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THE ANIMAL SHELTER REPORT
By Thetis Reeves
Because of our recent troubles with Chapala officials, which still have not been firmly settled, we continue to keep a low profile, so to speak. That means we must limit the number of dogs we house in order to keep the noise level down. Sadly we’ve had to turn away some lovely dogs that looked like lost pets and to beg the finders to keep them a while longer. Only in a dire emergency do we take a dog in ahead of those on our waiting list.
So it was with great dismay that volunteers were met by a large young chocolate lab tied to our doors early one morning. He was traumatized, growling and barking, and it took two volunteers with leads to get him inside. Inu had a note and his history of shots attached to his collar. The note said in literate Spanish that it was not possible to keep him.
While we wish the person hadn’t abandoned Inu on our doorstep, nevertheless Inu is with us. He’s calmed down, is content in his pen, and loves food and the person who serves it. He’s about seven months, healthy and friendly, a very rambunctious youngster. He has a deep voice. He’s not a nervous barker, but he must be bewildered by his new surroundings and he does ask for attention. He’s never been properly socialized.
New owners who can welcome and manage a good-sized puppy and give him the training he requires will have a great dog. He’s so handsome and nice, we hope Inu’s stay with us is not a long one. Obviously his previous owner treated him well and cared enough to bring him to us in the hope that someone else will love him.
I want to give you all an assignment. We’ve preached about the need to put ID on our dogs’ collars, yet lost dogs are picked up without any all the time. We know you are all true believers: Without ID, a lost pet may never see its home again, despite the many kind people who try to help the animal. The assignment is—and it calls for being a bit pushy—to step up to a person with a dog on a leash but no ID on its collar and say something like, “What a great looking dog. But I don’t see an ID tag. I hope you don’t mind my suggesting that you get one for his collar.
We never think our dog can go missing, but it happens. Chances are better that you’ll get him back if there is a telephone number on his tag.” That’s quite a mouthful to convey to a stranger, but consider it a good deed. If the stranger is indifferent, then he’s probably not as nice as his dog and you’ll just have to go your way. You tried. (Our Store is just one of the many places Lakeside where ID tags can be purchased and inscribed.)
Cats may not tolerate a tag, but we know most don’t mind a collar. A collar on a lost cat will indicate it has a home and chances are more likely the cat will get picked up and returned if the owner’s “lost pet” signs are seen.
We have many kittens at our Cat Center—as we’ve mentioned—tiny ones, medium sized and adolescents. Please help us get each one its own hearth and home.