For the Love of Shelter Dogs*

6 Hours, and an Adoption Fair!
March 23, 2009, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Adoption Fair, Adoptions, General

Well, it was a very packed weekend! On Saturday, Caroline, her mom, and I were at the shelter volunteering for 6 hours straight – the max we could possibly get in one day! It’s been almost a year since we’ve been able to pull off being there 6 hours; usually one or more of us has a prior commitment and we can’t stay longer than 4 hours. But this time everything worked out and we were able to be there to walk dogs and help people.

We took out a shepherd mix named Tammy as soon as we got there. I’d met her Thursday and worked with her Friday, and was anxious for Caroline to meet her too. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. She just came up to adoptions and she was so cute I couldn’t resist walking her, but when I took her out she started screeching and screaming like something was wrong with her. I did a once-over on her to see if she hurt something or had a cut or injury or something, but nothing was wrong. I tried to comfort her, thinking maybe she was just panicky from being at the shelter, but that didn’t work. I tried correcting her to tell her that screeching was bad (no one is likely to adopt a screeching dog) but that made her worse. Caroline couldn’t figure anything out either. We asked one of the shelter’s managers and a vet tech, and they watched her for a little bit and then tried petting her and calming her. Apparently she didn’t act so panicked back in intake, but she was very vocal about everything. They decided to take her out of the adoption rooms and try to find out if something is wrong with her. Hopefully they’ll find something that they can fix, and then she can come back! She’s a really sweet little girl, if she stays still long enough!

After Tammy went back to intake, we helped take pictures for the shelter’s website. The photographer always needs people to hold the dogs still for her. We helped her take pictures for half an hour, then she had to leave and we went back to helping people and walking dogs.

We had out one dog (I don’t remember exactly who!) when a woman came up to the gate and looked at us like she needed to ask us something. We went over and asked if she needed help.
“Well, my daughter told me not to come here,” she said. “I have a depression problem, and she told me I wouldn’t be able to handle it, but I just lost my pound puppy and I want to give another one a home.”
“Well, if you tell us what you’re looking for,” I said, “We can find a dog that fits your description and bring it out here to you.”
“Okay, I’m looking for a big dog, because I hear that big dogs don’t get adopted as quickly or as often as little dogs. I also really love boxers.” Caroline and I thought for a minute, then remembered the Akita mix named Zeus. He’s 7 months old and already the size of a German Shepherd.We suggested him, and she wanted us to go get him. We didn’t know he was only 7 months old, though, and the 7 month old pups aren’t allowed on the grass, so we couldn’t bring him out. We went  out and told her, and she said she’d just come in. Caroline and I waited while she signed into the visitor book in the lobby, and we could tell she was nervous. She told us (jokingly, of course) to drag her outside and call her daughter if she started crying or she fainted, and this put Caroline and I on edge. We’d never had to help someone who wasn’t sure they’d make it out and still be conscious.

We walked her back to the middle row of Dog Adoption 2 to see Sandy, a little Boxer mix. We took Sandy out and she completely ignored the woman, for the most part. We put Sandy back in and walked the woman all throughout both Adoption rooms. We watched her closely to make sure she wasn’t breaking down. She stopped quite a few cages and talked to the dogs inside, but she didn’t want to take anyone else out. She thanked us and left. Helping her was surprisingly nerve-racking, but I’m glad we were able to walk her through the rooms and help her be able to handle it.

Towards the end of the day, around 5:30, Caroline and I took Zeus the huge Akita mix puppy out back. No one was out there, so we closed one of the back gates and let him loose. He had more room to run, but he still made his way back to the smaller exercise pen. We called him out and grabbed a tennis ball and played monkey-in-the-middle with him. It was really cute, and he got a lot of exercise!

On Sunday, Caroline’s mom led the adoption fair at PetSmart. We helped, of course. There was another volunteer there too, to give us a total of four people to hold dogs. We brought three dogs so one person would be free to clean up messes and hand out donation slips. We brought Max, an Australian Cattle Dog/Boxer mix who is still 8 months old and has been at the shelter since November; Pup-Pup, a sweet Corgi mix with bright blue eyes, 4 years old, and was surrendered to the shelter because her owners were allergic to he; and Spud, a Border Collie mix, a little over 1 year old, and has been at the shelter since August. No one got adopted, but we got a bunch of donations.

Caroline and I spent the entire adoption fair with a dog in our laps. And I mean the entire dog. Pup-Pup really liked sitting in Caroline’s lap, and Max enjoyed mine. Max is pretty big for a lap dog, so it wasn’t the most comfortable situation, but he was just too cute to move! One family seemed really interested in Pup-Pup, but they couldn’t adopt her that day. They took her I.D. number, so hopefully they’ll come back to get her!

A few dogs were adopted over the weekend, including little Lulla Belle. She’s a sweet shepherd mix who had Heartworms when she came to the shelter. She was treated, and that increased her adoption fee from $95 to over $100. It’s not too big of an increase, but it’s enough to put people off. She finally found a home with a nice family, where she’ll be loved!


2 Comments so far
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You had a busy Saturday, Now I realize how tired you must be after working there for 6 hours. Good job!

Comment by Angela

Busy! Glad Lula Bell found a home!

Comment by Pops

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