Victoria LoConte reflects on the adoption of her much-loved dog, Ellie, from New England’s Northeast Animal Shelter.
Massachusetts native Victoria LoConte takes a five-year look back to the adoption of her beloved dog Ellie from Northeast Animal Shelter, just north of Boston.
“Ellie came home with us on February 2014,” reveals LoConte, an emergency room staff nurse at Everett Hospital, in Everett, Massachusetts, and a former nurse manager, case manager, and visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Ellie, she says, immediately stole her heart on that cold, wintry day. “She pushed her littermates aside in the kennel to lick my fingers.”
“When she came into one of the adoption visiting rooms to meet us, she ran right up to me, licked my face, and rolled onto her back for a good ol’ fashioned belly rub!” Victoria laughs. “I just knew she was the one for us!” she adds.
Even five years on, Ellie continues to roll over regularly for belly rubs, according to LoConte. “She quickly gained the nickname ‘Ellie Belly!'” she reveals.
Victoria has nothing but praise for Ellie, calling her the sweetest dog and highlighting her playful and courageous personality. “Since being with us she’s met many children, people, and other dogs, and she’s loved them all,” she explains, “and continues to make us so proud!”
Adopted as a shepherd/labrador mix, LoConte has come to believe that Ellie may also be a part-border collie. “That said, we quickly decided that Ellie’s breed doesn’t matter at all,” she explains, “and I soon started calling her our American dog from the south.”
“We still cannot thank Northeast Animal Shelter enough for bringing our Ellie to Massachusetts back in 2014,” Victoria adds, wrapping up, “and she continues to be the love of our lives.”
Victoria spreads the word about Ellie hoping to raise awareness on the benefits of adopting from shelters instead of purchasing dogs from “backyard breeders” or pet shops that source their animals from puppy mills. According to PAWS, the nationally recognized non-profit animal betterment charity, states that back-yard breeders and puppy mills are motivated by profit and breed animals negligently and in substandard conditions. Victoria wants people to realize that adopting dogs from these types of situations encourage irresponsible breeding when there are already so many dogs and cats waiting for homes in shelters.
Northeast Animal Shelter, meanwhile, established in 1976, is one of New England’s largest not-for-profit, no-kill animal shelters, successfully placing more than 135,000 cats and dogs into loving homes in its 43-year history. Northeast Animal Shelter is located 30 minutes north of Boston, easily accessible from much of New England. The shelter receives no local, state, or federal funding, and is wholly dependent upon generous contributions from the public to cover its annual operating budget. For more information, visit https://www.northeastanimalshelter.org/.