|Barked: Mon Apr 23, '07 5:04pm PST |
|Hello to all prospective pup parents!
If you are considering adding a new bundle of fur to your life in the next 5 months or so, pawlease pay a visit to your local shelter first and foremost... even if it's just to look to see what kind of pups or dogs are currently looking for furever, or to even put your name down on a waiting list for a certain kind of pup that might come through the shelter's doors in the coming months.
There's a rather sad phenomenon called "puppy season" that has unfortunately already begun for '07. "Puppy season" refers to the massive numbers of pups that wind up in shelters for various reasons. Puppy season peaks during the spring and summer months.
Many people seem to have gotten the idea that puppies are quickly snapped up and hardly ever spend time in shelters. To the contrary, I have seen many puppies grow up in shelters. Shelters are not good places for puppies to grow up. In most cases, they can't get the socialization they need, the early training, the early love, etc. etc. This is not to say that dogs that have grown up in shelters are bad dogs. They are most certainly not. But for whatever reason, they are passed up time and time again.
Shelter puppies are just fine for first time dog owners! Research types when looking for a shelter dog, not specific breeds. Are you going to want an intense herding dog or a silly hound or a feisty terrier? You'll want to have a simple idea before you walk into a shelter so that you don't become overwhelmed by every dog.
Also consider fostering a pup or litters of pups or even a pregnant mother. Litters of young puppies increase during puppy season. Most shelters are not good environments for delicate puppies to try to survive their first couple of months in. You can give them a healthier start in life and also devote more time to them than the shelter staff can. Fostering a weaned puppy during it's most imprintable age will also ensure that it becomes a well-balanced dog. And if you can't foster, volunteer. Puppies need to get out of cages and play with eachother! And they can't do that unless there are enough people to supervise them for a good 20 minutes.
So please check out shelter pups! There are good dogs in shelters! We see them every weekend and think about them everyday! Their stories touch and break our hearts all at the same time, and we always want to spread the word.
Think about it: If you don't help them, who will?
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