Column: A ‘rosy’ new year beginning for shelter dogs at Pasadena Humane

Ella Beyer with Georgie

(Left) Los Angeles College of Music student Ella Beyer adopted Georgie from Pasadena Humane last month. Ella penned the theme song for our 2024 Rose Parade float, “Feed the Love,” sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. (Right) Georgie (right) at home with her new canine sibling, Bodie.

One of the most rewarding things about Pasadena Humane’s participation in the Rose Parade is that we developed so many new relationships that have resulted in increased adoptions.

Since the parade, we have had a big uptick in animals finding new homes, including Lua, the adoptable dog featured on our float.

Adoptions typically slow down in January, rather than increasing, so we are thrilled!

We had adoptions leading up to the parade, too, including Moonpie who was adopted by Alex McNulty, the Tournament of Roses’ manager of member services. Alex fell in love with Moonpie when we took several pups to the Tournament House for Rose Court tryouts in September.

Also, just days before the parade, Gretchen, now Georgie, was adopted by Ella Beyer. Ella is the talented young Los Angeles College of Music student who penned the theme song “Feed the Love” for our 2024 Rose Parade float.

The song’s official debut was especially memorable for me, as it took place at the shelter for an audience of canine music aficionados.

In preparation for the Rose Parade, our shelter pups walked in their own parade. The dogs, wearing rose-adorned collars, strutted across our play yard to the tune of Ella playing “Feed the Love.”

At the end of the route, they enjoyed a kibble “float” courtesy of our float sponsor, Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Ella’s parents, Deborah and Dave, attended the event, with Dave joining in on percussion.

I learned that Ella’s parents are longtime dog adopters and they love big dogs, especially chows.

Ella shared that she was considering adopting a dog of her own. She had lost her childhood dog a year earlier, and the family was finally ready to bring home a new pup.

After her canine concert, Ella met with a few dogs available for adoption but didn’t find “the one.”

A few days later when she returned to the shelter to meet with an adoption counselor, Ella spotted a big, fluffy shepherd mix running around the play yard. She asked to meet her and the rest is history.

“We decided to adopt Georgie because of how fun-loving she is,” Ella tells us. “We knew she was finally the missing piece to make our family complete.”

Since joining Ella and her parents, Georgie has made herself right at home. Despite being 5-years-old, she plays like a puppy. She brings joy and laughter to the house and lots of silly antics.

“When Georgie runs, she prances like a deer. It’s so cute. She also loves sitting in my lap even though she is 55-pounds!” describes Ella.

In their short time together, Georgie has had a truly positive impact on Ella’s life. The young songwriter went through a bad breakup last year and was consumed by thoughts of the past.

“Georgie really helps my mental health in the sense that when I’m around her, I’m solely in the present moment,” shares Ella. “She reminds me to focus on now!”

Georgie has also gained a new doggie sibling, Bodie, the Beyer’s calm, chow chow/lab mix. After a slow introduction between the two dogs, they are now the best of friends.

“Bodie helps Georgie calm down when she has too much energy. They are just like salt and pepper — complete opposites but complement each other so well.”

Our “Feed the Love” float and song sought to raise awareness about pet homelessness while celebrating the relationship between people and their pets and encouraging pet adoption.

When Ella adopted one of our amazing large dogs, it was indeed a full circle moment for me.

To learn more about adopting a pet, go to


Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on January 19, 2024.