Category Archives: dog adoption

Top 10 reasons to adopt a senior dog

Senior dog

According to the Senior Dogs Project, here are the top 10 reasons to adopt an older dog.

1. Older dogs are house-trained. You won’t have to go through the difficult stage(s) of teaching a puppy house manners and mopping/cleaning up after accidents.

2. Older dogs are not teething puppies, and won’t chew your shoes and furniture while 
growing up.

3. Older dogs can focus well because they’ve mellowed. Therefore, they learn quickly.

4. Older dogs have learned what “no” means. If they hadn’t learned it, they wouldn’t have 
gotten to be “older” dogs.

5. Older dogs settle in easily, because they’ve learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.

6. Older dogs are good at 
giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are grateful for the second chance they’ve been given.

7. What You See Is What 
You Get: Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.

8. Older dogs are instant 
companions – ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do.

9. Older dogs leave you time for yourself because they don’t make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.

10. Older dogs let you get 
a good night’s sleep because they’re accustomed to human schedules and don’t generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.

Awaiting the royal baby…

William and KateAs the world awaits the arrival of William and Kate’s baby (which by all accounts is due in days), I’m wondering if there’s anything in this happy event that can help animal welfare.

What if shelters around the world named puppies born on the new Prince or Princess’s birthday after the royal baby?  That way, adoptive owners will be adopting their own royal baby and can take part in the historic event.

Puppy

Let’s hope that all of the puppies born that day are healthy and able to thrive in loving homes!

Dog eat dog

Actor Zachary Quinto is currently appearing worldwide in Star Trek:  Into Darkness.   He also appears in a lesser known short film called Dog Eat Dog, which is based on his search for an adopted dog in Los Angeles.

Says Quinto, “The story of the film is an exaggerated account of how I eventually found my rescue dog Noah, but it still reflects a bit of the reality I faced when I was looking to adopt a shelter dog.”

Sit back for the next 13 minutes and enjoy the film!

My temporary dogs

One of the great things about visiting and working at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is the range of dogs available for sleepovers.  Since I am on my final night of sleepovers, it is time to pay tribute to all four of my sleepover dogs…

Timothy, a one-year oldAmerican Staffordshire Terrier.  Beautiful boy with good manners.  I'm sorry we fed you so many treats in training class that we caused your diarrhea!

Timothy, a one-year old American Stafordshire Terrier. Beautiful boy with good manners. I’m sorry we fed you so many treats in training class that we caused your diarrhea!  Timothy’s underbite makes this wee boy adorable.

Chester, a Boxer cross (I think Boxer/Mastiff cross because of his wrinkles and large head size), age 7.  Chester is very bright and we practiced 'sit' during his stay.  A snuggly boy who snores!

Chester, a Boxer cross (I think Boxer/Mastiff cross because of his wrinkles and large head size), age 7. Chester is very bright and we practiced ‘sit’ during his stay. A snuggly boy who snores, I took Chester because he hadn’t been on a sleepover or outing for almost 2 months.

Madison, a young pit mix.  A fairly new arrival at Best Friends, she's not even on the website yet.  Really intelligent, and happily slept the night through.  Only drawback - she's a covers hog who enjoys the middle of the bed.

Madison, a young pit mix. A fairly new arrival at Best Friends, she’s not even on the website yet. Really intelligent, and happily slept the night through. Only drawback – she’s a covers hog who enjoys the middle of the bed.

Clover, another fairly new arrival and her photo isn't on the website yet.  A cattle dog mix, this young girl has good manners on leash and loves to disembowel toys.  A rubber chicken and a small squeaky sheep were victims during our evening together.

Clover, another fairly new arrival from Texas and her photo isn’t on the website yet. A cattle dog mix, this young girl has good manners on leash and loves to disembowel toys. A rubber chicken and a small squeaky sheep were victims during our evening together.  She also adores tummy rubs.

These dogs and many others can be viewed through the Best Friends website and so if you are thinking about adoption, this website is well worth a look.

Black dog syndrome

A common challenge in the adoption business is finding homes for black dogs.  For many years, shelter workers worldwide have reported that black dogs (and cats) are less likely to be adopted than others and more likely to be euthanized.

It’s a case of judging a book by its cover – or is it?

In films, if there is an evil or menacing guard dog, it’s usually black or dark coloured (e.g. Rottweiler, Doberman).  Black cats are notoriously associated with the devil or witches, as well.

However, research published in early 2012 suggested that the issue isn’t colour – it’s breed.  And no one appears to be gathering statistics on the adoption of black dogs vs other dogs.  Plus there’s the fact that the Labrador (including black Labs) is routinely the top of the list when it comes to popular breeds.  This means that someone isn’t afraid of black dogs!

Practically speaking, however, it is usually more difficult to photograph a black dog.  Many shelters find that they can’t do a black dog justice in the photos that are mounted on the internet on shelter web pages and Facebook sites.   Rescue organisations are encouraged to place additional overhead lighting in the kennels of black dogs to make them more appealing to visitors.  Another suggestion is to take a black dog  for a run or brisk walk before photographing him/her – thus photographing them when they are panting which is more likely to look like a smile in their photograph.

Patricia McConnell has commented on Black Dog Syndrome (fact or fiction) on her website.

Meanwhile, rescue organisations often hold special events for the adoption of black-coated animals.  These are photos I took last year at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary during their May appeal – Back in Black… The adoption fee was waived for all black animals during the month.  Very creative!

Back in BlackBack in Black 2

Do you think Black Dog Syndrome is real?  What does your rescue organisation do to support the adoption of black dogs?

Thelma and Louise

Here are Thelma and Louise.   These boxers were found roaming the streets of Los Angeles and were lucky enough to find their way to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where I met them in the Old Friends kennel section of the sanctuary.

Both Thelma and Louise were older dogs and that unfortunately means for many dogs that they are not chosen for adoption from traditional shelter environments.  However, Best Friends recognised that there are ‘boxer people’ all over and that – with a little time – they could find a home together with people who would be willing to take on the special medical needs of two senior dogs.

And that’s just what they did.  Thelma and Louise went to their forever homes on June 16th this year!

One Nation Under Dog

I’ve just finished watching the HBO documentary One Nation Under Dog.  I hope many of you were able to see it and, if not, to catch it when it repeats.

This documentary is segregated into three themes:  Fear, Loss and Betrayal.  Fear covers the experience of some people caught up in legal fights over dangerous dogs and the fate of vicious dogs (euthanasia); Loss shows owners who tell their stories of grief over the loss of their beloved dogs; Betrayal shows the ugly side of the homeless dogs problems in the United States.  Be prepared for actual footage of a gas chamber and meet people who are involved in dog rescue including liberating dogs from a Tennessee puppy mill.

Highly recommended, here are a couple of clips from the documentary thanks to YouTube:

I’m friends with a Pit Bull…and so are 2,764 others

A  Pit Bull named Little Red is proving to many folks that Pit Bulls are lovable creatures deserving of a good home.  I’m proud to say that I’m one of Little Red’s 2,765 Facebook friends (and she’ll probably have more by the time you read this).

Little Red was rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz kennels.  From there, she traveled to Kanab, Utah to the Best Friends Pet Sanctuary for rehabilitation.  Known as ‘Vicktory Dogs,’ all of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s properties were segregated from all non-staff at the Sanctuary under court order.

It took years to see Little Red come back to a state where she could be adopted.  Her adoptive owner, Susan, never gave up hope about Little Red after seeing a photo of her shortly after her rescue.  Susan sponsored Little Red and kept in touch about her progress.  By February 2011, Susan was able to go to the Sanctuary to visit with Little Red.  In September 2011, she was cleared to be Little Red’s foster mother.

This is their story:

There are still those who believe in breed-specific legislation and it is dogs like Little Red that prove that these rushes to judgement are unnecessary and unwarranted.

I’ve previously written (June 2011) about Michael Vick and the book concerning the rehabilitation of some of his Pit Bulls.

Thank heavens for the good people at Best Friends who took in so many Vicktory Dogs and worked with them on the long journey to rehabilitation.

Source:  Best Friends Sanctuary Stories

Daniel’s story

Daniel looks like an ordinary beagle.  But he isn’t.  He’s a survivor – quite literally.

In October 2011, Daniel was placed in a gas chamber in Alabama to die with three other unwanted/unclaimed dogs.   The miracle is that Daniel survived the gassing (by carbon monoxide).  The folks at Eleventh Hour Rescue, a rescue organisation that aims to save dogs from high-kill shelters, heard about Daniel and took him to New Jersey to find a forever home.

After fostering, Daniel was re-homed with Joe and Geralynn Dwyer.  Mr Dwyer now is a guest speaker around the country to encourage the banning of gas chambers in the United States and Mr Dwyer is happy to promote Daniel as the face of the anti-gassing law.   The law has been called “Daniel’s Law” in honor of Daniel.    Pennsylvania is the most recent state to enact it.

Only 19 states in the USA have banned the use of gassing as a means of euthanising unwanted dogs and over 4 million animals are euthanised each year in the country.

Here are a couple of video clips of Daniel’s story, starting with his original fostering arrangement:

And on Anderson Cooper:

Battersea puts out urgent call for help

The Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in the UK has issued an urgent appeal for bedding and jumpers to keep its residents warm this winter.

One puppy grateful for her new jumper is Cilla, the three month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who was found abandoned in a box in a park . Photo courtesy of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The dogs are also being wrapped up in hand knitted sweaters (jumpers) crafted by supporters.

Claire Porteous, Operations Manager at Battersea explains  “Here at Battersea our staff and volunteers are doing everything we can to keep our dogs and cats warm as the temperatures drop. We’ll be using thick bedding, knitted blankets and coats to keep the dogs and cats snug, but we are always incredibly grateful for donations of bedding and dog coats at this time of year.”

The Home would be grateful for dog or fleece blankets, warm bedding or fleece dog coats.

Anyone wishing to donate can bring their items to one of Battersea’s three sites in London, Old Windsor or Brands Hatch, or post them to:

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
4 Battersea Park Road
London
SW8 4AA

Want to knit for the dogs but don’t know where to start?  Try the Big List of Free Dog Knitting Patterns.

  • The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home was established in 1860 and aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of its help.
  • Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats.
  • In 2010 the Home cared for almost 7,000 dogs and 3,000 cats.
  • It costs over £14 million to run Battersea Dogs & Cats Home each year.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity and support of the public.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home rehomes dogs and cats all over the UK.
  • Visit www.battersea.org.uk for more about the Home and its services.