Monday, November 3, 2008

What shelters have known all along

Sometimes, I think shelter people could talk until they were blue in the face about the value of our animals, and no one would listen. Adoption from an animal shelter has not always been the politically correct thing to do when puppy mill dogs and backyard breeders abound with deals of genetically challenged purebreds and designer breeds. (read this correctly, MUTTS)
When you speak to a person who has never adopted from a shelter, they don't know what to expect and think all shelter dogs are drooling, vicious, obnoxious, uncontrollable animals. After hearing this story last night, I decided maybe the tide is changing.
The gist of the story is about a K-9 police officer. It seems the county where this story is from is suffering from the economy just like the rest of us and when a police dog had to retire due to health, his human was told a new dog was simply not economically feasible in the department at this time.
Smartly, he visited the local shelter and pulled a dog which exhibited all the traits he needed for police work. After twelve weeks, the dog went on patrol.
The dog the officer chose was not a purebred, but what I like to refer to as a 'little bit' dog. He is primarily a labrador mix, which means he has a little bit of this and a little bit of that with a lot of labrador. He is also a mutt.
Wouldn't it be great if we could show stories like this to all the naysayers who believe shelter dogs are the rejects of our society? Wouldn't it also be great if we could educate people to recognize traits in dogs that would best suit their life?
There are many great organizations in the area, shelters and rescues alike, who have wonderful companion animals for adoption. Twenty-five percent of these animals are purebreds but most are mutts. They would all be happy to help you find the perfect one. Maybe his job wouldn't be searching out drugs from criminals, but he could become a valued member of a family and not face certain death due to ignorance.

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