The Gaston County Museum partners with an animal shelter to help with dog adoptions


Gaston County “furry babies” were eventually adopted after a new partnership began between the Gaston County Museum and the county animal shelter.

“We’re happy to help them find their homes,” said Elizabeth Henderson, the adoption coordinator for Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement Shelters.

The museum has reached out to the shelter to begin a partnership this year, with the museum sponsoring a dog from the shelter each month through a social media campaign.

The campaign, titled “Curator, Cats and, Canines!”, has helped two out of three featured dogs finally find homes.


The media campaign began in January with Olaf, a 6-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix.

Olaf came to the shelter in December last year. Henderson says Olaf was a stray dog ​​who roamed around Gastonia with a dog named Elsa.

He lives up to his Disney movie name with his love of breaking up frozen puddles and splashing around in water, says museum curator Alicyn Wiedrich.

Olaf was finally adopted on February 11th. His owners returned to the shelter last week to adopt another dog, Squiggles, for him to play with.

“He was such a big love bug,” Henderson said. “I’m not sure why he was overlooked in the adoption pool, but he was probably one of the best candidates.”

Henderson says Olaf had a lot of fun with the museum staff during his photo shoot, as he walked through the museum’s backyard and created online content with the staff.


Josie, a 3-year-old boxer, poses for a social media campaign created by the Gaston County Museum and the Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement Shelter to promote adoptable dogs.

Josie, the 3-year-old boxer, visited museum staff in February as the campaign’s second adoptable dog. The museum staff loved her sweet, laid-back personality.

“She was such a sweetheart with a lot of energy,” said Alexander Brooks, the museum’s education manager.

Josie was a stray dog ​​who came to the shelter on January 8, which no one has ever claimed, Henderson says.

“She’s still with us and she’s a great dog, but I think that she’s heartworm positive, which puts people off her,” Henderson said.

The shelter offers owners free heartworm treatment for dogs, Henderson says.

Dogs can only be promoted until the treatment is completed. After treatments, dogs can be legally adopted from the shelter.

Josie currently needs an adoptive family and remains at the County Shelter.


Sam, a 5-year-old terrier mix, poses in a shamrock boa for a social media campaign created by the Gaston County Museum and the Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement Shelter to promote adoptable dogs.

Museum staff described Sam, a 5-year-old terrier mix, as an “old soul” with a penchant for sweet treats.

“He was a lot calmer than the other dogs, but he was very sweet,” Brooks said. “He was a more dignified gentleman.”

Sam first came to the shelter in October last year after being abandoned by his owner.

He was then adopted last December but found weeks later in York County, South Carolina after his owner no longer wanted him. He returned to the shelter on February 3rd.

“He’s a bit picky about the dogs he socializes with, but he’s a great dog,” Henderson said. “We’re delighted that the museum captured how cute he is.”

Sam was adopted by a family from Kershaw, South Carolina on March 5th.

“The family had two little girls who chose him after seeing his kennel say, ‘I love to cuddle,'” Henderson said.

Alicyn Weidrich and Alexander Brooks pose together Tuesday afternoon, March 15, 2022 at the Gaston County Museum in Dallas.

Each of the dogs was part of the Love and Go adoption process at the shelter, which costs $25 to adopt along with completing the approved adoption process.

The shelter also offers opportunities to apply for approved foster and volunteer roles. Approved foster parents are considered first for adoptions and volunteers can support the shelter at major events.

Henderson says the application approval process includes a home environment safety background check for candidates, veterinary credentials and more.

Applications take about seven business days to be approved, Henderson says.

“It’s phenomenal that the museum is doing this for us,” said Henderson. “The biggest challenge is matching the right owner with the right animal. We try to do this by looking at the personality of the home and the needs of the owner and the animal.”

The shelter currently has 55 dogs and 24 cats. Most dogs are between 1 and 5 years old. Cats range in age from kittens to adult cats.

If you are interested in adopting, fostering, or volunteering, contact the shelter at 704-922-8677.

You can reach Janiya Winchester at 704-869-1842 or [email protected]


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