‘Be Kind to Animals Month’ in Pasadena gives hope to shelter pets

(Left) Arthur (A504972) is a 6-year-old outgoing and affectionate shepherd. (Middle) Eleven-month-old Kiwi (A506572) is sweeter than the fruit and as cute as the bird. (Right) Poseidon (A507611) is a 5-year-old gray pitbull with a big smile that will brighten up your day. Now through May 10, “Love Is Blooming” promotion at Pasadena Humane with $25 adoptions for all dogs 40 pounds and up. View adoptable pets at pasadenahumane.org.

I love spring, and this spring is especially wonderful. For the first time, I am experiencing the rare statewide phenomenon of the “super bloom.” We moved to California in the summer of 2019, so we just missed the last super bloom in the spring of that year.

My husband, Pierce, and I took several day trips last month to see the amazing wildflower displays. The Antelope Valley was covered in bright orange California poppies. The Chino Hills were blanketed in yellow mustard flowers with bursts of purple lupines.

We are planning more trips in May to the Carrizo Plain National Monument and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The mild weather forecast this month, following the unusually wet winter, is expected to keep the wildflowers blooming. It takes a little effort to get to the areas where wildflowers are super blooming, but you don’t have to go far to see magnificent spring flowers.

I’ve been to Descanso Gardens, Arlington Garden and the Huntington Botanical Gardens where beautiful flowers of all types are in bloom. Even walking my dog Sueshi around the neighborhood, I’ve seen poppies, roses, wisteria and more.

But flowers aren’t the only things blooming this spring. Kindness is blossoming at Pasadena Humane. We are in the midst of “Be Kind to Animals Week,” which is the oldest commemorative week in United States history.

One of the ways to show kindness to animals is by adopting a shelter pet. We are encouraging you to grow your family this spring by adding a new furry friend. Now through May 10, during our “Love Is Blooming” adoption promotion, you can adopt a large dog 40-pounds and up for just $25 ($130 less than our regular adoption fee).

For many people, adopting a large dog seems daunting. It certainly was for Nancy Wadsworth, who came to the shelter looking for a small dog.

Nancy had recently lost her two senior dogs at ages 14 and 17. After seven months without a dog, she was ready to welcome another pup into her home.

She initially thought a small dog would be a good fit for her. When an adoption counselor first suggested 74-pound Cookie, Nancy thought the large shepherd might be more than she could handle. But within moments of their first meeting, Nancy knew it was meant to be.

Like many dogs adopted from the shelter, it took Cookie a few days to settle into her new life. But once Cookie had some time to decompress and began to learn her new routine, she started to feel at home.

Now Cookie completes Nancy’s home. “I can’t imagine my life without a dog — without Cookie,” reflected Nancy. Cookie is a “big kisser” who feels safe and loved. “The depth of Cookie’s gratitude for being given a loving home is shown to me many, many times throughout the day,” said Nancy.

Adopting a shelter pet is not the only way to show kindness to animals this month. Pasadena Humane is also asking the community to show kindness toward animals on our second “Annual Day of Giving,” May 16. Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, all gifts will be MEGA matched up to $50,000! This means every $1 becomes $4 for animals in need.

With “National Rescue Dog Day” on May 20, not to mention “World Turtle Day” on May 23, it’s a great month to celebrate the joy animals bring to our lives and the wonders of nature.

I hope you will join me in taking some time to appreciate the beauty and kindness in the month ahead.

To view adoptable pets or to participate in our annual “Day of Giving” go to pasadenahumane.org

Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on May 5, 2023.