Dog inspires radio DJ to promote pet adoption on the air
If you ever find yourself cruising around Houston early enough to take in the Texas sunrise, there’s a good chance you’ll hear DJ Erik Smith on the radio, spinning tunes and helping save lives while he’s at it. As the co-host on 100.3 The Bull’s morning show, The Morning Bullpen with George, Mo & Erik, Erik promotes adoptable dogs from Best Friends in Houston on the air and also encourages listeners to get involved by signing up to foster pets.
The dog who started it all
Leave it to dogs to bring out the best of us and inspire us to help make this world a better place. In Erik’s case, it was meeting a dog named Nash at Best Friends in Los Angeles, back when he called the City of Angeles home. It was Nash who got him interested in helping more pets in shelters.
“He had a sign on his kennel that said Shy Guy,” recalls Erik, who didn’t see a timid dog as much as he saw a kind and gentle one. “For some reason, we just knew he belonged with us. And he did.”
Now Nash spends movie nights cuddling with his six-year-old daughter and shares a bed with his three-year-old son. And Erik says the family has learned some valuable lessons from Nash. “He taught us that the labels people put on us do not define us. Everyone is capable of redefining themselves and stepping into a better life.”
Promoting pets on the air
Recently, Erik and his family moved from Los Angeles to Houston, and Erik became the co-host of The Morning Bullpen. When he learned about Best Friends in Houston, he had an idea: What if he could promote dogs available for adoption on the radio? He took his idea to the team at Best Friends and (no surprise) everyone loved it. Then, he approached the team at The Bull. They loved it, too.
Soon after that, the ball got rolling with Best Friends Friday at The Bull. On those days, a Best Friends staff member heads to the studio with a cat or dog and shares on air a story with Erik and his co-hosts, with the hope of connecting with a listener interested in fostering or adopting.
They’ll also share those super sweet meetings on Facebook live, so followers can see for themselves all the fun that’s happening in the studio. The Bull shares posts about the pets on Facebook, too.
Thanks to Erik and his team at The Bull, many listeners have stepped up to foster or adopt pets featured on The Morning Bullpen. In fact, when a dog named Corey was at the station, someone fell in love with her and adopted her before she even left the building.
"Erik is a true advocate and believer of the importance of fostering,” says Deyra Galvan, foster coordinator for Best Friends in Houston, who has joined many pets in the studio for Best Friends Friday. “He loves sharing the message of fostering and the importance of that being part of the lifesaving journey.”
Foster a pet, change a life (and yours, too)
Whenever Erik is promoting dogs from Best Friends on his morning radio show, he thinks of his dog, Nash. “I owe all of this passion to Nash, whose wet nose in my neck has changed my life forever,” says Erik. “Because of Nash, I am so proud to help Best Friends whenever possible. It’s my way of saying thank you to him.”
Erik has some advice for people thinking about using their unique skills to help animals. “You’re changing lives,” he says. “Sure, you’re helping animals and making people happy. But you might not realize that you are also helping build families, too.”
Volunteer to help cats and dogs
There are countless way to help pets where you live, so why not reach out to your local shelter and get involved?