Jerry Steinley, Resource Development Director

Twenty-four dogs were brought to the Humane Society of the Black Hills on Thursday, Dec. 21 – eight adults and 16 puppies from the Eagle Butte shelter. The hallway outside the medical exam room was filled with puppies – some too young to move much, but others were active, jumping, full of energy, generally ready to get started with their lives in homes with carpet, shoes, toys. You know, things to chew up.

I thought of it then as Puppypalooza because, frankly, I hadn’t been at the Humane Society long enough to become immune to the spectacle of the adorable puppy parade and thought, naively, it was something unique.

Jump forward to February 2018 and it’s a flashback to last December – Puppypalooza. More than a dozen puppies fill the hallways with their energy and chatter. Brown ones. White ones. Brown and white ones. Turns out I’m still not immune to the spectacle and tend to turn to co-workers and say “Did you see all the puppies?” To which I usually get a cursory confirmation that, yes, in fact they had seen all of the puppies.

It’s really not that unique at the Humane Society of the Black Hills to take in packs of puppies or litters of kittens. We do take in more than 4,700 animals each year, after all, so 15 puppies might mean it’s just another Tuesday.

All of those 4,700 animals were different in breed or color, temperament and age. The one commonality they shared was the care they received here by a staff that goes above and beyond to keep them healthy and occupied until the right person walks in the front door to adopt them.

The other thing they shared in common was that, before they are adopted, they were spayed or neutered. The mission at the Humane Society of the Black Hills is to care for the lost, homeless, and forgotten. Part of that mission includes responsible management of the animal population in our community and that means reducing the number of lost, homeless, and forgotten animals in the first place.

But don’t worry about puppies; they don’t spend long at the Humane Society. While their older counterparts may be here for weeks or months, puppies have the super power of being terribly cute and the ability to flash those hypnotic puppy eyes that promise years of devotion and quality lap time.

So if you’re thinking about adding a puppy to your world, keep an eye on our website for available ones. Because after these puppies have received their initial medical care and are old enough to be spayed or neutered, you’ll see their photos indicating they’re ready to go home.

And then we’ll open the doors for another litter that needs help growing up and getting out into the world.

And even though the puppy parade will take place again and again and again, I think I’ll stick with Puppypalooza and with my naïve fascination of puppies lining the hallways. I’d prefer to not see puppies at all – their parents be spayed or neutered – but until they quit showing up, I’m just going to celebrate them for the bit of magic they bring to my day. Even if it is just another Tuesday.