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Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Shelter Chronicles: Love dogs

Valentine's day at the shelter was nice. I don't think we had the turn out that we hoped for, but it was a good day overall.

Unfortunately, there was a horrible mishap that occurred at the end of the day where a volunteer was bitten by a dog. The dog showed no aggression prior to the bite, however, the dog did have a history of being abused. No one knew the dog's back story as he was a stray, but his past was evident by the marks around his neck. This dog had been tethered for a very long time, to the point where the collar was embedded in his neck.

One of the important lessons to be learned by this incident is that even though we want to love the dogs unconditionally, we have to be highly aware that we don't really know these animals! Since no temperament testing is not done, we don't know what the dog's triggers may be. In this particular case, even though the dog was behaving in a friendly way, you can't hug a dog or put your face in his face safely. Remember, you can't let your guard down to the point where you don't use good judgment. This incident could have been avoided.

McKenzie - Pit Bull - Medium - Adult
McKenzie has definitely blossomed during her time at the shelter. She was pretty withdrawn and depressed initially. She had just had puppies when she came to the shelter and she had killed one of them. We don't know why but it's not unheard of in the animal world for a mother to kill a puppy that is sick or weak.
Now that McKenzie has put all that behind her, she is a much happier girl. She really doesn't like being in the shelter and hates going back to her kennel after an outing. She loves to be with people. She's such a cutie and lots of fun. She has that Pittie energy and is really delightful to play with. McKenzie is a wonderful dog and deserves a stable home where she can really be happy. She hasn't been tested with kids and cats. She seems fine around other dogs and is not reactive. She hasn't shown any aggression so chances are she's a good family dog.

Shadow - female - Rottweiler mix - small/med - young
This gorgeous girl is full of fun! She would be great with a family or person who likes to play with and train their dog. She's got lots of energy. In fact, she was brought to the shelter for being "hyper." We haven't seen any unusual hyper behavior, just a dog who wants to have some fun. Shadow is very responsive and knows some obedience commands. She's food motivated which is always good for training. What a cute kid she is! She definitely has a confident personality, she's not shy at all. This indicates to me that she'd be great in a family if they trained her otherwise, I bet she'd get into some trouble! She's also a great size and very sweet.

Becerra - Pit Bull - male - Med/large - young
This picture doesn't do this guy any justice. He is a really pretty dog with a gorgeous tan coat. Becerra is super playful and active. He is BALL CRAZY and nothing makes him happier! He loves to run around chasing the ball with his tail wagging like mad the whole time. Becerra is another dog who would be great with an active family or person who would play with him and run him on a regular basis. One volunteer told me that when she takes him for a walk, he can't wait to get back to the shelter to play in the yard. He is a really cool guy. I could see him running around the beach chasing a ball and enjoying life to the max!

Alex - Lab mix - Med - Adult
This girl is a real sweetheart. No one has a bad word to say about her. She's been at the shelter for a while now and it seems to be another case of black dog syndrome. There really is no reason that she's not in a home yet. She's easy to walk on leash and very obedient. I bet she would a perfect girl with some gentle guidance. The one thing that her previous owner had to say about her is that she doesn't like kids. We don't know what happened or why she doesn't like kids. We haven't tested her for this so it remains to be an unknown. Why chance it though? I recommend she be in an adult only home where she can receive lots of love!

All these doggies are at the WLA Animal Shelter! www.laanimalservices.com

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