For a guy in a tough profession, Pete Holmes has a tender spot for animals in need.
The City Attorney for Seattle has adopted many animals into his own home and has provided legal help to rescue animals facing abuse and neglect. And, while he’s now a staunch adoption advocate, Holmes said that when his children were young the family purchased pets from breeders and pet stores.
“We quickly learned, even 30 years ago, that this was not the way to go,” he said. “There is too much abuse going on with puppy mills and unhealthy breeding situations and they prey on young parents who want their children to have the wonderful experience of loving pets.”
The Holmes household has included many pets over the years: Murph, the Labrador retriever; Maggie, the beagle; and several rabbits. Currently six chickens lay dozens of eggs in the backyard, living in what Holmes describes as “the Taj Mahal of chicken coops,” and ruling the roost.
Following the death of their beloved Maggie, Holmes and his wife waited nearly three years to adopt another dog. But it was love at first sight when they met Lucy.
The 13-inch beagle with the big brown eyes was matched to Holmes by Seattle Beagle Rescue. He recalls driving to Marysville to meet Lucy and seeing how hard it was for her first owner to part with her.
“I remember how her first mom cried when we came to get her. I slept on the floor with Lucy that first night,” he said. “She needed consoling because she missed her first home.”
Shortly after that the family discovered her special needs.
Seven-year-old Lucy has medical issues that were all manageable once diagnosed and she is healthy despite having epilepsy and Cushing’s disease, for which she takes medication. Now approaching her twelfth birthday, Lucy shows no signs of slowing down and can shift into “puppy mode” at a moment’s notice.
Holmes describes her as “the sweetest beagle ever,” one who commits “dietary indiscretions” (i.e. she’ll eat anything), and one who helps him take a break when needed.
“Lucy has a wonderful characteristic of knocking the cell phone out of my hand to remind me that playing with her is a lot healthier. She makes us go for walks.”
“Beagles are notoriously cheerful. They refuse to be despondent. They live in the present, in the moment. They don’t hold grudges and they are all about having fun. Lucy is all encouraging. She’s made the pandemic easier.”
If you would like to help animals like Lucy, join this year’s Furry 5K to benefit the Seattle Animal Shelter. Register today for the June 13-20 virtual event.