A Day in the Life of a Shelter Dog

a day in the life of a shelter dog row of kennels

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a shelter dog is like? The following fictional story is based on the real day-to-day operations that take place every single day at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA). We love and care for the pets in our shelter, and do everything we can to give them the best life here while they wait for their forever family.

Andie’s “Tail”



Today is a new day. I wonder if my forever family will come get me today. I got spayed yesterday, so that means I get my very own kennel on the adoption floor today! I’m so excited. This is my chance! I hope I don’t have to wait too long.

As for right now, it’s early. This schedule is gonna take some adjusting. But wait… Something exciting is happening. I hear all my new friends barking, but I don’t know why.

Wow, cool! Someone just came in my kennel. She has a leash. I think we’re going on a walk! Awesome!


That was such a great walk.

It’s so nice to get outside, get some exercise, and smell the beauty that is Arizona! We walked on the Rillito River Park Trail, and there were so many interesting things along the way! I saw a lizard, and I got to smell all of the plants, trees, and even a couple places where some other dogs marked their territory. It’s my territory now.


It’s breakfast time. Soon, it will be time for play group. I get to go out into the yard to see and play with all of my friends! I love play group because I feel so free and happy the whole time.

grass with fence and tennis ball


There is some nice, relaxing music playing in the kennels. I think I’ll just lay down and close my eyes for a bit…


I’m awake! The sound of voices woke me up. I’m so excited. I know that means someone is walking through to look at my friends and me!

row of kennels


Wow! There are lots of people coming through. They all seem so friendly.


Someone just came in my kennel to get me again. I wonder where we’re going. Oh wow! I get to go out to the yard again! There’s a man and a woman out here, and they have a ball. I love playing ball! Yippee!

tennis ball on grass


I hope my forever family takes me home soon so I can play in the yard every day. That was so much fun! The man and woman played ball with me for a long time, gave me hugs, and they let me give them lots of licks! When I got back in my kennel, I had a Kong toy waiting for me. I’m going to have so much fun playing with it for hours!


I think it’s the end of the day. No humans have come through here for a while, and all my friends are calm. I hear the sound of crickets chirping and feel the warm, still night air. I didn’t find my forever family today, but tomorrow is a new day.

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