I always have my eye out for dog and cat articles in newspaper, magazines, or on the internet. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a reoccurring theme lately and that is that Animal Shelters across the country are in the middle of a crisis. Animal shelters have record numbers of cats and dogs and they are having difficult time getting these animals adopted.
Tough Time For Cat And Dog Adoptions
A little over a month ago I came across an article in our local paper the Orange County Register. The article was titled “County animal shelters facing a cat crisis” and talks about the rising number of dogs and cats in shelters. The main cause of these rising number appears to be a directly related to the poor economy. “Home foreclosures and evictions forced heartbroken pet owners to relinquish their animals to the Irvine Animal Care Center, and the cats and dogs began to multiply.”
The Irvine Animal Care Center is the same facility that held the Orange County Super Pet Aoption Event a few months ago. After the event we also talked about 3 Interesting Animal Shelter Facts. I later found out that the Super Adoption event found homes for nearly 300 animals that day, but we are still in the middle of a cat and dog adoption crisis.
Animals Shelters At Capacity
As reported by the article in the OC Register there are currently 260 cats available for adoption and nearly 100 dogs about double the normal numbers.
The Irvine Animal Shelter will normally have space for all relinquished dogs and cats, but for the first time in shelter history, the shelter has been forced to turn away owner relinquished cats and dogs are being turned away intermittently depending if spaces open up.
“We’ve got kittens that are growing into juveniles and even adults at the shelter. That’s unheard of usually, because kittens are always the first to get adopted.”
Animal Shelter Numbers
- 399 – Animals in the Irvine Animal Care Center: 268 cats, 92 dogs, and 39 rabbits
- 600 – Number of cats and dos in the OC Animal Shelter: 300 dogs, 300 cats
- 115 – Animals in the San Clemente-Dana Point Animal Shelter: 57 cats, 38 dogs, 20 rabbits
- 84 - Animals in the Mission Viejo Animal Shelter: 44 cats, 33 dogs, 7 rabbits
- 77 - Animals in the Orange County Humane Society: 40 cats, 33 dogs
Cat And Dog Adoptions In Your Future
Have you been thinking about adopting that cat or dog? The first thing I’d have to say is make sure you’re stable economically before taken on a new pet in the family. However, if you have been carefully considering that cat or dog adoption now might be a good time to help out your local shelter by adopting a cat or dog.
Of course pet adoption is not the only way you can help out your local shelter. We’ve been lucky enough to help local shelters and rescues by fostering dogs and puppies. You can also help out by volunteering at your local shelter as a dog walker, cleaning kennels…etc.
If you are interested in volunteering please contact one of your local shelters or rescues. The Petfinder.com website is a great resource for finding information on local animal shelters and rescues.
***I couldn’t find a link with Google to the “County animal shelters facing a cat crisis” article (I only have the hard physical copy of the newspaper). If anyone has a direct link to the article I’d be happy to give credit here.
Did you guys visit Pet Days at the OC Market Place this past weekend? I hope some of you were in attendance. I know my mom, dad, and sister made it out there. I even heard my mother purchased a new cat tower that almost reaches her ceiling.
I also made it to the event, but unfortunately Derby had to stay at home. After much deliberation (in my mind) I decided it might not be a great activity for Derby as there would be lots of strange dogs and people that at 5 months of age could be a little overwhelming for a puppy. Anyways, as our Guide Dogs of America group leader told me Derby doesn’t have to do everything you do.
Anyhow, back to the Pet Days event. It was a little smaller than I expected, but had a nice turn out during the time I was there. There were several cool things going on besides the pet adoptions. The main stage was showcasing puppies and dogs who needed homes. I also was lucky enough to catch the Le PAWS Pet Agency do a little obedience and trick work on the stage.
While dogs seemed to be the main attraction they were not the only pets on display. We ran into booths from dog breed specific, to pet product booths, dog sitting and boarding, Parrot rescues, Guinea Pig rescues, and of course cats and kittens were up for adoption as well.
Another popular attraction were the soccer collies. A couple soccer loving collies were willing to take on anybody who could kick the ball on a giant inflatable arena.
Thanks To All The Rescues
I did have a chance to talk to several of the volunteers at the different rescues and I’d just like to say thanks to everyone working so hard to find these animals a home. As one volunteer mentioned to me “Aren’t these people amazing…how much they love these animals and gather to help them find a good home.”
I agree, they are amazing people and I’m so happy they organize events such is this one.
Here are a few pictures of puppies I saw while visiting the different booths:
This little guy was up for adoption at the Cuddly Canines Rescue and I believe it said that he had a Chow Chow mommy. It sure looks like he didn’t get the Chow Chow fur:
A couple more puppies from the Cuddly Canines Rescue. These little guys had a Shepherd mommy and from the looks of these two and their siblings may have have had two different daddy dogs.
Animal Assistance League of Orange County
Another thanks to the Animal Assistance League or Orange County for coordinating the event. As it says on their website:
The Animal Assistance League of Orange County is a non-profit no kill humane society dedicated to aiding lost and homeless pets, helping people with pet related problems, promoting responsible pet-ownership and pet population control, and preventing cruelty to animals through educational programs.
I always enjoy going to these pet related events and hopefully some of you made it to the Pet Days at the OC Market Place as well. My mother made it to the Pet Days on Sunday and told me: “We’re hoping the OC Market Place has a Pet Day at least once a month. It’s such a good way to promote pet adoptions.”
Did you go to the Pet Days at the OC Market Place last weekend? If so, what did you think?
Our story on how to adopt a puppy began over 7 years ago when we visited a few backyard breeders for my 32nd birthday. Of course, we did not end up with a purebred puppy, but instead found the perfect Australian Shepherd mixed puppy and adopted him almost immediately at our local animal shelter. ———–>
I’ve always been fond of dogs as long as I can remember. Our first family dog was a Golden Retriever who was very personable and friendly. Our second family dog came from the shelter and was some kind of Border Collie/lab mix…we think. He had energy to spare and was one of the smartest dogs we’ve ever seen (if only we could channel his energy). In college, I helped raise my ex-girlfriends husky mix puppy, my roomates mutt and collie. I practically raised my landlords two rescue dogs. One was a Australian Shepherd mix and the other was a doberman pincher mix.
How To Adopt A Puppy
After college I entered the work force and assumed that I did not have the time to raise a puppy/dog of my own. So, for about eight years after college I was without a dog until December 2004 when my latest ex-girlfriend decided to get me a puppy for my birthday. We were looking for either a Labrador Retriever or a golden retriever. I love the personalities of both breeds and was looking for something in the medium to large sized dog. After visiting several breeders and actually putting a hold on a yellow lab I finally decided I wanted to rescue a dog from one of the shelters.
I had been looking to adopt a puppy online at petfinder.com while we were visiting the breeders and came across a litter of Australian Shepherd Labrador Retriever mix puppies. They were at the Carson Shelter in Southern California, only about a half hour from my house. We went to the shelter and they had two puppies. One, a female, had the aussie shepherd tri-color look and the other one, a male, was all black with a small white spot on his chest. I did plenty of research on how to choose a puppy and put both puppies to the test. I very much liked the look of the female tri-color, but tried not to be biased as I know the personality is what counts. After putting the pups through several personality tests I thought both would make great pets, but was leaning towards the male with the white spot on his chest. I was very tempted to take both puppies home with me, but in the end I went with the little male puppy and have not regretted it. Linus is a wonderful dog, a little shy, but has a very sweet personality. I do often think it would have been nice to have adopted his sister, but I’ve heard that two dogs growing up together will often have weird attachment issues and I didn’t want that for my dog/dogs.
The Good And The Bad Of A Shelter Dog
I had read many books on how to adopt a puppy, but reading a book and actually experiencing puppies first hand at the breeders, rescues, and shelters is a whole different story. As I mentioned many of the puppy training books we read discouraged bringing home siblings.
So what have I learned from adopting a puppy? First of all the price is right when you choose a shelter pup…the fee for one of these pups is only $37 with a refundable $50 deposit at the time your dog is spayed or neutered. It is also very rewarding to know that you’ve rescued a dog from the shelter. Even though the dog you chose may have been adopted anyway, the sooner you can get them out of the shelter, the sooner the shelter will have room for another dog that may have been scheduled for euthanization.
There are definite disadvantages to the shelter dog. When I rescued Linus he was not healthy at all. He was very anemic and had very little energy to move around. My ex-girlfriend actually thought he was dead when we got him home because he wouldn’t move out of the back seat of her car. He was covered in fleas (so much so there was dried blood behind his ears), he had worms, and he had a stomach infection that required him to take medication for several weeks.
Volunteering At Rescues…Rewarding And For A Good Cause
I’ve also volunteered for a local dog/puppy rescue called Cuddly Canines. The adoption fee for one of their puppies is $300. These dogs come from the shelters, but are taken in by a foster family and have a loving home for a minimum of two weeks with the family. During this time the puppies/dogs are spayed/neutered, dewormed, deflead, and are current on their vaccinations. These rescue groups do a wonderful job with their animals and provide a great service to the community. If you are interested in fostering a litter of puppies, a dog, or would like to adopt please visit the Cuddly Canines website and give them a call or send them an email.
If you are interested in adopting a puppy I highly recommend saving a pup from an animal rescue like Cuddly Canines.
Finally, I’ve gone to the breeders who charged anywhere from $300 – $1000+. Of course the advantages here are you know the breed of dog you will be getting, you have a general idea of the personality (based on the parents), you know the lineage, you will have an idea of what kind of health issues they may have, and you can find out if the parents are certified for hips, eyes, elbows…or any other possible genetic conditions your breed of dog may have.
Time For Another Dog?
When I’m ready for another dog I will probably adopt a litter of puppies through Cuddly Canines and choose one from the litter. I know this is not for everyone, but please don’t be hesitant to adopt a puppy from a rescue group. This will free up their resources and allow them to save more puppies from the shelters. The $300 donation/adoption fee is a small amount of money considering the dog will not have fleas or worms, will be neutered/spayed, current on vaccinations, and will be in good health. The initial fee for my dog Linus was cheap, but after all of his medical expenses including his neutering the cost was well over $500.
There are plenty of wonderful dogs out there and a variety of ways to acquire one. I highly suggest contacting a local rescue group or shelter and adopting one of their puppies or dogs and of course once you do come home with your puppy get started on their puppy training. The things they learn as a puppy will carry over to adulthood. We’ll talk more about training later…
Fast forward now to 2012. Linus is a 7 year old dog and he’s awesome! I’ve raised 3 Labrador Retriever’s and I’m currently raising a Golden Retriever for Guide Dogs of America and I just wrote an article on How To Choose A Puppy that retells the familiar tale of how I got my buddy Linus from the shelter.
If you’re wondering how to adopt a puppy I would start by visiting PetFinder.com and checking out some of the puppies that are available at your local animal shelters and rescues.
Have you adopted a puppy? Are you in the market to adopt a puppy? Tell us your story in the comments section below.