If you’re a frequent visitor of the site, you’ve likely really enjoyed reading about the incredible animals that Lens and Leash has been lucky enough to work with.
Today’s featured animal is a Pitbull/Shepard mix that will surely pull at your heart strings. We would like you to meet JoJo (aka Jolene) as well as Shania and Carson Cummings who are the incredible people that saved her precious life.
As hard as it may be to believe, JoJo almost lost her life. She was actually pulled from a high kill shelter located in California on the day of her scheduled euthanasia. She was then moved to a no kill in Jackson Wyoming and spent some time there before she was discovered by the Cummings family.
The willingness of this couple to adopt allowed not only one, but two dreams to be fulfilled. JoJo was able to escape the shelter and find her forever home, while the Cummings were able to add a furry little addition to their family.
Let’s take a quick look at a Q and A session that we were able to have with these heroes.
Ever wondered what makes a person decide to adopt? While most people have their own reasons, most have one thing in common which would be saving a life. Here’s what the Cummings had to say about their reason.
Lens And Leash: What made you decide to adopt?
Shania and Carson Cummings: We had been renting tiny studio apartment in Jackson, Wyoming for the first year of our marriage. We knew as soon as we had our OWN space, we would adopt a pup. Both of us grew up with animals, and we had a special love for shelter dogs. Brand new puppies are fun, but we did our research and decided shelter dogs need good homes. In our free time, we would check out local shelters to play with the sweet pooches, even though we knew we couldn’t take them home. Finally, we bought a home in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Immediately we began our dog search. We started with looking in our local shelters.
One of the main concerns some people have when adopting is the life an animal experienced before arriving at a shelter. Needless to say, animals that are abused or neglected can have lasting emotional, mental, and physical scars that can be hard to breakthrough. It’s important to keep in mind that some animals may have had a tough life before meeting their new family. However, with time, patience, and some hard work, most animals will quickly show large amounts of improvement.
Another thing that tends to arise is the question of whether a person should adopt a pup or an older dog.
Here is what this family had to say about how old JoJo was when they adopted her as well as what they knew about her before bringing her home.
Lens And Leash: How old were they when you adopted them and do you know anything about their life before you adopted them?
Shania and Carson Cummings: JoJo was between 1-2 when we adopted her. She was pulled on her euthanasia day from a high-kill shelter in California. A volunteer brought her to Jackson. We aren’t sure about her life before, but she seemed somewhat nervous around new men. She spent almost a year between the two shelters before we adopted her.
I’m sure you’ve heard of love at first sight. Is it something that you believe in? If not, you’re probably about to change your views on it after reading the response to this next question.
Lens And Leash: Why did you adopt them specifically and was there any hesitation in adopting them because of breed, stigma or anything else?
Shania and Carson Cummings: On a day off, I (Shania) decided I needed some exercise. I looked at the pups available on the AAC’s website and Jolene caught my eye. I went there and asked if I could take her for a spin. Her and I walked to my husband’s job where he was a front desk worker for a hotel about a mile away. He took one look at her and said “Babe, bring back those adoption papers.” And I did!
We were moving to Idaho in about a week, so that was the longest wait of our lives! We were so worried someone else would scoop her up, but the volunteers told us, in all the time she had been there, nobody had inquired or filled out an application for her. We were shocked because she is the sweetest dog ever! But admittedly relieved because that meant she was all ours!
Pet lovers will often tell you that animals have amazing personalities. It’s pretty cool to be able to meet different animals that are unique in very special ways.
Let’s take a look at the Cummings favorite things about their beloved JoJo.
Lens And Leash: What is your favorite quirk about them and what is their favorite things to do?
Shania and Carson Cummings: When she gets playing, like, REALLY playing, she starts bucking around like a little horse! She also doesn’t get the concept of how big she is, so she is constantly hogging the couch, bed, and our laps.
There seems to be a wide belief that dogs outside of their earliest years are very hard to train. Unfortunately, this causes many people to avoid adopting older dogs. It’s time to stop this false belief. Dogs of any age can be trained as long as someone is willing to work with them.
Check out the progress JoJo has made so far with her training.
Lens And Leash: Did you have to do any training with them after you adopted them or have people ever been hesitant on approaching them before getting to know them?
Shania and Carson Cummings: We taught her a few tricks and behaviors on our own. She is a master at sit and stay. We play hide and seek to reinforce this skill. She also knows dance (beg), shake, and BANG. (play dead). Now we are working on cleaning up toys when we are done playing.
Are you interested in adopting but feel like there is more you need to learn before you sing the dotted line? The best place to get advice on adopting is probably from people who have been there, done that, and experienced amazing results.
Here is some helpful tips from the Cummings family.
Lens And Leash: What tips or pieces of advice would you offer to people that are looking to adopt for the first time?
Shania and Carson Cummings: Don’t go into a shelter looking for a specific breed. Go into the shelter with a specific “energy-level” in mind. If you are super active and need a running buddy, you can handle a higher energy. If not, find a couch potato. We are somewhere in between, so JoJo was perfect for us.
As you can see, some of the most precious animals can be found in shelters. The Cummings never knew what they were missing out on until they found it. You can experience the same thing for yourself, but first you have to get out there and find your own furry little companion.
We can make a huge difference in the number of animals that tragically lose their lives in shelters if we all do our part and work together. It’s time to make overcrowding and euthanasia in shelters a thing of the past.