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.
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.