Every day for the past year, local Kansas City animal advocate Scott Poore has visited a 3-year-old terrier mix named Queen at a shelter near his home. Queen was found by animal rescue officers living behind a dumpster and had several medical issues that prevented her from being adopted right away.
After more than 400 days at the Great Plains SPCA, Poore was frustrated that this “lovable” dog still couldn’t get adopted.
“For the last year, I’ve been trying to think of creative, out-of-the-box ideas,” Poore tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t get Queen adopted.”
Day in and day out, Poore would return to the SPCA to find Queen still there. After noticing that Queen was beginning to decline from her extensive shelter stay, the 45-year-old knew it was time to do something big to find Queen a home.
His solution: to move out of his home until Queen could find hers.
Poore asked the Great Plains SPCA CEO, Tam Singer if he could move into the animal shelter with Queen and document the experience to help find her a suitable family. As crazy as the idea seemed, Singer signed off on the plan immediately, calling it “fantastic.”
“He has the ability to make individual dogs matter. He’s helped so many of our dogs and dogs all over Kansas,” Singer tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “More than anything, it highlights not only the plight of Queen but so many other dogs. It’s magnificent.”
With Singer’s resounding approval, on Sept. 17, Poore moved into the Great Plains SPCA with a small bed, a desk chair, and some pictures and plants to decorate. Queen and Poore currently share a room that measures 8 feet by 5 feet. So far, he says she’s a great roommate — except for when she wakes him up “every hour on the hour” when he’s trying to sleep.
“Queen loves having people around. She is so lovable and affectionate,” Poore says laughing. “She gets up in the middle of the night and wants to play with the tennis ball or play tug-of-war.”
Many people online are shocked at the great lengths Poore is willing to go to get Queen adopted— but locals aren’t. After feeling unfulfilled personally and professionally, Poore quit his job in 2015 and began volunteering at local animal shelters full time. Since then, he’s become a well-known animal advocate in the Kansas City area working exclusively with pets that have been in shelters the longest.
“They’re kind of the forgotten animal in that shelter,” Poore tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “They don’t have anyone advocating for them. It’s easy to get a 4-year-old lab adopted.”
Poore even started a clothing line called Mission Driven so he could sustain volunteering at the animal shelters full time, free of charge. But this bold campaign may be his craziest — and most successful — one yet, garnering attention nationwide after documenting his stay at the shelter on Facebook.
As Poore’s campaign for Queen garners thousands of views online, he hopes that people learn that animal shelters are full of amazing pets that “just desperately want one thing: to be loved.”
“There’s a misconception that shelter dogs and cats are broken. You may find that some of them are damaged, but they are by no means broken. They’re just not as fortunate as the dogs that we brought home as pups,” says Poore.
While the shelter has yet to officially find Queen a “forever home,” Singer and Poore report that they’ve had some promising candidates come through the shelter. Poore insists that his own home — where he already has a “very special” dog —isn’t the right place, but he knows that one is right around the corner.
Until then, Poore will continue to live with Queen at the Great Plains SPCA. “He’s staying until she gets a home,” says Singer. “He’s in it to win it.”
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