Whole Dog Journal's Blog April 20, 2017

Why Are These Dogs Not Getting Adopted?

Posted at 10:16AM - Comments: (58)

In the May issue of WDJ, you will see a couple photos of a black and white dog. (One shows only his paws, so you have to take my word for it that the paws are his.) He is a ward at my local shelter, the Northwest SPCA in Oroville, California. He has been at the shelter since being dropped off there in a cardboard box, found by the employee who opened the shelter that day, shortly before Christmas. He and his two siblings were estimated to be about 8 weeks old at that time. They are now about six months old.

When the shelter was evacuated in February (see here for the story about that), this dog, his sister, and about 12 other dogs were taken in by my friend Sarah Richardson, owner of the boarding/training/daycare called The Canine Connection in nearby Chico, California. She boarded them free of charge for about 10 days, and recruited clients and friends to come over and take the dogs out for walks and potty breaks and play sessions. I was evacuated also, and spent a few days there helping with the dogs. Even though I had seen the dogs at the shelter before the evacuation, this was the first time I had actually put my hands on them.

These pups are cute, smart, friendly to people AND dogs, and responding so well to training. Why is it taking so long to find them homes?

I liked them! They were energetic and ill-mannered, never having received a lick of training, but they were sweet and friendly to everyone they met, not fearful in the slightest, and not mouthy. They approached other dogs with friendly enthusiasm, but despite not having many social opportunities, were not rude or inappropriate with other dogs.

I and some of Sarah’s other volunteers worked with them on polite walking on leash and not jumping on people, and they made some headway. Sarah promoted them heavily on her Facebook page, and despite the fact that she managed to find homes for at least 10 of the evacuees who stayed at her place of business, no one expressed interest in the two young dogs.

After the evacuation, I worked with them even more. And in recent weeks, I have stepped up my efforts, promoting them on MY Facebook page. And I have taken them home on Saturday nights, so they could spend two nights and a long day in a home, when the shelter is closed and no one can come to see them. I figure that riding in a car, and practicing house-training and cat-tolerance and so on will make them that much more adoptable. They both will come, sit, and lay down on cue. And they are cute!

And yet, no takers.

One of my friends who recently retired fell in love with the male, and said he would adopt him in a hot second, but he and his partner have a ton of travel planned for this year, and had no plans to adopt another dog until they conclude this extensive travel. They lost their last elderly dog a few months ago, and had postponed some of this travel on his behalf, so they don’t want to start with a new dog by leaving him in a boarding situation half of the year. But my friend offered to sponsor the dog’s adoption fee, if a qualified adopter was interested. I promoted this on my FB page, also, and still no takers.

My current theory is that they look too much like pit bulls to people who don’t want a bully breed, and not enough like pit bulls for people who do want a bully breed. It’s just so frustrating for me, seeing them as nice dogs who just need a chance to prove what nice dogs they are!

I’ve heard of dogs who have been in shelters for YEARS, and it always KILLS me. It makes me so sad to contemplate. I don’t want this for these young dogs, and I’m doing everything in my power to find them homes. But after four months, I’m discouraged – and feeling the discouragement that many people who foster feel when their wards take too long to find homes.

I’ve heard that shelters in some parts of the country actually bring dogs in from other parts of the country so they have enough dogs to offer for adoption. Boy, would I like to live in such a place. That’s a problem I’d love to have. Alas, that’s not how things are here in Northern California.

Comments (58)

We have a saving train Through the Humane Society of Southern Oregon that goes down into central California to kill shelters and brings some back up to southern Oregon every 2 to 3 months. Maybe your dogs could come on that. There is land up here and the mixes often get adopted. Not as much breed prejudice either

Posted by: vboisen | July 3, 2017 1:35 PM    Report this comment

I am willing to adopt him if he can be transported to Richmond, VA. I currently have a two year old border collie/pit bull mix. I love pit bulls and have been looking to get a second one. Let me know if there is opportunity to transfer him to Virginia.

Posted by: emilymelton2 | May 10, 2017 10:27 AM    Report this comment

Response to Nara: We currently have someone local reportedly *interested* in adopting the female, whom we are calling Penny. If that falls through, I will be in touch with you! -- NK

Posted by: WDJ Editor Nancy Kerns | May 5, 2017 2:09 PM    Report this comment

I'll be updating the stories for these dogs in tomorrow's blog post (5/4/17). The male was adopted! Now intensifying efforts on training for the female. And we're calling her Penny. NK

Posted by: WDJ Editor Nancy Kerns | May 3, 2017 1:30 PM    Report this comment

Does anyone know if these dogs were adopted?

Posted by: kristinb | May 2, 2017 10:49 AM    Report this comment

I completely feel your pain on this one. My group has a dog we think is a pittie/lab mix that we have had in boarding for 6 months now and she's only about a year old. We have to keep her in boarding because she isn't good with other dogs and because of this we've had no takers because she has to go into a pet free home. I've been working with her at the adoption events trying to use the desensitization techniques you've talked about and we've had some progress but because I can only work with her one day a week it's 2 steps forward one step back. It truly is heart breaking. I wish I could bring her home but I dont know how to overcome her fear/reactivity to other dogs and I don't have a fenced yard which this girl needs so she can run around. It is hard to believe that anywhere has a "shortage of dogs". Rather I think there are areas where there is a shortage of adoptors and that is why dogs are moved across state lines.

Posted by: Stephenie D | April 24, 2017 8:10 AM    Report this comment

I would love to adopt one!! I'm in NC 🙁

Posted by: DebsSweet | April 24, 2017 1:21 AM    Report this comment

I am interested in the female. I live in Kelseyville....Oroville isn't too far from me.

Posted by: Nara | April 23, 2017 10:45 PM    Report this comment

That is so heartbreaking.I would have taken them in a heartbeat.I'm 3000 mi away.Poor babies they are beautiful.I hope someone steps up & gives them a forever home.

Posted by: Giovanna | April 23, 2017 6:34 PM    Report this comment

I strongly recommend that these 2 (as of yet) unadopted puppies be given some TYPE of name. They need it - not only for training, but to personalize them and perhaps make them seem cute.

You, or your WDJ group, can come up with adorable, lovable very approachable -dog NAMES. If the male has a HEART on his nose, that could lead to: Cupid, or Val (for Valentino). Or you can "play up" his black & white coloring: Oreo, Domino, Dice etc. Or simply use a nice "suggestive" name like: Buddy.

Posted by: Betsy | April 23, 2017 5:26 PM    Report this comment

Being a positive dog trainer, I agree completely with several of the comments here and just wanted to add my support to those suggestions as I've worked with many bully breed mixes like these.

First off, you and the shelter are doing a really great job of taking care of these two cuties and getting them adoption ready. I believe getting them really well trained (I wish I was close enough to help!) is first and foremost. Then making and posting videos of them showing off their wonderful skills along with how fun they are would be a great way to follow up after they've got some skills down well.

Next, calling the local TV stations is an excellent idea. The dogs who appear on the newscasts are adopted in a blink of an eye. I'd also consider calling the radio stations and see if they would feature them.

If its possible, getting DNA testing done would be great as you might find they've got other breeds mixed in and can use that to advertise them, and featuring the heart-shaped nose someone pointed out are all excellent selling points.

It's great to see all the creative ideas everyone has come up with here! I commend you all!

Posted by: LiseL | April 23, 2017 3:47 PM    Report this comment

p.s. I would be one of those people who would be JUST the person to adopt a pitt mix if my husband were not so pitt averse.

Posted by: VLK | April 23, 2017 3:23 PM    Report this comment

Here in South Florida it seems that there is an overabundance of Pitt Bulls and Chihuahuas. Other breeds and mixes (of the "friendlier" variety) get adopted quickly and are even brought from other states to meet the demand.

Overall the numbers of dogs available for adoption in this country is a sad statement. To me it says that dogs, along with so much else, have become part of our throw away society.

Posted by: VLK | April 23, 2017 3:19 PM    Report this comment

13 yrs. ago, the shelter supervisor at our local SPCA pulled me over and told me about a 4 mo. old dog she'd like me to see (she knows I'm a dog lover). What came out was an all black Pitt/Rottie/ & maybe a wee bit of lab mix with the sweetest "button eyes.". They called her Daisy. Daisy had been left outside the shelter with a multiply fractured pelvis.The shelter didn't have the $$ for surgery so they let the injuries heal on their own. No one wanted her because of the breed mixture. Well all it took from Daisy was a dog kiss and I was signing the adoption papers. She was one of the sweetest, gentlest, most loving dogs I have ever had the honor of sharing life with. As she aged, she could no longer walk very far so I bought her a Pet Ego dog cart and would push her on walks everywhere....and Daisy was 80 lbs.! She was an energetic and poorly, if any, trained puppy who turned into a gem!! People have become afraid of the bully breeds because of cruel people and bad press. They are loving and loyal companions. In order to get a shelter bullie/bullie mix adopted, they need very good training and manners. People today don't like to spend the time it takes to correctly train a puppy/dog and give it the exercise and socialization the dog needs to live successfully in our society. Get someone in to REALLY TRAIN THESE DOGS and then appeal to local TV stations to air their stories and show how adorable and well-behaved they are. Someone will see them who will be interested, or know someone who is looking for a well-behaved dog. My Daisy died in my arms 6 yrs. ago of a brain clot. I still miss her always smiling face, gentle personality, her big head, and shining button eyes....yet she was a pup no one wanted to adopt because of her mixed heritage! How many people missed out on the chance to a adopt a diamond-in-the-rough? Make these dogs diamonds!

Posted by: clb | April 23, 2017 12:55 PM    Report this comment

Yes we live in such an area. Everyone besides us whom I know who has a rescue had them shipped from the South or Tennessee. And pay a good deal for them.
We are looking to do the same. We would gladly take in these pups but Northern California is probably too far unless somehow we can arrange air travel. Let me know.

Posted by: JennyFiore | April 23, 2017 12:15 PM    Report this comment

Good Luck! Our son came home with a little 5/6 week old bully mix he found thrown out on the side of the road. He was underfed, full of worms and had lice and demodex. It took about 8 weeks to get him healthy and looking good, and I started looking for a home. In the mean time he hung out with our Irish Wolfhounds, getting bathed, coddled, taking tail rides across the slick floors and generally being adored. They were also kind enough to teach him tolerance, bite inhibition and basic dog manners Irish Wolfhound style. I was never able to find an appropriate home for him. The folks who I would place a dog with either didn't want him because they're HOA didn't allow bully breeds or they were concerned with the breed type. The people who I would never give a dog to were eager to take him... Long story short... He'll be 2 in July. We placed him on health insurance with the rest of our hounds, he's been neutered, given an AKC PAL # and I've started him in lure coursing and Agility, both of which he loves. Over time I fell in love with the little guy and he's an amazing puppy minder for our 9 month old Irish Wolfhound puppy. Anyone who feels bullies won't be really great family members has never lived with one. We had a Border Terrier as our last small dog and this little guy is vastly more manageable and much more dog friendly than our Border was... raised in the same environment with the same opportunities. I didn't want another Terrier of any sort after our Border passed, but this little guy has more than made up for my previous Terrier experiences. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for these two cuties... If someone can see past the prejudice to take a chance on the little cow dogs I think they'll be as infatuated as my family currently is.

Posted by: ierneiw | April 23, 2017 11:27 AM    Report this comment

Please take a look at athenspets.net. We are a 501 c3 allied with a public kill shrlter. We have success with dogs that look like this pup.The pictures and the cute bios help the dogs get adopted. Our volunteers also do You Tube videos for each animal. Some harder to adopt for whatever reason doggies get theit own individual Facebook pages put up by a dedicated volunteer.

Sometimes it takes time, more than you think to find the perfect home. In the meantime the pups are benefitting from positive human interaction, soclization, and in some cases basic obedience training. Sounds like you are on the right track. Be patient and take good and varied pictutes. If you check athenspets.net you will get some good ideas on making the dogs appealing to the right potential hone.

Posted by: Doggielover | April 23, 2017 10:49 AM    Report this comment

It is all about finding the right marketing blurb. There are baby boomers and younger out there who would really love to adopt an animal straight out of Our Gang/The Little Rascals. Post a black and white picture of Petey--that famous classic canine that the gang ran around with--along with your modern color photos, and you will stir up good memories and a lot of interest. See, e.g., the Wikipedia entry for Pete the Pup.

And I agree about eliminating the bully breed if you can; Pal the Wonder Dog (Petey) was American Pit Bull Terrier but the reputation of the breed has taken a hit since the early part of the 20th Century. Good luck.

Posted by: alemley | April 23, 2017 10:47 AM    Report this comment

Hi here in Salem MA we have a great no kill shelter. NorthEast Animal Shelter. I know they bring in animals from different parts of the country. They have a very successful adoption history, including pit bull/mix dogs. Maybe you could access their contact info and give them a try. Every puppy deserves a second chance!

Posted by: LisaGC | April 23, 2017 10:36 AM    Report this comment

Get better pictures --look up "shelter me photography" on google.

Get DNA on them.

Market them as an unusual breed - they look a little like holstein cattle (i.e. "cow" dogs).

Posted by: lklawrie | April 23, 2017 10:07 AM    Report this comment

I am interested in finding out more about these sweet dogs! My husband and I are almost ready to adopt. We live in Southern California. Please contact me.

Posted by: KimK | April 21, 2017 7:43 PM    Report this comment

I have always had german shepherds but I decided to rescue two pitbull mixes and they are wonderful pets. I wake up in the morning to kisses and they follow me everywhere. They are also very fond of my wife , children and grandchildren.

Posted by: barrygilles | April 21, 2017 6:44 PM    Report this comment

Did anyone notice that the pup pictured has a heart shaped black nose? Not that I want to exploit him but it might be a great way to market how lovable he is.

Posted by: freshtrackspet | April 21, 2017 2:24 PM    Report this comment

Just had a thought... This amazing woman that is soooo losing sleep because she wants the best for this puppy... How about if I connect you with W. Bruce Cameron the author of "A Dog's Purpose". He is just coming out with his new book (May 4th) "A Dog's Way Home" which is about a puppy that looks too much like a Pit Bull... I think once people (which he has a huge following) might be interested in adopting your baby. Remember it only takes one. I will give them (Bruce and his wife Catherine) a heads-up to let them know this is coming. Also you can send me an email as to your contact information. Sound Good?

Posted by: LisaOnAMission | April 21, 2017 11:55 AM    Report this comment

Maybe try these folks? They live in my neighborhood and have adoption events twice a month at our local Pet Smart.
pittie-pups.good-newz

Posted by: Laurenmaddock | April 21, 2017 9:39 AM    Report this comment

I concur with Moomoo.
I live in New England. I see a lot of people adopting pit bulls, and I'm even seeing more being walked around the streets of Boston! This is a positive step, because so many other people see these dogs and have a favorable impression.

Our problem here is what moomoo said. Landlords will not accept pit bulls in rental units, and insurance companies won't sell insurance to home owners. I rent and my landlord encouraged me to get another dog, and my first choice would have been a pit, but her insurance company had 7 breeds they would not insure her for. Pits were one of them.
Also, I'm noticing more and more rentals are not accepting dogs at all, of any breed. And that's not just here in New England; I lived in FL for years and want to retire there but in checking many of their ads, same thing. No Pets!
I feel that the insurance/landlord issues are what's keeping dogs from getting adopted. It's frustrating and sad. I adopted 2 pits years ago, and they were my best friends!

Posted by: Kelley King | April 21, 2017 7:35 AM    Report this comment

I have worked with dogs all my life. Military and Police. For over 25 years on my PD I was a Handler, Supervisor, and eventually the Unit Boss. When we wrote the policy (We never buy pure bred of trained canines) for getting new recruits for the K-9 unit we specifically used the term "German Shepherd Style". We go to the pounds and shelters in about a 25 mile radius and find dogs that look like GSDs. They receive an on scene task for attitude, personality, and health. Once with us they receive a complete Veterinary health exam. We have a canine psychologist who evaluates each animal for personality and and protection mode, first their own and the in training to their Handler.

Since I retired I seek out GSD type dogs that are to be euthanized. These cases have problems of may kinds this is why they get turned loose, taken to a shelter, abused, disabled, or senior. I bring them home and my wife and I provide each with a loving, friendly, and happy environment. I work on aggression when necessary. They get seen by a Vet regularly and a Nutritionist. Through a friend who is a canine nutritionist we read articles, food labels, canine food manufacturer web pages. ad government reports. Some are so sick and disabled that all we can do is provide love care. One of the first things we do is DNA testing so I know what type of background the dog has via breed norms. That helps me greatly with training and providing the the best emotional care for the breeds involved. Training methods depend on the animals breed norms and abilities to learn, complete, and retain the education.
I have had a couple pure breed standards. Yet, almost all are some sort of mix. I so worry about those strayed, abused, ill, or aged canines with no where to turn and no help of any kind foreseeable future. A DNA test from a reputable provider is great information to have and use. I'm glad I can do it. To end I will say that testing of this type is not required immediately. It can be left for who will be the owner to do if he/she wants. Some of my handlers did the test on their own. Sometimes the unit did it to help the dog with training. It is not necessary. Yet, it is a bag of good information.

Posted by: BillHoover | April 20, 2017 11:30 PM    Report this comment

I was involved in dog rescue for many years, finding dogs (or they found me) to bring back to health, spay/neuter and basic obedience to help the dog get a good home. I prided myself on guessing the breeds of mixes and purebreds. Watched a lot of Animal planet and looked through a lot dog breed books. So I was a bit cocky at times. Last year I took in a pup that needed fostering. He was supposed to be a mix of the breed that I have and was pulled by that rescue. He looked like a mixed breed, his coloring was the same on my dogs. In a few months, however, he looked very much the same. People would even ask if they all came from the same litter. A bit funny, because my oldest is 10, the next 7 and the pup was at that time about 10 months. Even a couple of vets that was familiar with this type of Shepherd, thought he was a pure breed. I finally did a DNA. He was a little bit of everything, but not any the breed of my Shepherds. That humbled me a lot. The place that did the DNA testing, told me it is not unusual for mixed breed dogs to look like a breed entirely different from what they actually are. And, a dog can have a strong primary breed, such as 50 or 75% along with minor mixes, but look nothing at all like the primary breed(s). I also have one of those. He was pulled by a breed specific rescue, and it turns out he has "none" of that breed in him.

Posted by: Serena | April 20, 2017 10:07 PM    Report this comment

Seems like out shelter always has one of the pit bull mixes up for adoption and believe me they are everywhere. I can't walk a block but what there is another one. Many are brought in from down south where there are no license laws but folks here in Western New York seem taken with these smiling pups. Of course people tethering them to their clothesline or wrought iron stair railing where they sooner or later will break loose, and do, doesn't help the image problem. Sooner or later another breed will take on the moniker of fearsome guard dog like the Rottweiler, Doberman and Shepard have in past years. Adoptees would do well to walk them along with the rest of us out there so they are socialized and seen to be friendly. Sadly its a phase and then there are the police shootings and the insurance companies who won't insure if you have one. It will pass and they will once again be known as Nanny dogs instead of fighting dogs.

Posted by: Mike's Mom | April 20, 2017 9:48 PM    Report this comment

Here is why. People are idiots and as we all know, canines have the best qualities humans should try to emulate. I would adopt them in a second.

Posted by: robin r | April 20, 2017 7:38 PM    Report this comment

I agree with Dogvocate on all she said. Being a bully type is at least 50-75% of the issue. Bandanas or cute props & additional pictures and even actual video of the dogs, doing their commands & playing with other dogs, may help. Please make SURE you indicate or "show" the dog IS: crate-trained, & housebroken and leash trained. If either of them likes to retrieve or run after a BALL; a cute picture of that can be made. (Video of a sort, sells virtually EVERYTHING on TV.) You just have to "SELL IT" right.

You may have heard about a professional photographer, Mary Shannon Johnstone who began to come once a week to the Wake county shelter to take Pit bulls & pit mixes, out for a romp at the local landfill (sometimes their last romp) and to make some really nice pictures, so they MIGHT get adopted. It was called "Landfill Dogs." While not all of the dogs got adopted, the adoption RATE of pit bulls, went WAY up thru her efforts.
Our SPCA shelter had a high school volunteer girl to a survey (for a school project) on dogs & cats who were adopted the fastest vs slowest. And BLACK dogs or cats or largely black ones - took the longest. Overweight dogs also take longer than the skinny or even emaciated. (Not that this applies) in the dog's case, you show.

Posted by: Betsy | April 20, 2017 6:21 PM    Report this comment

I wouldn't even say it was the pit bull stigma. It seems to me that in the USA there are many more pit bull type dogs breed, than there are people who want one.
As for DNA, that wouldn't change my mind. I have nothing against pit bull/pit bull types/Am Staffs/Staffordshire Bull Terriers and the like. But I do not want one. They are simply not my cup of tea.

Posted by: Jenny H | April 20, 2017 6:08 PM    Report this comment

I too agree with the DNA testing. At least there will be something concrete to offer potential adopters. We all know that breed identification by sight leaves a lot to be desired, and comments about insurance companies refusing to insure homeowners with bully breeds (unfortunately, mine is one of them here in NJ) are a reality. If this little one is NOT a bully breed, which is very possible, it will likely increase his chances ten-fold, sad as that may seem.

Posted by: deezee123 | April 20, 2017 4:57 PM    Report this comment

I think it's the "pit bull stigma" that is keeping these sweet dogs from finding homes. Not necessarily from potential adopters, but from landlords. Most younger people that that would want these dogs don't own their own homes, so they have to rent. It's hard to find a place that will accept dogs, and near impossible to find a rental that will accept a pit bull or any dog that looks like a pit bull. I adopted a dog 8 1/2 years ago that I'm sure has at least some pit in her, but she looks like a lab mix. I trained her to be my service dog and we go everywhere together. She is loved by everyone that sees her working with me and has made inroads with a few people I've met that are fearful of all dogs. I think if she were, or looked like, a pit bull I would have trouble with her being accepted, even if the only difference was her appearance. It's not your fault or the dogs, it's a perception problem.

Posted by: MooMoo | April 20, 2017 3:50 PM    Report this comment

Hi, I live in Houston, Tx which has one of the worst homeless dog problems in the country which won't be resolved anytime soon. Since I became involved with dog rescue, I've come to know and participate with many independent rescuers who have sent literally thousands of dogs to great homes up in the New England area. These rescuers market their dogs using Petfinders and deliver them using commercial overland pet transport companies, the airlines, and occasionally volunteer relays. There is a very real shortage of adoptable dogs up there that these rescuers are able to tap into. Pit types are always being sent up to adoptive families. I can't stress enough the importance and effectiveness of having a video included in the dogs' profiles. Even a slideshow with captioned still pics and catchy music work wonders. During the last four years, there has been a rescue organization here that has partnered with several rescue groups in Colorado and other northwest states to send upwards of 17,000 dogs pulled out of the city pound. All of these dogs have been transported via a caravan on a weekly basis, delivering dogs at several locations in these northern locales. Pit types are occasionally sent, though not to those areas that have BSL against them. I have fostered for this group and have always marveled at how well cared for the dogs are and how organized the effort is. I know how heartbreaking and frustrating it can be when your foster dog takes seemingly forever to find that perfect home. If you're willing to think beyond locally, it opens up the whole country for potential homes.

Posted by: charles787 | April 20, 2017 3:11 PM    Report this comment

There is a high demand in Vermont for Bully-type dogs. You could google Vermont bully adoption and I am sure there would be many hits.

Posted by: kimfatty | April 20, 2017 3:10 PM    Report this comment

I recently rescued a pitbull mix, and I have already seen firsthand the stigma which surrounds this breed. My Bella is sweet and gentle. Unfortunately, it is owners who abuse this breed who are at fault. If you Google pit bull rescue groups, you will find many who may be able to help find homes for your two dogs. I would never post them on a site where someone who wants to use them for fighting will see them. Good Luck!

Posted by: dclevela | April 20, 2017 2:23 PM    Report this comment

Where exactly is the doggie located?

Posted by: mszdogldlover | April 20, 2017 1:59 PM    Report this comment

You might try working with Stray Rescue in St. Louis, MO. They specialize in care and adoption of these breeds!! Worth a try maybe?

Posted by: kk72369 | April 20, 2017 1:56 PM    Report this comment

They'd probably do better in the Bay Area where pit bull dogs are better appreciated than in the hinterlands.

Posted by: Sallydog | April 20, 2017 1:54 PM    Report this comment

We see this problem too, and often have a "swap" with other shelters to get more/different exposure for dogs. We are in Southern Oregon, if you have the shelter and dogs' details I'd be happy to share on my facebook and with our local shelters and rescue groups!

Posted by: Simbasmom | April 20, 2017 1:32 PM    Report this comment

Unfortunately you are right about the pit bull issue. Many homeowners insurance policies go skyrocketing as a result of certain breeds, whether full bred or not. This is, sadly, for a reason. While it's not the dogs fault, it's the perception and perception is reality. This can be correct about terriers too and did you know that Springer Spaniels have more tensile strength per sq in of jaw than a pit bull? And so it goes....

Posted by: Inverness | April 20, 2017 1:02 PM    Report this comment

Have you tried getting help from the group called "Helping Hounds"? I live in Central New York. They bring dogs here from the South that are due to be euthanized and get them homes.

Posted by: BernadetteAn | April 20, 2017 12:51 PM    Report this comment

I used to volunteer at the SF SPCA. That is where I discovered Whole Dog Journal. SF SPCA doesn't take in surrenders or strays. SF Animal Care & Control has the contract for that, but SF SPCA takes dogs from ACC, and puts them up for adoption. SF SPCA also took weekly trips to rural shelters, to find adoptable dogs to bring back to SF. So maybe they would take a dog or 2 from your shelter? You might phone them-415 522 3500. Not sure who you should talk to-maybe start with the woman in charge of the SPCA shelter, Marty- she is great. These dogs seem promising- healthy, friendly, not mouthy, some training & socialization.
Also, check out the SPCA website, for how to "market" dogs up for adoption.

Posted by: susan in sf | April 20, 2017 12:00 PM    Report this comment

These stories are all to common here in Texas as well. It breaks my heart and soul to see so many good dogs passed over due to what people think their breed is or is not. Have you considered transporting to another state? I know there are a lot of dog that go to the east coast as they do not seem to have as many restrictions on Breed types. There's a great shelter in NY called The North Shore Animal League. I know the photographer that does their photos and they seem to be successful in getting adoptions done. Maybe you can do a trade with them?

Posted by: RobinT | April 20, 2017 11:55 AM    Report this comment

I wish I could help and yes I could, in another while. So far I only have adopted geriatric Alaskan malamutes whose lives we revolved around. In a number of cases, we were the last resort with the dogs only having one day left before being pts. They are the best and receive the best medical care, food, love, their own couch for as long as they live, be it a couple of weeks, months or years. They came from all over the U.S. and Canada.

Regarding the Whole Dog Journal question about bloat in the sidebar, I wanted to respond but could only reply to one category. The categories I experienced were: yes, I had a large dog who bloated and we got to him in time - that happened twice with me. The other category to which I wanted to reply was yes, I had two other dogs bloat and it was a tragic, horrendous event. The last experience was because of negligent, unqualified vet care.

Posted by: Hlevin | April 20, 2017 11:54 AM    Report this comment

I'm sure lots of people have seen the Senior Dog Prom project, which was pretty successful. I'm not allowed to provide a link here, but you can Google it using keywords senior dog prom! Friends who are familiar with the project say it got people interacting with the dogs, and that encouraged them to apply to adopt those with which they made a connection.

Posted by: AvidReader | April 20, 2017 11:43 AM    Report this comment

Please keep us posted on your situation. They are adorable! I have three, one bully breed, so would love to take them, but can't. Good luck! I'm sure someone will see your post and also if you do some of the readers suggestions for "advertising" them, that will definitely help.

Posted by: waves | April 20, 2017 11:28 AM    Report this comment

Yes this is something we deal with all the time. We make videos of our foster dogs/puppies to let people see exactly what each dog is all about.....but is does not really help. We currently have an adult dog who was a stray/abandoned and was someone's outside dog. Tate was not house trained and was heartworm positive. He house trained himself in a minute and the rescue group paid for his heartworm treatment. We actually call him Mr. Wonderful in his video. I have not had a good application for him yet. Oh I did take him to meet someone....she said he was too mellow for her....I nearly fell over in shock.....too mellow REALLY!!!!!

Posted by: Olivia | April 20, 2017 11:24 AM    Report this comment

Hi paws up in lynnwood Washington brings in dogs from all over the country for adoption. That is how we got our shadow he was brought up from a kill shelter in Texas along with 50 others that week and most have found homes already. California is notoriously hard to find homes for any breed that resembles a bully even with DNA testing to prove otherwise. Try reaching to some of the shelters or rescues in Washington or Oregon and see if they can help.

Posted by: Bhell | April 20, 2017 11:21 AM    Report this comment

When I adopted my dog from www.adoptapet.com/ and I typed in Boston, I got lots of different dogs from bostons mixed with other breeds to boston-looking bostons. One thing that stood out was a rescue group I found that listed things they knew about the every dog they offered like, and true they do foster, but if every dog had some things to check off on to give the potential owner more to think about, maybe it would help get more adopted.

Example:
"Hi, my name is Roy. I am 8.5 years old and weigh 22 pounds. I need a new home because I was released from a breeder where I landed in a home that could not care for me so rescue was called on for help. I am currently being fostered in Kansas city, MO.

I am pretty laid back, fairly quiet and not a big snuggler. I like to be near my human. I like to lay around especially on my back.
When outside I like to play catch me if you can.

I hate being left alone so prefer a family that are home bodies.

I am also an accomplished escape artist able to scale a 4' fence. So I require a 6 foot wood fence.
I also need a home with no other pets as I tend to pick and choose who I like

Here is a little more about me
Housetrained? yes
Leash trained? Do pretty good
Rides well in car? You bet
Good with other dogs? I prefer I be the only dog
Good with cats? What's a cat?
Good with small children? Not yet been around any
Good with strangers? Yes
Shy or confident? Confident
Barks? Rarely
Apartment qualified? NO
Any special needs or health issues? None
Adoption Fee: $150.00 (reduced by $50 due to sponsorship)

All our dogs are spayed/neutered (if six months and older), up to date on rabies and distemper, heartworm tested, and microchipped. Other medical needs diagnosed while in foster care are also treated prior to adoption.

MABTR requires a fenced in area from families who live in house, however we DO adopt to apartment complexes and communities where fences are not allowed. In these cases the leash law will be enforced.

MABTR only adopts to families residing in NE, CO, MO, KS, IA, WY, SD, ND, ID, UT, MT, AR, and MN due to transport abilities.

If you are Interested in Adoption please complete our online adoption application. We will respond back to you within 24 hours of receiving your application.Adoption application at www.adoptaboston.com/adopt/

Interested in Donating to help cover the medical costs of this Boston go to www.adoptaboston.com/help/

Posted by: rappks | April 20, 2017 11:21 AM    Report this comment

Yes, I agree with the DNA test. Don't they offer this at a discount for shelters? He is so adorable!

Posted by: KimberlyO | April 20, 2017 11:04 AM    Report this comment

All the suggestions above are good. I also encourage the taking of "cute" pictures - one or two shots where they have on a bow, bandana, jacket, something that fits their personality. Make sure there's no lead in the photo. Find a beautiful background, maybe there is a neighbor with a nice flower garden nearby? Or a park? Given that they look like pits, you can help allay fears of aggressiveness by showing shots of them with other dogs, especially smaller dogs, and/or kids. Finally, a bit of video of them playing nicely with other dogs is good. Nothing shows a dog's demeanor like video. I have 2 pit mixes and they've been great dogs, but there are enough 'horror stories' out there that folks can be skittish. Again, through your photos and videos, convey that these dogs are different. Finally, I'd also list them on Petfinder.com - it will reach a nationwide audience. Good luck! Personally, I have a soft spot for black dogs, but then I've never 'swam with the tide.'

Posted by: Dogvocate | April 20, 2017 11:00 AM    Report this comment

I agree with the previous commenter. When you think of both the discriminatory rental law practices that allow no-pet clauses, and further allow the breed and size discrimination of dogs, coupled with various city-wide "no bully breed" legislations, yeah. I'd take both of these in a heartbeat if it weren't for both of those in my lease.

Posted by: TaryP | April 20, 2017 10:45 AM    Report this comment

I'm sure you have already, but maybe trying changing up the pictures to demonstrate their personalities. Show him (or them) with a cat for example, or a smaller dog, or doing something cute. I wouldn't emphasize only the face so much. But try and stress on what shows their real personalities and maybe even, special traits that make them unique. Also, the way I found a permanent home for a foster, was taking them to a neighborhood outdoor cafe, where people could interact (but it wasn't a shelter situation).

Posted by: Pacific Sun | April 20, 2017 10:40 AM    Report this comment

There is a rescue here up in Toronto, Canada that sponsor dogs from the States.
Maybe you could reach out to them on facebook @ Save Me Rescue.

Posted by: DeborahP | April 20, 2017 10:40 AM    Report this comment

You're doing the best thing you could do by posting your story online! This way you reach out to so many sympathetic people who will read it and among them, there will be sure to be some who will want to adopt one of these dogs.

Posted by: Hepzibah | April 20, 2017 10:39 AM    Report this comment

Maybe someone could step up and do a DNA test? If they are not bully breeds, then the folks who don't want bullies would be reassured by that proof and adopt? They are adorable!!!

Posted by: Keene | April 20, 2017 10:25 AM    Report this comment

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