For the Love of Shelter Dogs*


Puppies, and Shelter Happenings
June 5, 2009, 3:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Our other two foster puppies ended up getting parvo. Malia had to be put to sleep on May 28, and Keanu made it to May 30. I miss them, but I’m glad they’re not suffering.

Mariamme and I met their mother (or the dog we’re pretty sure is their mother) on June 2nd. It was my birthday, and I was thinking that morning about how, if I couldn’t still have the puppies, I’d at least like to meet their mom. I was so happy she made it up to the adoption rooms! Her name is Shea (I think I’m spelling it the way they spelled it) and she’s a 5 year old Retriever mix. She’s a short  and stout junkyard-looking dog, but she’s adorable and sweet. She likes to just sit by our feet and get petted. I really like her, and I hope she has more luck at getting adopted than last years’ foster puppies’ mom, CoCo. She was adopted a few months ago, then returned because she was too active. It’s pretty obvious that her people didn’t give her much exercise; she’s a chubby little girl. Hopefully she’ll find a permanent loving home.

Shea

Shea

Shea

Shea

We’re going to be fostering kittens in a couple weeks. Since our pups had parvo, a highly contagious disease for which their is no cure, we can’t foster any puppies for another year. Kittens can’t get doggy-parvo. I’ll post pictures when we get the kitties!

Construction is coming along nicely on the new building. Well, they haven’t actually brought the building in yet, but they’re working on clearing the land and leveling the land. It took forever for the necessary parties to agree on where to put the building. Where the shelter wanted it, the county said no. Where one group of TPTB wanted it, another group didn’t. Everyone finally settled on a nice place that isn’t too close to anything, but close enough that it won’t be a ridiculous walk for people. And it’s not going to be a paperwork building anymore; now it’s going to be offices for staff. Many of the shelter staff members have lost offices due to overcrowding. One woman gave up her office so there could be one more cat adoption room. All of the staff sacrifice a lot to help the animals, so it’s only fair that they have their own offices.

They’ve promise us volunteers that after the building is in and as soon as they have the time/funds, they’ll put the extra front pens back up. I can’t wait!

I’ve been watching a lot of Dogtown lately, and I’ve noticed that every time they get in a medical case, the narrator always says something along the lines of “If this dog had been taken to a regular animal shelter, he/she would have been euthanized almost immediately. But here at Best Friends…” This is starting to annoy me. At first it didn’t, because a lot of animal shelters don’t spend money on the trauma or medical cases. But after a while, their stereotyping of all animal shelters has started to irk me. Our shelter isn’t anything like the animal shelters that keep dogs for three days and then euthanize them. We keep dogs in intake for three days, then do a medical evaluation, assess any issues/behavioral problems they may have, and then put them up for adoption if there’s nothing too serious. If there is something serious, like heartworm, we treat it.

Being a county animal shelter, we have to take in whatever is brought to us. Animal Control, the police, and citizens all bring in strays they find, and owners will bring in their pets if they can no longer keep/no longer wish to keep them. We treat what we can, but unfortunately we must humanely euthanize the rest. We treat more than most shelters, though. Take Cindy, a beagle mix, for example. She was found by a lady after she was thrown out of her owner’s car onto the road. The woman picked her up and brought her to us. Cindy had a  broken back and many other medical issues. The woman paid for Cindy’s major surgery (which cost $4000), and the shelter paid for the rest (which ended up being about $2000). Cindy recovered well and was put up for adoption. She lasted only about a day before someone took her home. Now she’s happy, loved, and healthy. We help dogs with broken limbs, gunshot wounds, and various other issues. So the stereotype of “No shelters spend money on a dog’s/cat’s/creature’s medical problems” now annoys me.

I’m not criticising Dogtown. I’m criticising whoever wrote what the narrator says. Dogtown is a wonderful place because of what it does for the animals. Their education program is great, their rescue program is fantastic, and they are very committed to the dogs. I’m hoping to visit there someday.

This Saturday is going to be full of shelter related activities: yard sale in the morning and adoption fair in the afternoon. I’ll let you know how it goes! Hopefully we’ll get both dogs adopted out. We’re bringing Zed, a lab/pit mix, and Tess, an adorable shepherd mix. They’ve both been at the shelter a long time, and we’re all really hoping they’ll be able to find a great forever home.

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