Category Archives: adopting

5 Reasons Kill ‘Shelters’ Don’t Work

There’s nothing closer to people than their companion pets.  We’re responsible for their very existence.  Yet there’s nothing more betraying to a dog or cat’s loyalty than for them to end up at a pound to be killed in return for their unconditional love.  We’ve been brainwashed that “killing is saving” so we kill healthy adoptable pets if there are “too many.”  We’ve never stepped outside the cage to ask what’s “too many pets?”  Nor do we think of alternative ways to find homes for pets without killing.

For example, there are 4.2 million people living in Los Angeles and 45,000 shelter pets killed there per year. That’s only one percent of the population.  Similarly, there are 316.1 million people that live in the U.S. and three to four million pets killed in pounds nationwide; that’s also a little over one percent of the population.  So why kill pets when we could think about housing them?  Why are we the only country that has kill pounds?

Pounds don’t work because:

  1. They’re run by the health department.  Their catch and kill technique is an easy and quick way to keep cities disease-free.
  2. Pounds manage themselves.  They don’t have to answer to anyone so no one enforces laws like spay/neuter laws.
  3. Killing doesn’t lower the number of pets, instead it opens a window for puppy mills, kitten mills, pet shops, and internet backyard breeders.
  4. Pounds aren’t “shelters”; they’re a place to throw away a pet.  If they never existed, people would think twice about getting a pet.
  5. Laws protect pounds so that they don’t have to disclose facts.  Like this one: there’s a 50 to 99 percent chance of the animal being killed.  In most pounds we’ve volunteered at, pets are dragged to the “bump room” unsedated, and killed with a heart stick.  This isn’t “humane euthanasia.”

(via No Kill Advocacy)

Our goal is to make shelters no-kill or to privatize them.  Let’s tell our local representatives that the cities would save taxes and lower pet numbers by having:

Let’s stop the broken cycle of killing and promote volunteer-based no-kill rescues.  Let’s rewire the brain to a “pro-live” movement and find new, creative ways to help homeless animals.  Animal rights activists should fight for the animals’ right to live, not the right to kill them.

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10 Reasons Why Adopting A Rescue Dog Is Awesome

1. You will save a life. 2.7 million dogs are euthanized in shelters each year. 

(Reddit: Skyote)

2. Rescue dogs can make incredible transformations when they are adopted into loving homes. 

(Reddit: Binarium)

3. Most rescue dogs are relinquished for reasons that have nothing to do with behavioral problems, and they are generally quite loving and gentle. 

(Reddit: CzechThisOut)

4. When you rescue a canine, you’ll never want for cuddles.

(Reddit: piratesgoyarr)

5. If you adopt a dog, you’ll be giving him the gift of new adventures and exploration.

(Reddit: irr1449)

6. Your other animals might actually be grateful to have a new pal, as shelter dogs often get quite a bit of socialization before they’re adopted.

(Reddit: chikachikabow)

7. Every dog has an amazing personality all his own.

(Reddit: corbantd)

8. Dogs at shelters come in all shapes and sizes!

(Reddit: holymolym)

9. Choosing rescue dogs means that you won’t be supporting inhumane puppy mills

(Reddit: rmkensington)

10. When you adopt a rescue dog, you’ve got a best friend for life.

(Reddit: logically)

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How Human Love Saved A Dog Who’s Allergic To People

A friendly stray dog who was found to be suffering from a mysterious skin condition is being given a new chance at a normal life — thanks to the tireless dedication of his rescuers.

When Robin Herman, who runs Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue, Inc. in Indianapolis, Ind. first saw the patchy-haired black lab named Adam, she knew she had to try and help him.  She and her staff had had success treating dogs with skin conditions in the past, so she suspected that all the young dog needed was someone patient enough to find the cause of the problem.

“For the most part, it’s just a matter of feeding them good food and giving them a stress-free environment,” Herman told The Dodo. “They usually heal up pretty quickly.”

(Facebook/Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue, Inc.)

The rescue center fed the dog a clean diet and gave him frequent medicated baths, but even after six weeks of special treatment, his skin condition failed to improve.  Meanwhile, Adam had to live full-time wearing a cone, or else he’d bite and scratch at his irritated skin until it was raw and bloody.

Herman and her staff were at a loss, though undeterred in their commitment to find a solution.  That’s when Adam’s veterinarian recommended that a blood test be done to see if there might be something in the environment that was causing an allergic reaction.

When the results came back, Herman could hardly believe it.  As it turns out, Adam did have an allergy — to people.

“I laughed. I thought the vet was kidding.  The vet said she wasn’t, and I laughed again,” says Herman.  “Then she explained that just like people can be allergic to dog dander, dogs can be allergic to human dander.  She was surprised too.  She’d never seen it before.”

(Facebook/Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue, Inc.)

To those who’d tried so long to make Adam better, it suddenly made sense.  All the time and attention they’d devoted to trying to care for him had actually been making him sick.  But now that they know what is wrong, they have a better idea of how to treat him.

Adam will soon start treatment with blood serum created just for him which will hopefully help his body build up a tolerance to the human dander allergy.  Both Herman and her vet are optimistic that he’ll get better — better enough to live a normal life with a family that loves him as much as they do.

“We just want to make him comfortable, so he doesn’t have to live in a cone.  Once we get there, God willing, we’ll find him a home,” says Herman, noting that Adam seems as eager to get well despite all the challenges.

“As long as he wants to keep going at it, we’ll keep going at it with him.  He’s just too sweet and funny…  He’s a special little dog.”

* * * * * * *   Source  * * * * * * *

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Making the Commitment


To future dog owners or anyone who is considering adopting/rescuing/purchasing a dog.  It’s important to know that you are potentially making a 15 year commitment.

Dogs are like children, they require lots of time, patience, and love.  When a child acts out would you drop them off at a shelter?  Then why would you consider surrendering a dog?

Dogs can be very expensive, they may require training, medical needs, multiple vet visits, food, and of course toys to keep them occupied.  Puppies are adorable, but don’t for one second think its going to be easy, potty training and chewing behaviors can be extremely challenging.  

Dogs cannot be left alone for days at a time; they depend on their humans to meet their daily needs.  With proper training, time, and care any breed can be the most incredible companion.  They are animals, they have no voice, they cannot tell us what’s wrong or if they are hurt or sick. 

If you allow them, they will be your best friend and loyal protector for life; they are the most amazing creatures.  Shelters here in the US and all over the world are overflowing with animals because of irresponsible people who did not take these things into consideration.  We are their only voice… be their voice.  They deserve a chance.



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Best Dog Breeds for Your Age and Stage in Life

Best Dog Breeds for Kids, Active Owners, First-Time Owners and More

You might fall in love with a certain breed of dog based on looks alone, but it’s a good idea to look into the personality traits and unique needs of the breed before deciding on a dog for your family.

Certain dogs are high energy and need a lot of exercise while others are more suited for apartment life.  Others do well with kids or cats while some breeds do not.  Meanwhile, some dogs require meticulous grooming while others only need an occasional bath.

Below is Dr. Becker’s compilation of some of the top dogs depending on different lifestyles and needs.  Even within a breed, each dog will have its own unique personality, of course, but the following guide will give you an idea of which breeds may be more suited for you.

Top Dogs for Families with Kids

Bulldog Beagle
Bull Terrier Collie
Newfoundland Vizsla
Irish Setter Poodle
Labrador Retriever Golden Retriever


Top Dogs for First-Time Owners

Golden Retriever Poodle
Labrador Retriever Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Bichon Frise Boston Terrier
Papillon Pug
Shetland Sheepdog Pomeranian


Top Dogs for Active Owners

Rhodesian Ridgeback Saluki
Weimaraner Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Bernese Mountain Dog Alaskan Malamute



Top Dogs for People with Allergies

Bedlington Terrier Bichon Frise
Chinese Crested Kerry Blue Terrier
Maltese Poodle
Portuguese Water Dog Schnauzer
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier


Top Dogs for Seniors

French Bulldog Poodle
Schipperke Maltese
Pembroke Welsh Corgi


Top Dogs for People Living in Apartments

Yorkshire Terrier Maltese
Boston Terrier French Bulldog
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel English Bulldog
Basset Hound American Staffordshire Terrier
Greyhound Great Dane

The Benefits of Choosing a “Mutt”

It’s not only purebred dogs that deserve top mentions.  Mutts, or mixed breed dogs, can be incredibly smart, loyal, and companionable too.  They have unique personalities and tend to be very easygoing, often scoring better than many purebreds in traits such as stability, friendliness, shyness, aggression, and protectiveness.

Mixed breed dogs may come from just two breeds or they many be a product of several.  Still, mixed breed dogs actually fall into a few distinct groups, including:

  • Dogs with attributes of two or more breeds.  There might be a purebred in the lineage, or the dog might come from several generations of mutts.  These dogs are usually identified by the breed or breeds they most closely resemble, for example a “Husky mix” or a “Dachshund-Terrier.”
  • Wild or feral dogs.  These dogs are products of non-selective breeding over several generations.  An example of a dog in this category is the pariah dog. Pariah dogs are generally yellow to light brown in color, with medium size height and weight.
  • Functional breeds.  These dogs are bred for a specific purpose based on their ability to perform certain tasks.  Examples include the Alaskan Husky and the Greyster, a Greyhound/Pointer mix popular in Europe.
  • Crossbreeds.  These dogs are a mix of two established breeds – generally their parents are two different purebreds.  Examples: the Puggle (Pug and Beagle cross) and any number of purebred dogs crossed with the Poodle, such as the Labradoodle.

While it’s recently been found that mixed breeds don’t necessarily have a health advantage when it comes to genetic disorders, they do tend to be a hearty group.  One study found 10 conditions that occurred more frequently among purebred dogs, including dilated cardiomyopathy, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and hypothyroidism, while only one disorder was more common in mixed breeds (cranial cruciate ligament ruptures).4

Be aware that well over half the dogs at any animal shelter have behavior problems that caused their previous owners to give them up.  This isn’t the fault of the dogs.  However, be prepared that adopting a mutt may require some extra attention, training, and Tender Loving Care on your end.  Ultimately, virtually any dog has the potential to be the next favorite or social-media sensation; being a top dog has nothing to do with breed (purebred or otherwise) and everything to do with the mark he makes on your heart.


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We had 35 beautiful mutts enter our Beautiful Mutt Contest in honor of National Mutt Day yesterday.  Domino won 1st Place by receiving the most votes (142 likes by close of contest) so he and his owner will be receiving a gift basket full of dog items worth $200!  Because Sarge also had over 100 likes, he and his owner will be receiving a prize of a $25 gift card to PetSmart!

Thank you to everyone who shared their beautiful mutt with us and also helped spread the word about our efforts at K-9 Angels Rescue!

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Filed under adopting, adoption, adoption center, advocacy, Happy Tails

A Message via Winnie

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July 28, 2014 · 6:30 pm

What a record-breaking W E E K E N D !



We have many many other cute pups still waiting for their furever homes and our Intake Coordinator is pulling new dogs from the high-kill shelters every week.

Stay tuned for the new cuties!

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Helping Rescue Dogs Transition to New Homes

Adopting Pet Dogs


 Source: Dr. Becker

Many dogs get dropped off at shelters more than once, often because the behaviors that were behind the first relinquishment continue in the new home.

Common reasons for the initial abandonment most often revolve around the owner’s inability or unwillingness to give the animal an appropriate level of care, and include:

  • Lack of obedience training
  • Lack of adequate veterinary care, including spaying or neutering
  • The owner did not anticipate the time and attention a dog requires each day
  • Housebreaking issues

Specific behavior problems described by owners who returned their adopted pets to shelters include:

  • Fearfulness
  • Once stray dogs that persist in straying activities
  • Puppies with more and bigger behavioral problems than older dogs
  • Excessive barking
  • Aggression toward other dogs

Dr. Becker’s Comments:

Most canine behavior problems can be resolved with effort, time and patience.

When a dog is surrendered more than once to a shelter, it means at least two sets of owners weren’t able to help the poor pup make the transition from rescue dog to family pet.

Each successive surrender decreases a dog’s chance of finding a suitable forever home.  That’s why it’s so important for adoptive pet parents to understand what their new dog may need in order to reach his full potential as a beloved family pet.

New Home Jitters

Each rescued or adopted dog will react a bit differently when introduced to a new home, but common behaviors can include:

  • Fearful body language and facial expressions
  • Finding places to hide
  • Wariness and general inhibited behavior
  • Lack of appetite

This conduct may or not linger as your dog adapts to his new family and living situation.  You should keep in mind your new pet’s personality and temperament may not emerge on his first day home, or even during the first week or two.

Acclimating a Rescue Dog to a New Environment

The safer and more comfortable your adopted dog feels in his new home, the less fearful and anxious he’ll be, and the quicker his true temperament will reveal itself.  If you haven’t had a pooch in the house before, consider watching my video on how to puppy proof your home. Even if you adopt an older dog, you may still have to make your home a safe environment for the new addition.

It’s a good idea to put his bed and a few toys in a slightly out-of-the-way spot where he can still see and hear his new family, but from a safe distance.

If you plan to use a crate as a safe place or bedroom for a dog that hasn’t been crate trained or is fearful of small enclosures, be careful not to force the issue right off the bat.  Many dogs have had negative experiences in a crate.  I recommend you view my crate training video and read the accompanying article for lots of tips on how to successfully crate train your dog.

When it comes to attention, affection and new experiences for your dog, set a slow, consistent pace.  Lavishing excessive attention on your new addition can set her up for separation anxiety behaviors when you must leave her later on.

It’s preferable in the beginning to have a slightly bored pup than one that is over-stimulated.  Mealtimes, in particular, should be in a calm, quiet setting.  This is especially true with a dog that doesn’t have much appetite in those first days at home.  Continue with your normal daily routine, new pup included, from the get go.

Daily walks and other forms of exercise, and playtime with favorite toys are critical to the physical and mental well-being of all dogs, but especially a new furry adoptee or rescue.

If your dog isn’t leash trained or has bad leash manners, consult with a positive-reinforcement dog trainer immediately to begin working on forming new, appropriate manners.

Building a Bond

Bonding with your adopted pet means building a trusting relationship with her.  This will happen primarily through your interactions with her and the way you respond to her – especially when she misbehaves.

Anyone who adopts a dog from a shelter or rescue organization should anticipate certain behavioral problems and gather the resources necessary to deal with them.

The majority of behavior problems in adopted dogs stem from a lack of proper socialization and training, so those are good places to start.

Physical punishment should never be part of the equation.  It’s not effective long-term, it can cause harm to the animal, and it will tear away at the still-fragile bond between you and your pet.

Addressing Behavior Problems

Dogs learn desired behavior through positive reinforcement.  There are dozens of techniques you can learn to effectively control your dog and eliminate problem behaviors.

There are countless books, magazines, TV shows, internet sites, canine behavior experts and other resources available that can address any difficulty you encounter with an adopted dog’s temperament and behavior.  Here are just a few I recommend:

The keys to successfully transitioning most dogs from a shelter to a forever home are:

  • Consistent daily exercise
  • species-appropriate diet
  • Good veterinary care
  • Socialization, obedience training and behavior modification as required

However, if you discover your rescued or adopted dog has a deep-seated behavior issue you can’t resolve on your own, I encourage you to talk with your veterinarian or an expert in canine behavior.

The sooner you address your pet’s behavior issue, the better the chance of a satisfactory resolution to the problem.


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A Promise of Love to the End

Kendra Roberson Maroney's photo.

Even though my patience runs thin some days, I have to remember I made a promise to him 15.5 years ago.  I promised to love him his whole life; till the very end even if that means Kerry and I feel like we have a newborn baby to take care of all night.  I love him even when he pees puddles in my kitchen because he doesn’t realize he’s not outside.  I love him when he poops on the way to the back door because he can’t hold it.  

Love is when I hold the water bowl for him because his body won’t let him reach down to drink without falling over.  Love is forever; till the last minute.  You don’t get to break your promise when you have a baby or when you move houses.  It’s not when they get big and aren’t a cute puppy anymore.  It’s not when they chew up your shoes or dig holes in your backyard.  It’s not when they aren’t potty trained as quickly as you like.  Or when they jump all over people because you haven’t trained them.  It’s not when they get to be 10 years old and you’re tired of them or when they get sick and you don’t want to pay the vet.  Or when you aren’t a responsible owner and they get heart worms and you don’t want to pay for the treatments.  Or because they weren’t spayed you don’t want to deal with a litter of puppies.

 I know the list can go on and on (especially those who work at the HS and City of Animal Services).  I’m sure they’ve heard every excuse out there.  Just remember when you get that puppy or kitten, you’ve made a promise.  You promise to love them their whole life because they will love you completely till the end.

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