look like for you?

I’ve been doing a mix between the shelter and surgery so far.  I enjoy being part of a team that is made up of different departments that have unique perspectives on plans for the animals coming into care in the shelter.  I love working with the shelter animals, doing exams and pathway planning, but am excited to use my surgery skills and expand them as well.

What’s your favorite thing about your job so far?

I really enjoy the collaborative environment I’ve experienced so far here.  I feel lucky that I get to spend time in the clinic AND in the shelter and get to be part of both teams.  All have been fantastic! I have really been impressed by the education of staff as well.  Everyone is so invested in learning and growing, which I think is a sign of an amazing team.

One of my favorite things about shelter medicine is that every day is different, so it never gets boring.  And I have definitely already experienced that at HSU.  You never know what new and interesting cases you will see every day.

Do you have any advice for people who’d like to enter your field of work?

It can be a tough job, physically and emotionally, but it is worth it to help the lives of the animals and see so many enter the perfect home.  Being a veterinarian requires a lot of educational commitment, but I can’t imagine having done anything else.  

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m just happy to be getting to know everyone and learn what HSU is all about.  I appreciate the welcome I’ve received and am excited to grow in my career here. (END)

We are so thrilled to have you on the team, Dr. Libby! Thank you so much for all you have done so far, we are excited to see what the future holds!

Wags to Wishes Gala 2022 a Pawsome Success!

On Saturday, September 24th, 2022, the Humane Society of Utah celebrated 62 years of helping animals during its annual Wags to Wishes Gala, sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. This three-hour-long event was held for the first time at the Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House at the University of Utah. It included a lounge filled with playful pups for guests to interact with, a wine and beer bar, live piano music, an interactive bingo game, and silent and live items. The event was also held virtually, so additional guests could enjoy the evening streaming in their homes. 

During the event, Utah Humane’s Board President, Craig Cook, was presented with the Humane Heroes Award for his 50 years of dedication and service to the animals in Utah. Craig Cook joined the board of the Humane Society of Utah in 1972 and made a personal commitment to improving the lives of Utah’s most vulnerable pets. Craig started on HSU’s official council fresh out of law school. In his early years on the board, he oversaw and won many critical cases for Utah’s homeless animals, even at the supreme court level. 

Craig Cook’s impact on the organization includes playing a crucial role in opening the first low-cost spay and neuter clinic in the Mountain West, and expanding the organization in the Salt Lake Valley, and recently into St. George.  And in 2021, he made it possible for HSU to provide donation-based medical care to the Ute Reservation in the northeast, where access to veterinary care is minimal, and thousands of Tribe members are seeking support for their beloved pets.

The show also featured the progress of HSU’s Parvo Ward, built this year with the funds raised from last year’s gala and through a grant provided by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. Our new parvo ward allows us to isolate and adequately treat puppies on-site who arrive at our shelter with the deadly canine parvovirus. And it enables Utah Humane to protect other dogs in our facility while reducing the overall risk of community transmission. The parvo ward is now located at our Pet Resource Center in Murray. 

Karin Duncker, HSU’s Development Director, is delighted with the response to this year’s gala. “This is the first in-person gala we’ve had since 2019, and it was wonderful to reconnect face to face with our sponsors, donors, event volunteers, and community members. We raised over $145,000 at the event and are so grateful to our supporters for their generous support.” 

HSU’s 2022 Wags to Wishes fundraising goal was to raise $160,000 for vulnerable and homeless animals. If you were unable to attend, you can still help us reach our goal by making a tax-deductible donation at: utahhumane.org/donate


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