MORGAN EDELMAN Contributing Writer
This is the first of a series of eight articles about shelter dogs that have been adopted and found their forever home as told through their eyes. This series is part of a senior capstone project that is meant to raise awareness of the importance of pet adoption.
My name is Justin Timberlake, but my adoptive family calls me J.T. for short. I am a 7-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix. About three years ago, I was still living in a high kill shelter with what seemed to be no hope left.
I had been abused and neglected and was picked up on the side of the street by animal control. I did not trust people, which made it difficult to find a family to love me. Eventually my time was running out at my shelter and I was hours away from being euthanized, but luckily, Angels Among Us Pet Rescue had come by the shelter on that day and found me.
On this same day, my now adoptive mom had just signed up for being a foster parent and got the news that she had to take me in immediately in order to save my life. She agreed and I met her later that day. When I first moved in with my foster family I was very timid and would bite easily because my last owners abused me, making it hard for me to trust humans again. I would also try to escape the house and run away any time I had the chance.
It took me a few months to realize that this new family I was living with was not going to hurt me and I was finally safe. There was also another dog in the house, which comforted me and helped my progress along. I began to fit in with this family as if they were my own, so after living with them for almost a year, and no one else showing interest in me, my foster mom decided that she would just adopt me and keep me forever.
I have not bitten anyone in two years and I love my family very much. I was even able to repay my family for taking me in by comforting them and helping them cope with the loss of the other dog in our house. I lived as the only dog in the house for about a year, but once my family had time to mourn the loss of our previous dog, I got another brother and was able to teach him all the things that I had learned from living with my family.
My favorite thing to do now is bark at the mailman and go for walks. I am a huge cuddle bug and I love snuggling up in blankets. It has been about three years since I have joined my new family and we fit perfectly together.Each year there are approximately 3.9 million dogs that enter shelters and about 1.2 million of those dogs are euthanized. I was one of the lucky ones that made it out, but take this into consideration the next time you are looking for your new best friend.