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Adopting a Hound from the Pound

There are many places you can go to get a dog, some are great places, others not so good and some should be reported. However animal shelters are a good place to start and the advantage, of course, is that you are giving a dog a second chance.

Start With Your Local Animal Shelter

Like everything, there is good and bad. If there is a good shelter close to you the adoption process will be conducted by knowledgeable, friendly adoption personnel who will ensure you make the best decision when choosing your new family member.

Good shelters ensure they do the best for the dogs housed there by conducting a complete veterinary examination, ensuring the dogs have up to date vaccinations and giving the dog a thorough behavioral assessment which will provide useful information when determining whether the pup will be a good match with your family.

What Happens if You Live Close to a Not-So-Good Animal Shelter?

If you live near a not so good shelter you may have to do your own impromptu assessment as to whether you wish to adopt from a shelter with sub-standard facilities and personnel. You will then have to decide whether to adopt from this shelter or travel a further distance to adopt from a better quality shelter.

The Human Vetting!

A really good shelter will also give you a thorough and human-friendly vetting before they agree to let you adopt one of their dogs. Sometimes they can seem a little over zealous, but remember they are doing this with the dogs future in mind and they want to determine that the pup is going to their forever home.

Can I Ask for a Particular Breed?

If you are looking for a particular breed or mix ask the shelter about this. Some breeds are very popular and a shelter may have a wait list for approved adopters. Another alternative is to foster a dog from the shelter, this way you can find out if a specific breed fits in with your family’s lifestyle. You never know, you may end up adopting that pup!

There are some wonderful dogs in shelters, and most just need a second chance with a home that has patience and time to exercise, train and maintain a structured lifestyle. If you are unsure what dog would be most suitable to your home environment take along a knowledgeable friend, or a canine professional and be honest with the staff at the shelter, they want what is best for the dogs they oversee, and for you.

A Personal Example

It was three months after our Pitt/Rottweiler Jazzy Jasmine died that I realized needed a fur baby to keep my life whole. Personally I like the structure a dog gives to my life. I watched several shelters within 100 miles of where we lived for the dog I wanted and then one day I walked into Saving Grace, Roseburg OR

There was a Pitt mix bitch I wanted to see. As I walked along the kennels Sheppo (now called Jackson, a Beagle/Shepard mix) gazed at me with those sad hound eyes. I told him to quit looking at me, but he continues to watch me as I passed him by. Then I backtracked and went back and read his bio “Must go to a home without children or cats” – that’s cool, we don’t have either. I continued down to see the Pitt mix I was interested in. She was nice, she would need some training, which I was prepared to do but she had just been spayed and couldn’t leave to 5-10 days. I went back to meet Sheppo.

The Lunatic

In the meeting room he went ballistic, he bounced off the walls like a rubber ball. I didn’t know if he was happy or a lunatic so I sat on the floor and said “Come here and tell me about yourself” and patted the floor. He immediately came over and laid along the length of my leg and gave me his belly…. then gazed up at me. “Damn it I don’t want a hound” I muttered to him, he gazed back at me “Oh yes you do”.

Then the shelter assistant started asking me about our home, our family, she found out I was a runner, we have friends with dogs yadda, yadda, then she gave more info on Sheppo; he had been returned to the hound pound twice, once for chasing down his new hoomans cat (he told me later the cat set him up) and another, we found out later, was because he snarled at a child, however I truly believe he wasn’t getting enough exercise (he is a hound mix, they need several miles a day) and so he must have been frustrated and took this out on the child.

I was well and truly vetted and the shelter assistant advised me that Sheppo was a better fit for our lifestyle that the Pitt mix, and I have to admit she was right (that’s Sheppo with the bow tie, it is his shelter picture, he was Mr. November 2017).

A Happy Chappy

That was 2 1/2 years ago; now we run between 3.5-5 miles in the mornings and walk 2 miles in the afternoon. He is my muse, my little dude, running buddy, ghost rider and shadow. He is called Jackson and has a life career in quality control at K9CRACK – not bad for a hound from the pound with a bad rap, especially as he now trots past cats, can hang with kids and has an active life style we both enjoy. I think my husband is jealous!

A hound from the pound can be a fulfilling addition to your family and I would certainly consider getting another when we need another furry family member.

Please let us know your experiences with looking for and adopting dogs from a shelter.

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