The Guelph Humane Society honors pets after they die, while shining it forward

Guelph –

A recently revived program at the Guelph Humane Society offers pet owners a unique way to remember their pet after it passes away, while giving back.

Shannon Kornelsen vividly remembers the day she walked into the facility and saw the kitten that captured her heart.

“It’s etched in my memory to walk into the old cat room. We crossed our eyes and it was like instantly… it’s my cat,” Kornelsen said.

It was on that day, 16 years ago, that Shakes the Cat brought her home forever, giving Kornelsen not only a pet but also a best friend.

“She had this intensity in her relationship with people,” Kornelsen said. “She got me and I really understood her peculiarity right away.”

Shakes passed away in July 2020, so Kornelsen and her husband decided to go back to where it all began. This time, instead of adopting another kitten, they adopted a kennel as part of the new Happy Tails Began Here program.

“Basically, people have the option of adopting one of our cages or kennels for up to a year and for that they get a plaque on it,” Lindsay Eliott, Donor Relations and Stewardship Coordinator for the humanitarian society.

According to the Humane Society, there are nearly 90 cages or kennels available for adoption. Program funds are used to support the animals in their care.

“Now there is an opportunity to still have her presence here and that means there are going to be people who are going to learn who she was,” Kornelsen said.

The plaques can include a photo of the person or animal to which the space is dedicated.

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