Friends For Life

Make a life-changing difference when you adopt a pet.

The numbers are hard to fathom when you realize each one represents a life. 

Approximately 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter shelters in the United States every year. Although 4 million of those animals are adopted, tragically, some 3 million are euthanized—about one every 13 seconds. The saddest statistic is that 80 percent of those animals are healthy, treatable and could have become someone’s pet.

You can change that.

There are multiple shelters and rescues in our area where you can adopt your next best friend, including these options:

Humane Society of Marion County, (352) 873-7387

Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL)
(352) 289-0800

Marion County Animal Services
(352) 671-8700

“Be patient with the adoption process. Look at adult animals; many people think they want a puppy but find out it’s way more work than they anticipated. Basically, you’re raising a baby—just a different species,” advises Linda Norman, co-founder of Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL), an all-volunteer, non-profit organization.

“If you do adopt a shelter pet, don’t overlook the plain or shy ones. They can be the most loyal pets,” she adds. “Cats especially don’t like change, so it takes them time to adjust.”

We paid a visit to the Humane Society of Marion County, a non-profit, no kill-shelter, to round up some adoption candidates. Change your life—and theirs—by making one of these special dogs or cats part of your family.


Dilute Calico Domestic Short Hair, female, 4 years old

“My name says it all. I’m quite the purr machine when I feel relaxed and safe. That might take a little time because I didn’t have the best start in life. When I was just 3 months old, someone abandoned me at the dumpster outside the Humane Society. That was almost four years ago, and I’m patiently waiting for my forever home. Might that be with you? I love napping in cozy hiding places. My ideal home would be a loving single person or a family without young kids who will give me love and time to show my true colors.”

Butch Cassidy

Boxer-Pit Bull Cross, male, 5 1/2 years old

“I’ve been here almost two years, and I’d sure like to have a home with a person of my own. I’m not high maintenance, but I have a lot of energy, which means you’ll have the best buddy for long walks and play time if you take me home. After all that exercise, I’m really good at relaxing and just hanging out. That’s what best friends do, right? A fenced yard I can claim as my territory would be great. My perfect home is probably with a single adult.”


Black Domestic Long Hair, female, 1 1/2 years old

“I am a bit of a shy princess, but that’s because I know I’m special. You can see my regal breeding in my gold eyes and my beautiful long black coat. I was a tiny stray kitten when someone found me on the streets. I get along fine with all the other cats here, but it’s high time I found my own home with people who recognize my queenly personality and let me rule the house.”  


Lab Cross, female, 4 years old

“If I could be a super hero, I’d be Soccer Dog! I love, love, love playing with big balls, and I’m really talented at that. It would be awesome if you’d play with me that way every day. A nice family with older kids who can keep up with me and shower me with lots of attention would be great. I have to admit, I’m a little anxious and can be shy around men, but I really like women. I’m housebroken so I’m fine inside but love to get out and run, so my ideal home would have a big fenced yard. Once you have me in your life, you won’t need any other dogs, so I’d like to be your one and only.”


Brindle Hound Mix, female, 4 years old

“If you’re looking for sweet, energetic and playful, I’m your girl. I’ve got lots of enrgy and love to run, but I’m super sweet and happy to climb in your lap if you let me. Take me out on a leash and you’ll see how well I can listen. I’m housebroken, and I’d love a big fenced yard. My ideal forever home would be a family with kids to wear me out with lots of fun play time.”


Calico-Patched Tabby Domestic Short Hair, female, 3 1/2 years old

“I was only 6 weeks old when my owner left me and my brothers and sisters at the Humane Society. I haven’t experienced what it’s like to have a family of my own, but I hope that happens soon. I’m a shy, kind girl, but I have an independent streak. You can bring out my playful side if you let me chase a wand or feather toy. Those are the best! I hope my forever home has toys like that.”


Chihuahua, female, 6 years old

“Slimness is overrated in my book. I’m not pudgy; I prefer the term ‘Rubenesque.’ I have curve, and I’m proud of it! As you can tell already, I have sass and attitude in abundance. I want to lavish my devotion on one lucky person, preferably a single man who will earn all my trust and rightfully adore me.”


Grey Tabby Domestic Short Hair, female, 9 years old

“I had a wonderful life before my owner died in February 2014. Sadly, there were no plans made for me when that happened, and I was brought here. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great place, but for a wise, senior lady like me who knows what it’s like to have a home of her own, my greatest hope is to experience that again. I’m very laid-back, definitely not high maintenance. My ideal home would be a couple or single person who will appreciate my relaxed demeanor and quiet companionship. If you have a screened-in porch, that would be even better so I can sit on my perch and watch the birds outside. I even get along with kind dogs, so long as they know how to behave around cats!”


Blackmouth Cur Mix, female, 5 years old

“You won’t find a more playful, loyal friend than me. I love to play, and my ideal home would be a family with kids who’ll run and play with me every day. Having me around would get you off the couch and exercising regularly, so you could really consider me your own personal trainer! Confession time: I have a special talent of climbing chain link fences, which means I’m better off staying inside with my people (of course, I’m housebroken), as long as they take me on long walks every day. I have to admit, I like being the center of attention, so I’d prefer not sharing my home with other dogs, please.”


American Bulldog, female, 6 years old

“Once I fix my beautiful blue eyes on you, you’ll realize you need me in your life forevr. I can’t help the fact that I’m deaf, but you should know that means I can’t hear commands. I’m a smart girl, so if someone is willing to train me with sign language, we would make a great team. I love my toys and am quite the playful dog, but since I like to rough house, I’m a bit too much for kids. My ideal home would be with a single man or a couple and a fenced yard I can call my own. And please, I don’t want to share you with any other dogs. I can be all the dog you need—trust me!”

Note: All of these animals are part of the “Best Friends Club.” Take one home to foster for three months on a “trial” adoption. The Humane Society of Marion County will provide all food, necessary medication, heartworm and flea prevention during that time. After three months, if you’re a good fit together, the adoption will be made official.   


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