GREENVILLE — As Christmas has come and gone, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, expressing one’s everlasting love in the seemingly perfect gift can, occasionally, lead to impulse buying with unintended consequences.
Each year, hundreds of “gift” puppies, kittens, dogs and cats are dropped off at animal shelters because their new owners failed to recognize that pet ownership can be a 10 (or more) year commitment of emotional and financial care, including veterinary visits, housetraining, food and treats, toys, bedding, exercise, and playtime. Although many dogs and cats are waiting to be adopted, it is important to take the time to visit the shelter and interact with each prospective pet.
Many unwanted dogs are surrendered each year because their owners did not educate themselves beforehand on their special care and needs, and many popular larger breed and mix-breeds, such as Retrievers, Labradors, Boxers, Beagles, American Bulldogs, Staffordshire Terriers (“Staffies”), and Pit Bulls, are among the most commonly found at shelters across the U.S.
Recognized by the Best Friends Animal Society (www.bestfriends.org) as a “no-kill” shelter, the Darke County Animal Shelter, located at 5066 County Home Road in Greenville, takes in several dogs each month which are available for adoption, and regularly posts their photos on the shelter’s website. In January, the shelter took in 56 dogs, with 37 adoptions completed, and five owner redemptions. The adoption fee per dog is $80 (cash or check) which includes the current year’s license. Several Darke County canine “adoptees” are available right now, waiting for fur-ever homes, including Elvis (a spunky, eight-year-old Lab mix), Henrietta (a three-year-old Boxer mix), Tessa (a two-year-old Lab mix) and Clara Marie (a two-year-old Shepherd Mix).
Even when in their new home, many canine “adoptees” will need time to adjust to their new surroundings and family members. Many dogs may, in the first week in a new environment, engage in questionable behaviors, such as having “accidents” in the house, chewing, barking, jumping, or pulling on the leash. Sometimes, it will take up to six months for a new pet to acclimate well to its surroundings. Patience, positive affirmation, exercise, and affection will help foster trust between dog and owner, and professional dog training may be needed to encourage this lasting bond.
“You need to spend time with the dog before making a decision to adopt,” said Robert Bair, Chief Animal Control Officer and Director of the Darke County Animal Shelter. “It is important for both you and the dog.”
Visiting hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, 9 to 11:30 a.m. The Darke County Animal Shelter is open for walk-in visits. The shelter also appreciates all donations, no matter how great or small, including paper towels, wipes, hand towels, blankets, leashes, collars, dog crates, pet shampoo, bleach, gift cards, and monetary gifts. Dog food, dog treats, and blankets are especially needed.
Questions? Call the shelter at 937-547-1645 or visit online at www.darkecountyanimalshelter.com
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for Darke County Media. She can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone at 937-569-4314.