Without a home but not without hope, animals in shelters have to fight uphill battles based on all the myths about their situations. We've come up with 10 common misconceptions about these pups and broken it down into the honest truth — get started and see for yourself in honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog month!
Recently, Lauren Conrad couldn't resist the big brown eyes of a puppy in need at her local animal shelter, and really, who could blame her? Puppies, kittens, and other young animals tend to be adopted first because they are just so darned cute. But this means that shelters often overflow with older animals who can make even better companions than their baby-faced counterparts. As the parent of a 14-year-old Jack Russell whom I raised from a pup, I can tell you that I look fondly on her wild and wacky days at the dog park, but I appreciate these last few golden years of mellow neighborhood walks and long afternoon naps.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, so in honor of all the older ladies and gents who still need a loving home, I'm providing a handful of reasons why you should consider adopting an aging pal and a few ways you can make them feel right at home.
Source: Flickr user normanack
Q: I'm doing an apartment purge and trying to figure out what to do with my pup's unused or gently worn toys. Can I wash and donate them to a shelter? Help!A: First off, it's so great that you're thinking of other animals in need! You'll have to check with your local shelter as some will accept pet toys and others will not. If you are planning to donate, don't give any heavily used, ripped, or otherwise ruined toys. (Remember, if your pup discarded it for a missing squeaker, chances are so will the next pup.) Review my tips on how to clean dog toys of all kinds, get them fresh, and you're good to go.Typically, I've seen more hard toys in shelters than plush — for an aforementioned destruction factor — so think Kongs and balls of all types to start.
If any of you have experience donating toys, please share what you offered up in the comments below, and don't forget to pose your own problems or questions in the Pet Peeves group when you're done!
Flickr User: MShades
There are so many lil pups at shelters in the Bay Area that staffers have to take matters into their own hands and find other locations to hold the pooches. One Oakland shelter plans to charter a plane to airlift tiny pups to other states where they'll be more likely find homes (like that T'giving mission) and volunteers there have already driven over 100 Chihuahuas to shelters in Oregon, Washington, and Arizona.
Why all the extra effort? Well, bitty dogs are still in demand for many regions, and it's better to place as many pound puppies in happy houses, no matter the state. Are you surprised to see this breed pass pitties on the commonly found list?
Source: Flickr User Bree Bailey
If your home is not needing another furry face despite the temptation, find four other ways you can help out — and see more pics of Hilary and the pooches — when you read more
Overpopulation is a big problem facing many shelters around the country. There are too many hungry mouths and furry faces, and simply not enough room so test yourself about rescue facts and numbers in this quiz.Take the Quiz
A spokesperson for Oprah Winfrey confirmed to People Pets that one of the puppies Oprah showcased on her show, Ivan, died over the weekend. Apparently Sadie, Oprah's newly adopted cocker spaniel who the world met last week, is also being treated for the virus and “is getting stronger.”
According to veterinarians, puppies around the country are suffering from a new strain of the disease called Canine Parvovirus Type 2c. Little Sadie was exposed to Ivan before her second shot so she is being treated with "plasma from hyperimmunized healthy dogs” (as you can see from the picture Oprah shared on her show) as a precaution.
As you may already know, Parvo is a highly contagious viral illness, that can attack your pups intestines (which is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of appetite) and cardiac system (which affects heart muscles of very young puppies), and often leads to death. The majority of cases are seen in puppies that are between six weeks and six months old, so be sure to get all your pups vaccinations before introducing them to the outside world. Check out PetMD for details of symptoms and precautionary tips.
We know all dogs go to heaven, but we are sure little Ivan will be missed!
When misslarue asked my opinion on adopting a puppy or an adult dog, it gave me a great poll idea. I've experienced both and can see advantages of each side. Puppies are a fresh start, but you have to make it through that start and middle before the end result of a good dog, whereas adult dogs can be trickier to train if left untrained for a long time (but easier if you don't have the experience/time to train them yourself). Nothing is impossible with a little dedication and a lot of love, but I'm asking what route you traveled for your furry friends.
I was pretty anxious to sneak a peek at Oprah's new pup, and was so jealous of my mom, who got to catch Sadie's national debut on East Coast time. Well, everyone, her cuteness is well worth the wait. Although the pooch was named Amanda in the shelter, Oprah's calling her new Cocker Spaniel Sadie. (That name change should be no problem if she follows my tips on the subject.) Seems like the puppy was struggling to adjust in her new, very loving home but looks rather content now — see for yourself in the video below!
Even though Oprah brought out Sadie's three brothers who are all available for adoption at PAWS Chicago, there are nearly 2,000 adoptable Cocker Spaniels and cocker mixes available on Petfinder.com across the country.
See more pictures of Sadie when you read more