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Saving Senior Shelter Dogs One By One  

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Please understand that most city shelters are very high kill shelters. A lot of Humane Societies are also high kill facilities. Please do not turn your pet over to be euthanized. Be responsible and find your pet a new home.

* Owner relinquished pets do not have to be held for three days. Owner relinquished pets do not even have to be offered for adoption. Owner relinquished dogs can be euthanized the minute you sign them over.

I actually witnessed an owner bring in her pet with his cute bedding and his toys and reliniquish him to a shelter - a shelter is not a home away from home  - this little house dog did not get to sleep in his nice comfy bedding nor did he get to play with his toys! In fact, there is an 80% chance that he was loaded into the shelter's gas chamber. Gas Chambers have been outlawed in our state but many remain in use under grandfather clauses. Euthanizing a healthy dog by lethal injection is not humane and is no prettier than gassing a pet!

Most shelters are not 100% No Kill.  Many shelters claim to adopt out 100% of adoptable pets. These shelters may actually be very high kill facilities. The test used in many of these facilities claim that a large number of pets are not adoptable. I have rescued many dogs and so far every one of them has been adoptable. Old dogs are adoptable. Sick and injured dogs are adoptable. Dogs with behavorial problems are often adoptable.

If you must relinquish your pet, your best choice is to rehome him yourself. Use care when placing "free to good home" ads. Bunchers often respond to these type ads. Bunchers are people who collect large numbers of animals and sell them to research facilities. (Some animal shelters transfer animals to research facilities).

If you cannot rehome your pet, at least locate a 100% no kill shelter or a 100% no kill rescue group. No kill facilities are usually packed to capacity and there may be a waiting list. Allow time to rehome your pet.  

In the meanwhile:

Place flyers at your local vet's office

Run an ad in your local newspaper

List your pet on www.petfinder.com

List your pet on www.dogster.com

Take your pet to Petco (or other pet friendly store and/or dog park) and walk her through the store/park while she wears an "Adopt Me" bandana

Place flyers on the pet boards of your local pet store


If you are a pet owner - be responsible - move to a place that is pet friendly! The number one reason for owner surrender is "Moving".



For 21 year-old Kelsey Westbrook, the answer is clear. "An apartment, to me, is just a material thing," she tells Paw Nation. "But you can't get a dog's life back."

In July, the University of Lousiville senior was serving tables at Joe's Crab Shack overlooking the Ohio River when she heard a boom so loud she thought a piece of shrapnel had blown off the highway. "Somebody just threw a dog off the bridge," a customer said, stunned.

"We looked down," remembers Kelsey. "And sure enough, we saw her little head bobbing in and out of the water. You could tell she was confused. She was swimming in circles and had no idea where to go." The dog, a pit bull, had just been hurled off the Clark Memorial Bridge and plunged 80 feet into the water below, reports the Courier-Journal. Kelsey and others ran down to the river, where they tried to coax the frightened dog to shore. "When she heard my voice, she started swimming real hard towards us," says Kelsey. The Louisville Fire Department dive team was practicing nearby and rescued the dog.

Once on land, the reddish brown pit bull dog began jumping all over everybody. "She was licking me like crazy," says Kelsey. "She was wagging her tail and so happy. You would never know what she had just went through."

Miraculously, the dog appeared to be unhurt. Kelsey took the dog home that day, and later, to a veterinarian who estimated that the pit bull was less than a year old and had already had a litter of puppies. Kelsey planned to find the dog a good home, but changed her mind. "After a day, I thought, 'Nope, she's mine. I have to keep her," says Kelsey.

Friends suggested she name the dog "Miracle" or "Lucky," but Kelsey decided on a different name. "She's so happy, like a ball of sunshine," explains Kelsey. "So I named her Sunny."

Unfortunately, the day after Sunny's harrowing rescue, Kelsey's landlords notified her she had two days to remove Sunny from the apartment. Kelsey balked at the idea, but Areté Real Estate, the company that owns Kelsey's apartment complex, insists pit bulls are a "vicious breed" and not allowed on the premises, reports the Courier-Journal.

"I'm really attached to her and I love her, and I'm not getting rid of her," says Kelsey. "If that means me having to find a new place, then that's what I have to do." Efforts to reason with her landlords haven't been fruitful. "I've called them upwards of fifteen times and left messages, but they won't return my calls," says Kelsey. "They're not really working with me at all."

Sunny, meanwhile, has gotten spayed and is doing wonderfully. She's been shuttling back and forth between Kelsey's boyfriend's house and the apartment. "Sunny is such an amazing, resilient creature," marvels Kelsey. She has become best friends with Kelsey's two year-old German Shepherd named Nala, who is allowed to live at the apartment for an extra monthly fee.

So many good things have come from rescuing Sunny, says Kelsey. They are planning to hold a fundraiser at Joe's Crab Shack on October 10 to raise awareness about animal cruelty. "A lot of people will come up to me at Joe's and want to give me a hug and say, 'Thanks, I love animals too,'" says Kelsey. "Every day you hear about really bad things going on in the news, I guess it's kind of an uplifting story."