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Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Shelter Chronicles: Dogs Bite!

Wow, this has been a pretty frustrating week! We've had several returns at the shelter and many were due to the mishandling of the dog. Let's face it, most times when a dog bites it is in reaction to something going on that triggers this response. Rarely do dogs bite for no reason!

For example, even the most even tempered dog will protect himself. If your dog gets put in a position where he feels he need to protect himself, either from a person or another dog, it's possible he'll bite.

There are many reasons dogs bite such as fear, pain, food guarding to name a few. Many times a bite can be avoided by learning to read your dog's body language and to avoid situations that could cause the dog to be put in a compromising position.

One of the returns was a dog who was known to all the volunteers as a very friendly and easy to handle dog. He was returned because he was brought to a house where there was a dog and rather than introducing the dogs on neutral territory first, they just brought him inside the house. Not surprisingly this caused a fight between the dogs which the person tried to break up. Gee, guess who lost that battle? The person was bitten and that was that. The dog is back at the shelter. So sad.

This incident could've been prevented with some common sense on the owner's part. Whenever possible, dogs should be properly introduced on neutral territory. They should not meet head on, but rather, have them smell each other's hind quarter using the 3 second rule. If that goes well, let the dogs meet again, but not head on. Always approach from a side angle. If things are going smoothly, go for a walk together!

Even though dogs don't come with a handbook, there are so many good books that can teach a new owner everything they need to know to deal with these kinds of situations. The best place to look for a good book on dogs is www.dogwise.com. They have every dog book available and also make recommendations.

Get with it people and stop assuming that dogs are people. They are not!!!

Now, on to our feature presentation...

TIGGER * 3 years old * Pitt Bull * Large

What a goofy gus Tigger is! He is really sweet and frisky, which is fun. However, he is super strong so probably not a good choice for a home with very little kids. He's fine with bigger kids though and actually grew up with them. He's okay with some dogs and cats but again, if he is introduced properly. Mostly, he needs a good leader and someone willing to learn and train with Tigger. He already knows a few tricks and would like to learn more!

ICE * Catahoula Leopard Dog Mix * 2.5 years old * Medium

Ice is a really sweety. She has piercing blue eyes and a adorable face. Her disposition is very good. She's very responsive to verbal corrections. She even knows "sit." Ice just got spayed so she's ready to go home right away. We don't know too much about her, but she appears to be friendly with other dogs (if properly introduced!) and not reactive. She seems like she would be a fine family dog. This picture doesn't do her any justice. She's really gorgeous in person!

JAKE * Rottweiler * 4 years old * Large

I love Rotties! Jake is a beautiful Rottie boy. He is so cute, he just kills me!! This boy is very good even though he was marked as not good with other dogs. The trainer who volunteers at the shelter has tested him and he's done well with dogs his size. However, nothing should be taken for granted since he was in expert hands when he was introduced. He hasn't shown any aggression though and that is important. The trainer feels he is an excellent dog with a good temperament. So, if you are looking for a beautiful Rottie that you are willing to train him, he's looking for a home!

All these above dogs are available now at the West LA Shelter! www.laanimalservices.com

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Shelter Chronicles: The Bemis Dogs

Look at this SAD face...
This boy has been in the Baldwin shelter for 3 years as evidence in an animal hoarding case.
He is going stir crazy and needs a foster NOW! He's not eating and he is rapidly declining.
For the whole story on this dog and the other Bemis dogs, please click on the links below.
They really need YOUR help!!!

SERGEANT(Baldwin A3507475)Rottweilereiller ( M )

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Shelter Chronicles: The dog days of January?

First off, sorry that I didn't post last week. Something about this sunny and warm weather is making me very tired and lazy. Plus, I think I was having a bout of post-holiday depression or something...

Anyway, I spent some quality time at the shelter today and met some great new dogs. Well maybe "new" is the wrong word. It seems that their lack of newness has caused them to either become shelter residents or remain shelter residents longer than usual.

You know that I have a real soft spot for the elderly dogs in particular. Frankly, anyone who drops their dog off at the shelter because he's old should be smacked! I mean what does that say about a person who is so callous about the animal they've had for years that they'd hand him over to strangers at a place that kills dogs? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised considering how some elderly people are treated... Still, it just makes me mad!

Regardless of all that, these next three delightful doggies deserve some consideration and I plan on giving it to them!

Tenor * Pit mix * Senior * A0995226

I like this picture because it captures the soft nature of Tenor. This poor guy ended up at the shelter and let me tell you, he wasn't happy about it at all. He literally screamed and cried for the first couple of weeks. Hence, he was given the name Tenor due to all his "singing." Now he's relaxed a bit and is less traumatized by his confinement. He's warmed up to the volunteers too so he gets yard time on a regular basis. He's a sweet guy who really just wants to chill in a nice calm quiet atmosphere. No kids running about and pulling his tail... Just some serenity in his golden years. This guy deserves at least that much and I really hope he gets it.

Pugy * Beagle * Senior * A0999398

This crazy cutie pie is Pugy which I think is a misspelled Pudgy. He is in fact a little on the round side. Pugy is crazy for food, treats, and did I mention food??? This little boy definitely needs some boundaries in the food department. Otherwise, he is great with other dogs and super friendly with people. His one pet peeve is being picked up. He hates it! Just don't even do it!! Actually we figured a way around this to get him into the shelter vehicle. If you put a blanket over him and he can't see what is going on, he's fine with being lifted. Other than that he's a doll. A typical sniffy goofy Beagle!

Abby * Chihuahua * Senior * A0997393

This dog is too funny in my opinion. She's a tiny little thing with two teeth to her name. That said, she's been written up several times by shelter staff due to her "bad" behavior! Bad, you say? Yes, if being gummed by a snarky little Chi is bad, she's the baddest. Actually Abby is super sweet and funny, you just have to get past the initial introduction. She wants to like you and once she does, you're golden. She really couldn't hurt a fly, she just needs someone who understands those kookie little dogs! I think she's a hoot!

Come see these cutie patooties at the West LA Animal Shelter www.laanimalservices.com

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Shelter Chronicles: Holiday Leftovers...

Isn't that always the way it works? All the stuff that was on sale during the holidays is now back mingled in with the regular stock, no longer a big bargain. Of course, lots of stuff made it out of the store and some of it just in the knick of time! However, once the excitement is over the returns begin...

Okay, so what is my point here using this iffy holiday analogy? Basically, we had many adoptions over the holidays and some dogs were even free! Now the remaining dogs are still there at the shelter, but now for the regular price. And, of course, we've had the usual returns for all kinds of crazy reasons and they will continue. Hopefully not too many!

These dogs listed below are all wonderful and sweet and STILL deserve a loving home. Their only crime in some cases is that they are "mature" rather than "young." They didn't manage to find homes during the holidays but are still hopeful that their person will come along.

All our dogs still get love but their days will be numbered as this is the way it is at a city shelter. Please, if you are considering adding a dog to your family, please consider one of these fantastic dogs who have plenty of life to live and love to give.

Just because the holiday season is over, you can still have the spirit!

Nanuk A0989125

This guy is really cool. He's like a big polar bear who wants to be your velcro friend. I love how he stays right by my side when I take him into the yard. He's around 7 years old and has a lot of spunk, let me tell you. He's on the vocal side which some folks might like if you are looking for a "watch dog." However, beyond a bark, I don't think there is a bite!

China A0973208

I just love this picture as it really captures the personality of this girl. She's a hoot! China is a very sweet dog who is the best pal of Kenga (below). She is around 7 years old. She loves to chase a ball and chew it into a foaming glob! Then, she expects you to throw it! Yuk!! This lady is funny because I thought she wasn't friendly when I met her through the bars of her kennel. Then I met her out of the kennel and she was a total babe. Who knew????

Kenga A0973202

Kenga is the flip side of her sidekick China. Kenga's a little older and not as excited by chasing a ball although she likes to do it. I think she likes to race China to the ball even though Kenga always defers to China (maybe she just doesn't like that foamy mess of a ball?). Kenga is so cute, she looks like a mini cow with her black spots. She loves to hang out and get lots of love. Most of all she loves to roll around in the grass and enjoy a beautiful day! It's so simple...

Patch A0953371

Patch is so sweet and gentle although he always seems a little worried. He came in as a stray covered with ticks and filthy. Poor kid! Now he's all white and pretty again but that scary past has stuck with him making him a little shy. Patch would be best as a one and only although we don't know how he is with other dogs. He is a big boy and would do best with a knowledgeable person. He is so cute, just look at him. He loves the attention and is a beautiful soul.


I have yet to figure out why a gorgeous dog like Buddy has been at the shelter for so long? He's a really pretty smooth collie/shepherd mix. He's 7 years old but full of energy! Buddy is new to the leash so he needs some training with that. It also can make him a bit fearful towards larger dogs when he is on a leash. Otherwise he's just a peppy guy who LOVES to run and chase after a ball or toy! He loves people and has a great smile. I think he is terrific!

Duke A0690792

Duke is another dog who is around 7ish and has lots of pep and fun in him. He's come a long way at the shelter and he's doing great. I would say he's an easy dog to handle and very responsive to verbal commands. My favorite thing about Duke is when he turns into a speed demon and zips all around the yard like a crazy guy! It's very funny!!! He'd do best in an adult family.

Ranger A0953814

This guy Ranger is another one of those, why is he still at the shelter dogs! He even went through the K9 Connection program and did fabulous! In fact he was an A student!!! He'd be a great companion to an adult family. He is loving and fun to be around. He would be so happy with some space to frolic, but an active person would do just as well. Ranger can't figure out how to be more appealing to the public and, frankly, we think he's perfect just as he is. So come check him out, he's waiting!!!

All of these dogs are currently available to the public at the West Los Angeles Animal Care Center!!!! See more of our wonderful animals at: www.laanimalservices.com