Meet the adoptable dogs (and cats) looking for homes for Valentine's Day


In December, The Gazette featured the 12 Cats of Christmas, a photo spread of adoptable cats at Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control, hoping to highlight the need for more forever homes for shelter animals. We didn’t want to neglect the canine companions at the shelter, so this week we went back to feature some adoptable dogs in honor of Valentine’s Day.

“The thing I’ve found out about dogs is no matter how badly they’ve been mistreated or abused, when you work with them, they will just come back and love you,” shelter volunteer Doug Fuller said. “I love their capacity for unconditional love.”


Fuller, a retired Cedar Rapids police detective who lives in Anamosa, has been volunteering at the shelter for the last decade. He takes the dogs on walks and helps socialize them. He said the shelter is always in need of more volunteers like him; those who are interested should visit

“I love dogs, particularly shelter dogs and helping them find their homes,” he said. “I get a great deal of satisfaction when they find a home, especially with dogs that have been here for several months.”

Two of the dogs we featured, Prince and Hershey, have been at the shelter over four months. Animal Care and Control keeps dogs as long as needed, until they are adopted or can be place with another dog rescue or in a foster home.

On an average week, the shelter, which is run by the City of Cedar Rapids, has around a dozen dogs, said Animal Control Program Specialist Michelle Johnson, though the number fluctuates greatly from week to week.


Before adopting an animal, people need to carefully consider factors such as the time and financial commitment a pet requires, Johnson said. For dogs in particular, they should research different breeds and take into consideration things like size and strength of the dog if they have young children at home, how much energy the dog will have and how much space it will need. Certain breeds won’t do well in apartments, for example.

“They need to remember it is a lifetime commitment, and they need to pick one that fits their family’s needs,” she said.

Potential adopters must fill out an application and be approved by shelter staff before they can take a dog home.


“If there are other dogs in the household, we do a meet and greet,” Johnson said.

They only had three dogs available for adoption this week, so we decided to give some more cats a little love in these photos as well. The shelter currently has around 75 cats, Johnson said.

Ten of the cats we featured at Christmas have been adopted, but two, Queen and Elmo, are still looking for homes, so we brought them back for some additional attention. Both were very sweet cats who started purring almost instantly. Several of the cats we featured have been at the shelter for a while and thus have reduced adoption fees of $25.


CEDAR RAPIDS - I don't know about you, but sometimes I just need something sweet in the midst of my news feed. I hope this feature highlighting adoptable cats at Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control fits the bill.

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Animal Care and Control is running a Valentine’s Day adoption special through Feb. 15 to help more animals find homes, with $50 for most cat adoptions and $75 for dog adoptions.

The normal adoption fee is $100 to $125 for cats and $125 to $200 for dogs. The shelter, at 900 76th Ave. Dr. SW, Cedar Rapids, is open noon to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday. All adopters must fill out an application and be approved before they can take home an animal.