GASTON COUNTY, NC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — When you think of adopting a pet, you don’t usually think of a museum involved in the process.
The Gaston County Museum does, however, play a role in the adoption of dogs and cats.
It’s part of a program called “Curator, Cats, and Canines.”
“We’re approaching full,” said Elizabeth Henderson, adoption coordinator for the Gaston County Animal Shelter.
Precious furry faces with four legs and wagging tails are just waiting to find their forever homes in Gaston County.
“Everybody loves animals,” said Alexander Brooks of the Gaston County Museum. “And they always attract attention.”
Of all places, it’s the Gaston County Museum that helps dogs and cats find the families they’re looking for.
“I mean, you wouldn’t normally think of a museum having animals adopted,” Brooks said.
But, it happens. And the strategy is working.
“It’s been a huge success so far,” Henderson said.
“It’s awesome,” Brooks added. “Because we feel like we’re making a difference in an unconventional way.”
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Each month, the Gaston County Museum features a dog or cat from the Gaston County Animal Shelter and highlights them on its Facebook and Instagram pages.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Brooks said. “You can tell the animals are having a great time because they come here and they’re just spoiled.”
The animals can play dress up and visit the museum.
“The hideaway is a nice wardrobe change,” Brooks said. “So we have a fashion show and they put on boas and bow ties and bandanas and we take them out.”
“It allows our animals to be more exposed,” Henderson added. “And it takes them out of here for a day trip to get into a different environment and it just takes them to have a little fun.”
Showcasing them on the museum’s social media pages attracts the attention of a wider and wider audience.
“Somebody can’t follow us on Facebook,” Henderson said. “But they can follow the museum. And then someone who wasn’t necessarily looking for a dog can see this animal and fall in love with it and say “yes”, and they would never have found it through us, but they found it by other means .
So far, three pets have been featured and two of the three have managed to get adopted quickly.
“So far we’ve had one that hasn’t been adopted,” Brooks said. “Everyone else – it got them more attention and they were adopted quickly after that.”
With overcrowding continuing to be a problem at local shelters, the program is proving to be a resounding success.
“We continue to see tons of overcrowding,” Henderson said. “We take them out, then they keep coming back – it’s like a vicious cycle that never seems to end right now.”
The shelter chooses dogs for the museum that seem to have trouble being adopted.
“It’s something we plan to keep doing as long as everyone is happy with it,” Brooks said.
The museum partners with many local agencies and wanted to add animals to the mix.
You can find the personalities of the featured dogs and cats on the museum’s social media pages.