One of the unique things about the Humane Society of Dallas County is that we are the only true no-kill animal shelter in Dallas County. We do not screen animals prior to accepting them, except to provide better information about rehoming options. We do not turn down animals, except if we have no room.
Because of our no-kill philosophy, we also have what we call "sanctuary" animals. Sanctuary animals are considered the hardest-to-adopt animals that we care for. They may be difficult to adopt because they are older, they may have medical or behavior issues or are simply unsocialized. Most sanctuary animals live out their days at our shelter. Every once in a while, one of our sanctuary animals will find a forever home. Those are the adoptions that we celebrate the most.
That is how the story of Happy Jakesgiving came to be. Jake was a resident of the Humane Society of Dallas County from 2003 until 2010. While Jake was clearly one of the most handsome German Shepherds most people had ever seen, he unfortunately was aggressive to almost all strangers due to an abusive early life. Most people assumed Jake would live out his days at the shelter. But in 2008, an HSDC volunteer befriended Jake, providing some basic obedience training and weekend overnights for Jake at her home. Jake slowly became more trusting of people, and his aggressive nature began to mellow. Around Thanksgiving of 2010, Jake finally found his forever home with his current "Dad", Dustin, and said goodbye to shelter life for good. It was one of the most celebrated adoptions HSDC had that year. And we are happy to report that Jake and Dustin have been inseparable since the adoption, and are about to celebrate their one year anniversary as a family.
Dustin has said that every Thanksgiving from now on he will celebrate Happy Jakesgiving, in honor of the incredible bond he has with his special dog. We at HSDC would like to take this opportunity to give special recognition to all of the other sanctuary animals still residing at the Humane Society of Dallas County. We hope that they, too, will find their forever families; and until then, we wish all of them a Happy Jakesgiving.