Meet the organization doing everything it can to make sure pets go to forever homes.

Their volunteers are saving lives, both human and animal.

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SoCal Honda Dealers

There are few things quite as special as adopting a pet.

Take it from someone who hates a mess but ended up bringing two rescue kittens into her tiny New York apartment. After years of fretting over the decision, it took just one day for me to realize the amazing amount of love you receive far outweighs any annoyance.

Did they run around like wild cheetahs and scratch all the furniture? Sure, but I also woke up to one sitting on my pillow and the other squished into my moccasin. It was love at first meow. Just as you adopt a pet, they bring you into their pack, and the bond only strengthens with time.


My husband, Mark, with our cat, Bill.

That, in essence, is why organizations like the Michelson Found Animal Foundation do what they do — put pets in good homes.

However, there are always more pets waiting to find theirs, and they require food, love, and care too.

Approximately 7.6 million pets enter animal shelters in America each year. According to Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of Michelson Found, there are currently several thousand pets in 20 different shelters in Los Angeles alone. Unfortunately, shelters rarely have enough time, money, or manpower to care for all of the animals that come to them, which, in some cases, results in animals being euthanized.

But that's where Michelson Found Animals Foundation comes in — they're an animal rescue umbrella organization that offers a variety of resources that help make pet adoption easier and more accessible. Their thousand volunteers work tirelessly to make sure as many pets as possible get to go home.

A kitten at an Adopt and Shop shelter. Photo via SoCal Honda Dealers.

"Our mission is saving pets and enriching lives," Gilbreath says. "And that's not only the lives of the pets that we save, but also the people who love them."

The people who love them includes the many volunteers and staff members who interact with them on a daily basis.

"I like knowing everyday when I wake up and come to work, I'm making a difference in an animal's life," says one staffer.

Sure, they're giving them care and attention, but they're also helping them get ready to head on to greener pastures, aka a new family. What could be more fulfilling?

"Being an adoption counselor is so gratifying because you see an animal find its forever home and walk out that door for the last time," says one volunteer.

One kitten going to their forever home. Photo via SoCal Honda Dealers.

While the job may be its own reward, these people definitely deserve some recognition.

SoCal Honda Dealers thought so too.

That's why they surprised the Michelson Found Animals Foundation volunteers with free lunch.

A Helpful Honda person with Lori Hitchins, chief people officer with Michelson Found Animals Foundation. Photo via SoCal Honda Dealers.

But that wasn't their only surprise. They also provided lunch for all the animals in the shelter. That's approximately 44 dogs, 66 cats, and 168 kittens in foster care and at the adoption center. And they made sure to buy through the organization's Adopt and Shop program too, so all the money went to saving more animals.

Needless to say, the volunteers were incredibly grateful, and even more so when the staffers stuck around and played with some of the shelter's residents.

But more importantly, the gesture is a great example of the little things anyone can do to help enrich the lives of shelter animals, even if it's just one bag of kibble at a time.

A Helpful Honda person playing with one of the shelter dogs. Photo via SoCal Honda Dealers.

Adopting and shopping can go together, so long as you do it at a place like this.

Even if you're not ready to adopt right now, if you have friends with pets, consider getting them a gift from Adopt and Shop or donating to Michelson Found Animals Foundation in their name. They, their pet, and all the prospective pets and pet owners out there will thank you for it.

Learn more about these amazing organizations here:

SoCal Honda Dealers: Adopt & Shop

These volunteers are paid in love by the sweet animals they rescue.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, November 15, 2017

This was written by Upworthy writer Ally Hirschlag.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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It can be hard to find hope in hard times, but we have examples of humanity all around us.

I almost didn't create this post this week.

As the U.S. reels from yet another horrendous school massacre, barely on the heels of the Buffalo grocery store shooting and the Laguna Woods church shooting reminding us that gun violence follows us everywhere in this country, I find myself in a familiar state of anger and grief and frustration. One time would be too much. Every time, it's too much. And yet it keeps happening over and over and over again.

I've written article after article about gun violence. I've engaged in every debate under the sun. I've joined advocacy groups, written to lawmakers, donated to organizations trying to stop the carnage, and here we are again. Round and round we go.

It's hard not to lose hope. It would be easy to let the fuming rage consume every bit of joy and calm and light that we so desperately want and need. But we have to find a balance.

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