The (Bay)path to animal adoption

Kena, one of the dogs available for adoption at Baypath Humane Society, enjoys the shelter’s newly built ‘real life room.’ Photo courtesy of Leslie Doyle.

By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter

If you check out the adorable animals featured in Hometown Weekly’s ‘Pet of the Week’ section, you’ve probably seen a handful of Baypath Humane Society’s residents. Though they frequently find themselves featured in the pages of paper, the luckiest of Baypath’s residents find forever homes with members of Hometown Weekly’s communities.

Located at 500 Legacy Farms North (recently changed from 5 Rafferty Road) in Hopkinton, Baypath is open Wednesday through Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Adoption hours are held during the shelter’s normal business hours.

Just over 40 years ago, a group of residents formed Baypath Humane Society to address the overwhelming stray dog and cat issue in Hopkinton. With the help of Hopkinton’s animal control team and the town’s selectman, the residents were able to obtain a lease to a sizeable plot of land and build the shelter entirely from volunteer labor and donated funds and materials.

They have been able to utilize every inch of the structure to facilitate the 1,100 adoptions at the shelter each year.

In 2015, the shelter secured a grant to build the “real life room,” where potential adopters can bring their current pets for a compatibility meeting with the animal they are seeking to adopt. The room also allows patrons to spend one-on-one time with an animal.

“Our goal is to always make a good match because not everybody is a good fit, even if it’s the most beautiful animal they’ve ever seen,” said shelter manager Cornelia Godfrey. “That’s why we want everybody to come, so we can talk to them and tell them more about the animal, as we’ve gotten to know it or learned from its previous owners or fosters.”

Some community members, like Leslie Doyle, assist the shelter by offering the animals a foster home, where the dogs or cats can thrive and let their personalities shine.

“I feel like there are so many amazing animals at shelters and I think sometimes there are misconceptions about them,” said Doyle, who began her journey with Baypath as a dog walker.

“People think, ‘Oh, all the animals at the shelter were returned for some reason and there’s something wrong with them.’ But sadly, a lot of times, its something under personal circumstances, like the owner is going into assisted living and can’t take their pet, or if there’s a medical issue in the family and they just don’t have time for the pet anymore.”

While those animals usually come to the shelter with updated medical records, sometimes a dog or cat’s history does not make it to shelter with the animal. As a result, Baypath has partnered with many local animal hospitals to ensure that each cat and dog has received its vaccinations and is spayed or neutered before going home with its adopted family.

The shelter’s easy-to-navigate website is updated daily and is full of adorable faces of animals seeking homes. Check out the site at www.baypathhumane.org or stop by the shelter during their business hours – you might just meet your new best friend.

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