When William Smith of Santa Fe volunteered in September to be a dog walker for Dew Paws Rescue, he was in the process of healing from the loss of his dog Maddie. Smith, CEO of California-based May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust and former president and CEO of Santa Fe Community Foundation, had rescued Maddie, a husky mix, from a shelter in Virginia over 10 years ago. Maddie battled cancer during her last year, and in January, 10 years to the day Smith adopted Maddie, he had to say goodbye.

On his first day of training to be a dog walker, Smith was paired with Mason, a 2-year-old pit bull mix. Mason had been surrendered and spent 21 days at the Portales Animal Shelter before he was rescued in April by Dew Paws Rescue. After two days of walking Mason, Smith knew that kennel life was not the right environment for the dog.

“He was bonkers,” Smith said. “But I noticed after walking him away from the kennel that he calmed down and was smart and curious.”

Smith was convinced that Mason needed a foster home with the right environment if he was ever going to be successfully adopted.

Meet William Smith, foster dad.

Last month, Mason was ready for adoption to his forever home.

Meet William Smith, foster failure, and his new pet companion, Mason.

Mason now begins his day by walking to the end of the driveway, retrieving the newspaper and dropping it on the front porch for Smith.

“He is super sweet and affectionate. He helped me heal, and like Maddie, reminds me that the act of rescuing is a two-way proposition,” Smith said.


Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society: Charcoal, who celebrated her first birthday, is a lovely Queensland heeler mix and weighs about 40 pounds. She is an overall playful dog. Charcoal loves to go on walks and does well on a leash.

If you need a hiking buddy or someone to throw a ball with, Charcoal is the one. Adoption fees are $25 in November. Some exclusions apply.

Otis is a handsome 5-year-old domestic short-hair male cat who weighs 11 pounds. Otis is a sweet guy who enjoys being petted. He can be slow to warm up to strangers, but becomes quite social over time. Otis would prefer to be the only cat in a home.

These and other animals are available for adoption from the animal shelter, 100 Caja del Rio Road.

The shelter’s adoption hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 505-983-4309, ext. 1610, or visit SFHumaneSociety.org.

Española Animal Humane: Pope is a shepherd mix who has been raised in foster care and is available for adoption at the Puppy Patch at Ojo Santa Fe spa and resort. Grizzly is also available at the Puppy Patch. This Kelpie mix is neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and comes with six months of heartworm prevention for a $150 adoption fee.

Apply and schedule an appointment at espanolahumane.org.

Felines & Friends: Five-month-old Willi and Toni were born in foster care with siblings Whitefoot, Yoda and Queenie. Toni is the sweetest girl — confident and playful with just the right amount of snuggle and calm. Sleek-black Willi is the best brother — a friendly outgoing boy with steady energy.

Both are fast learners who took quickly to wearing a harness and leash.

Gingersnap and Popcorn were born in May and raised in a foster home. Gingersnap is a social, sweet orange and white kitten who loves to follow people around; he would do well in a home with children. Popcorn is a petite brown and grey tabby who can be cautious at first, but will seek a person to cuddle with.

Visit Petco’s adoption center to see these kittens.

Dew Paws Rescue: Phoebe, is an 8- to 9-week-old gentle tabby who has her first set of vaccinations. She is ready for her foster family, and once fully vetted, Phoebe will be available for adoption. Call 505-412-9096 or go to infodewpaws@gmail.com for more information.

(1) comment

William Smith

Thank you Sandra for doing this article and to Dew Paws Rescue for saving Mason. I hope readers will be inspired to support our local animal welfare organizations and to foster or adopt!

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