Shelter Gives Dogs That Homey Feeling With Comfy Chairs

A cozy pace to sleep is helping these pups feel more secure and comfortable as they adjust to the shelter.

By Catalina Barrios

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Credit: Knox County Humane Society


One of the simple pleasures in life is to come home, after a long day of work, and relax in a favorite chair. Unfortunately, there are people and pets with lives that do not allow for this luxury; their priority is finding a safe place to sleep.

Now, for some of the homeless dogs in this Illinois no-kill shelter, that safe place just got a little more comfy. Each new arrival is treated like a king with a big throne to sit upon while waiting to be adopted.

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Credit: Knox County Humane Society

The comfy chair movement was inspired by Buster, one of the canine staff members at the Knox County Humane Society in Galesburg, Illinois. When Buster Brown, a Pit Bull, was just a pup he was adopted from the shelter, but then returned a year later after the couple who adopted him divorced.  This time he stayed, becoming welcome committee for new arrivals and capturing the hearts of staff and volunteers. Buster loves the shelter, but he always hated sleeping in the kennel. He prefers to stretch out on a plush chair instead.


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Credit: Knox County Humane Society / Erin Buckmaster

One of Buster’s favorite tricks is to keep a watchful eye on staff movements. The moment one gets up from their seat, Buster is in there. Although Buster was comfortable, the staff had a hard time getting their work done.  Erin Buckmaster, who works at the shelter, decided to get Buster a chair of his own. She found just the thing in the shelter’s break room.

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Credit: Knox County Humane Society / Erin Buckmaster

Buckmaster started to think about the other shelter dogs, and wondered if they would enjoy a chair of their own.  News starting spreading that the shelter was looking for recliners and shortly thereafter, 10 dogs were lying comfortably in their own chairs. The shelter posted a short video showing the dogs enjoying their chairs and it caught on.

Staff at other shelters are taking up Buster’s inspiration and providing chairs for their animals guests.  People from other states and cities are even offering money so that local residents can buy chairs for the rest of the animals in the shelter.


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Credit: Knox County Humane Society / Erin Buckmaster

Each dog has its own chair and keeps it until they leave the shelter. Then the chair is thrown away. Each day the chairs are cleaned with a disinfecting mixture. The dogs that are in the chairs are those who are healthy and have received a flea treatment.

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Credit: Knox County Humane Society / Erin Buckmaster

The shelter’s comfy chair initiative has received a wonderful response. People are offering chairs from as far away as Minnesota and California. Erin Buckmaster’s ultimate dream is for all of the animals at the Knox County Humane Society to find loving families with whom they can share chairs.

Does you local shelter need donations? Why not give them a call, and see how you can help.