Common Shelter Misconceptions

If they are at the shelter, they are “bad” dogs –

Majority of the dogs at our shelter are here because their owners were neglectful, abusive, or could no longer care for their pet. These dogs were not abandoned because they are “bad” dogs, but rather because their owners are bad people. And if an animal was turned in for adoption by its owner, it is most often because they could no longer provide for it financially, causing these former owners extreme remorse.


Shelters only have Pit Bulls –

Although majority of our dogs are Pits or Pit mixes, we do often get other breeds in. We shelter small breed dogs, as well as large breed dogs.  We do not refuse any breed, weight, color, or size.


Because of the over-population of Pits due to excessive breeding, dog fighting, etc, we do pick up more Pits than other breeds, however, we do not ONLY shelter Pits.  We are continually getting new dogs of all breeds in. Please revisit us and walk through to see if your new best friend is waiting with us.


Pit Bulls are aggressive dogs that have no place in a family environment –

        Pit Bulls are some of the most loving, affectionate, and protective dogs, ever. They were bred essentially as babysitters. They played with the children and protected them from strangers. They easily have one of the best temperaments and dispositions and usually always get along with everyone in the family.


95% of our Pits are complete loves who will melt in your arms. They want nothing more than to snuggle and kiss you. If a Pit is aggressive it is only because it was brought up that way. Even then Pits have an amazing ability to bounce back from any situation. Even the most abused Pit will still want to give you kisses and cuddles. Do not judge a dog by its breed, but rather by its temperament and training.


Small dogs are the best family dogs –    

        Often, people think that if they have small children at home, a small dog will be best for their family. In actuality, larger dogs are better with smaller children than small dogs. Small dogs often are territorial and will not like having a small child to compete with. They will not like being pulled on, pushed down, or having to share space, toys, or food. Majority of our shelter’s “bite cases” are small dogs.


Older dogs aren’t worth saving –

        Senior dogs (and cats) have just as much love to give, if not more, than a puppy or younger animal. Senior pets often have known the love and affection of having an owner, having a home, and usually being spoiled. To live the rest of their years in a cage, just because they may not be “puppy-cute” anymore isn’t fair to them. Just because their fur may be turning white, doesn’t mean they won’t love you and be overly affectionate. Plus, adopting an older dog usually means they know their commands and are house-trained!


If it’s a purebred, it won’t have any issues –

        This is a common mistake made by adopters. Just because you adopted a purebred does not mean that it did not have a past. Shelter dogs are shelter dogs, no matter what breed. Each dog is going to be different and will have its own little quirks. Do not think that just because it is a purebred, it is healthy, trained, behaved, etc. Each dog will have its own issues and you can’t expect perfection from ANY dog.


I didn’t click with an animal through the cage; it must not be the one –

Adopters have to remember that animals have different behavior in the cage. Often times an animal is stressed in a cage setting. Always ask to see an animal out of the cage to see its real personality. Often an animal can seem scared, depressed, or even slightly aggressive in its cage. It doesn’t know any better, it’s in a new place and you’re a new person. By taking it out of the cage and showing it you’re no one to be afraid of, it usually warms up instantly.


A dog is barking at me through the cage; it must be aggressive –

Dogs bark. Sometimes they bark as alarm, sometimes because they’re excited, sometimes because they want attention. When you walk down the runs at a shelter, and a dog is barking at you, almost always the reason is because it wants your attention. It knows that it is competing with these other dogs for your attention, so it will try to be the loudest just to get you to look at him/her. It doesn’t mean the dog is aggressive, it only means it wants to go home. Again, always ask to see a dog out of the cage. As soon as the dog gets out of the cage and into the viewing room, it will stop barking.


Other things to understand –

  • Each shelter dog is unique and will require a certain level of discipline and training.
  • Remember that adopting a dog means forever. Animals are not disposable, they are life-long commitments.
  • Adopting an animal is more than just an adoption fee. Animals will need vet care on a regular basis. Also take into consideration the cost of feeding and grooming the animal. If you can not afford care down the line, do not adopt.
  • If we do not feel that an animal is the right match for you, we have the right to deny the application. We need to do all we can to ensure that animals who are adopted do not end up being returned. Do not take offense to this, as it is what is in the best interest of both the animal and the family.
  • If an animal has more than one application on it, the decision will be made by the staff based on a number of factors. The person to put in an application first may not always take the animal home. Again, we have to try and find the best match for the animal and family.
  • Kennel Aides and other staff work very hard to take care of our animals and provide the best help to potential adopters. Please treat them with the respect that they deserve. They have a very difficult job and do it extremely well.

We appreciate everyone’s interest in getting our animals adopted and thank each of you for your support. We hope we can continue to get as many pets adopted as possible and we hope these tips help the public to understand that each dog deserves a chance to live a happy, healthy, and love-filled life.

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