Living in an animal shelter may be a better option than living out on the streets, but we can only imagine how uncomfortable those pups must feel staying in a place that’s not truly their own. To combat the “shelter” feel, a Pit Bull named Buster Brown decided to take a stand for himself and his fellow shelter pooches by staking his territory in an old, beat-up red chair at the front desk of the Knox County Humane Society in Galesburg, Illinois.
“He [Buster] really enjoys being with us up in the office,” Erin Buckmaster, shelter director, told The Dodo. “One day, a local mechanic donated some office chairs to us, so we decided we’d give one to Buster. He refused to give it up after that.”
(Photo Credit: Knox County Humane Society)
But Buster isn’t the only dog who claims residence in the humane society’s office; his pup pals Truckin’, Tango, and Mickey also spend the majority of their time there too, which gave Buckmaster an idea: She could try to gift each pup in the shelter with a chair of his or her own.
“After seeing how much he liked it, I thought, ‘All of the dogs here deserve to have a chair,’” Buckmaster said. “People are always trying to get rid of old recliners they don’t need anymore, so I figured it would be a simple thing to start.”
In hopes of scrounging up a few more chairs, the Knox County Humane Society posted a video on its official Facebook page asking locals for donations. The post, published on March 5, featured an adorable video of Truckin’, Tango, and Mickey lounging in arm chairs and snuggled up with blankets. The public has clearly been touched: So far, 30 chairs have already been donated by well-meaning strangers! And with more than 17 million views and nearly 700 shares of the original post, we’re sure the shelter will receive plenty more.
“I think having a chair really helps give the dogs more of a home setting while they’re here,” Buckmaster said. “It’s especially helped one of our dogs, Mickey, with his stress levels. He’s been here about a year — the longest out of everyone. It’s given him a lot more security.”
The response to the chair drive has been so positive that other shelters have been inspired and have started their own chair donation requests, including the West Valley Humane Society in Caldwell, Idaho.
And as the saying goes, “Ask and you shall receive.” West Valley has already collected several cozy chairs to help keep their pups comfortable while they wait for their forever families.
What a sweet initiative Knox County Humane Society has started. Hopefully, more shelters will follow Buckmaster’s footsteps and provide even more pups with a comfy place to sit! To help dogs in your area, contact your local shelter to see if it accepts donations of used chairs, blankets, or other items to help keep pups warm and comfortable.