GUELPH -- A newly relaunched program at the Guelph Humane Society is offering pet owners a unique way to remember their pet after they've passed, while also giving back.

Shannon Kornelsen vividly remembers the day she walked into the facility and saw the kitten that captured her heart.

"It’s burned into my memory, walking into the old cat room. We locked eyes and it was like instantly...that's my cat," said Kornelsen.

It was that day 16 years ago that Shakes the cat got her forever home, giving Kornelsen not only a pet but also a best friend.

"She had this intensity in her connection with people," said Kornelsen. "She got me and I really got her specialness right away."

Shakes passed away in July 2020, so Kornelsen and her husband decided to go back to where it all started. This time, instead of adopting another kitten they adopted a kennel as part of the newly relaunched Happy Tails Began Here program.

"Essentially people have the ability to adopt one of our cages or kennels for up to a year and for that they get a plaque on it," Lindsay Eliott the Donor Relations and Stewardship Coordinator for the humane society.

According to the humane society, there are almost 90 cages or kennels available for adoption. The funds from the program go back to supporting the animals in their care.

"Now there's an opportunity to still have her presence here and that means there are going to be people that come along that are going to learn who she was," said Kornelsen.

The plaques can include a photo of the person or pet that the space is dedicated to.