Shelter dogs are not broken

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

By Rhonda Furby

There are a lot of reasons a cat or dog is surrendered to an animal shelter. The four main reasons are : Time, Money, Behavior and Housing.

Many of those reasons are not the fault of the animal.

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Some of the reasons are because the owner has unreasonable expectations. Some of the reasons are the fault of the owner. For example, if you leave your dog out in the back yard without any interaction or training, they will jump on you, knock you down, scratch you, and sometimes nibble on you or your clothing. This is not a bad dog, it’s a neglected, untrained dog. The fault of the owner. A dog that potties inside in undesignated areas is not a bad dog, it is an untrained dog that was given too much space too soon. Dogs can be trained to have manners and do tricks. A trained dog is a good family member; an untrained dog is a bad family member.

Adopting a dog, puppy or adult, is a huge responsibility. It’s the same as having a child when it comes to training. You have to be consistent 100 percent of the time. You can’t be too tired to deal with it. If you are not willing to put in the time, energy and effort, please don’t get a dog.

Dogs and puppies need training, patience, good food, clean water, heartworm and flea preventative every month, shelter from rain, heat and cold weather. They need exercise, grooming, toys, and family time.

Dogs have feelings and they love their people and spending time with their people. If you don’t have time and money to provide these things to a dog, then don’t get one. They are not an accessory, or a yard ornament.

If you decide that you are going to adopt a dog, know that the dogs in the shelters are not broken, they just need someone to be consistent with them and they will be forever grateful. Some people believe that shelter dogs are somehow damaged or second-rate because they were given away by their first family. 

This is simply not true.  Many of the animals that the shelters take in are there because of an issue their families couldn’t resolve, but one that has nothing to do with the animal’s temperament or behavior.  This isn’t to say that all shelter dogs are perfect, but then, who is?  Each dog, just like us humans, has his own quirks and character traits that make him special.  And since we are all different, it is convenient that the shelters have such a breadth of adoptable dogs to choose from.

If you have a dog that is not working out in your home, please do not give your dog away for free. Some of those free pets end up as bait animals, but most end up in someone’s back yard, untrained and neglected. Please consider bringing your pet to the animal shelter. Shelters microchip their dogs before adoption and will take those animals back from other shelters and keep them until they are adopted.

If you have a litter of puppies and need to find homes for them, please consider bringing them to the shelter where they will get shots, spay/neuter, worming, and microchipping. They will then be adopted and will not be able to reproduce.

A lot of times when pups are given away for free, they have no value therefore they are not cared for in the same standard as one that was adopted with a fee.