BUCKHANNON — The Lewis/Upshur Animal Control facility teams with local rescue group Lewis/Upshur Volunteers for Animals to ensure safe, happy, forever homes for the many dogs that are cared for daily.
The local animal shelter houses stray, owner-surrendered and rescued animals from neglect, etc. Although the dogs receive food, water, and medical care while in the facility’s care, the pound is a high-stress environment for them. It is important to consider the animal’s confusion when considering adoption, and after bringing them home.
Unfamiliar sounds, smells, people and rooms can cause them to be fearful or even defensive. When adopting, remember that this is no fault of their own— the animals need time to decompress and familiarize themselves with new people and new surroundings. LUV Member Robin Keough shares, “When looking at a dog at the shelter, please ask staff or volunteers for any input they can give you about the dog’s temperament. If a dog catches your eye, ask someone to leash them up for you. Spend some time with the dog outside, where it is quieter and the dog can relax away from the noise of the other dogs.”
Animals are often a nine-to-15-year commitment and understanding the amount of care they require is vital. When considering different animals for adoption, ask volunteers or staff members what breed may work best with you and your living situation! Keough continues, “Many of the dogs at the shelter are pure bred dogs and a good idea of their personalities can be learned through reading about the breed. Some breeds have very strong inherited traits. For example, Malinois are a wonderful, brave and smart working breed of dog, but they have been bred to be “guardy” or protective. They can tend to chase and bite. Therefore, without diligent training, they may not be a good fit for a family with small children. Cattle dogs and Aussies can be great hiking companions, but they were trained to herd livestock, and they can be nippy. Some dogs require a lot of exercise. I would suggest just to be realistic about who you are and what kind of companion you want.”
Despite the breed, bringing home a new dog or cat requires patience and consistent training. Whether you’re bringing home a puppy/kitten or an adult animal, one must understand they need time to understand where to use the restroom, where to sleep, what to eat and what not to eat, etc. They are merely working to understand their new, unfamiliar environment.
“I would like to suggest that adopters become aware of some issues their new pound puppies may have. They need a period of adjustment, and everyone needs to find a common language. It’s helpful if everyone in the family agrees to simple language and commands. ‘Potty? Outside?’ Some of the adult dogs have been house trained, but after being in a shelter, need a refresher course. Puppies can’t hold their urine; they will need to go frequently and a lot of patience is required. Before bringing a dog home, puppy proof the house, pick up shoes, electrical cords, edible plants. Be aware that the adopted dog doesn’t know where home is, yet. Unless the adopter has a secure fenced yard, the dog needs to get kept on a leash and supervised when outdoors,” explained Keough.
Being patient with your new companion will pay off, as they will provide you with years of unconditional love, protection, fun, and endless snuggles. If you are interested in adding a furry friend to your family, please consider adopting a rescue animal at the local shelter. Not only are you saving a life, but you are freeing space at the pound to help a different animal in need.
Pictured above is Louie, a stray dog from Weston, currently spending lonely nights at LUACF. He wags his tail at every person who walks by, hoping one of them may be his new friend. Louie gives dozens of kisses to volunteer workers, showing off his super-sweet attitude to everyone that comes his way. Please take some time to visit Louie, and all the dogs/cats.
Visit the Lewis/Upshur Animal Control Facility, located at 318 Mud Lick Road in Buckhannon, or call (304)-472-3865.