When An Animal Shelter Asked For An Unusual Donation, The Community Delivered

“Buster was so comfortable. We thought they all needed one.”

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Donating food and toys to an animal shelter is nothing new, but when one no-kill facility in Illinois asked for armchairs, the community was surprisingly responsive.

According to People, the unlikely request stemmed from a dog named Buster Brown at the Knox County Humane Society in Galesburg, who has an affinity for sitting on chairs meant for staff instead of going into his own kennel. Since Buster Brown didn't really fit on the small desk chairs he adored so much, when the staff at KCHS found out a local plumbing and heating company was getting rid of its office furniture, they procured a larger and more comfortable armchair for their four-legged pal.

"Buster was so comfortable. We thought they all needed one," Erin Buckmaster, KCHS's volunteer executive director, told Today. In order to get more armchairs, KCHS shared a video on its Facebook page on March 5 featuring three pups resting comfortably on their new perches. In the caption for the video, KCHS then asked for donations in the form of comfy seating.

Since the video quickly went viral and has already garnered upwards of 16 million views, it didn't take long for the donations to come pouring in. "We never dreamed it would take off like this," Buckmaster added to Today. "I really just wanted the dogs to feel more comfortable while staying at the shelter." 

As Buckmaster intimated, the dogs are likely partial to the armchairs because they remind many of them of the comforts of homes they were forced to leave behind. "I think having a chair in the kennel really helps give the dogs more of a home setting while they're here," she explained to The Dodo. "It's especially helped one of our dogs, Mickey, with his stress levels. He's been here about a year — the longest out of everyone. It's given him a lot more security."

If Buckmaster had her way, eventually "every dog in every shelter is going to get a chair." And though that may seem like a lofty goal, by Wednesday a follow-up video shared on KCHS's Facebook page indicated the shelter was now inundated with cozy chairs for the animals. 

In fact, subsequent social media posts have indicated people are also donating more than chairs — many local residents have also been dropping off food, towels, toys, and more.

According to Buckmaster, there's also been an increased interest in adopting many of the animals, as she's already fielded calls from all over the country. "Every adoption and every save is a victory," she concluded to Today.

Cover image: paul prescott / Shutterstock.com

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