Category Archives: dog adoption

IKEA and pet adoption

Furniture company IKEA has used its profile with consumers to help spread the word about shelter pets.

Starting in Singapore with the Home for Hope initiative, life-sized cutouts of adoptable pets were displayed in stores.  The cutouts had two purposes:  Firstly, they gave perspective on how a pet of that size would look in a home.  Then, a QR code on each cutout allowed people to download more information about the animal and its care needs – thus giving insight into the costs and responsibilities of pet ownership.

Really innovative idea, IKEA!

Stores in the USA have begun to adopt similar programs.  Here’s a photo of an adoption event in Tempe Arizona:

A cardboard cutout of Daisy, an Arizona Humane Society shelter dog, on display at Ikea Tempe (photo by Ikea Tempe)

A cardboard cutout of Daisy, an Arizona Humane Society shelter dog, on display at IKEA Tempe (photo by IKEA Tempe)

A Home for Hope display in Singapore

A Home for Hope display in Singapore

This YouTube video gives background to the initiative in Singapore:

There are ways we haven’t even thought of yet to encourage adoption and responsible dog ownership, but it is wonderful to a big corporate like IKEA using their influence over consumers to help shelter pets.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

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!