If you are looking into getting a new puppy or an older dog you should highly consider dog adoption from animal shelters. Shelters have a variety of dog breeds, numerous dogs of different ages, and can share the dogs' story with you. They can recommend dogs that will be good for you and your family and can tell you a lot about their temperament. While shelters tend to have more information about the animals that are up for adoption many people still go to pet stores to purchase a dog rather than using a shelter for dog adoption. When people refuse to get dogs from a shelter these animals are left without homes and are forced to spend another night in the kennel.
To help increase dogs’ chances of adoption, a police department in Nebraska created an initiative to help dogs get adopted. They implemented a program called K9 For a Day where they took dogs from local animal shelters on a ride along for a day. They put the dogs in their car, drove around the town, introduced the dogs to residents of the city, and helped the dogs build relationships with people. They took a variety of dog breeds on the ride along to increase their chances of being adopted.
The K9 For a Day program had a lot of success and many dogs were adopted. These dogs were able to charm the residents of the city and form relationships with people that they may never have met. The dogs were able to leave the kennels for a day and put on a show for the people of the city. This allowed the residents to see the dogs in a new light. They were able to fully understand the dogs’ personality and see them as more than just a sheltered dog.
The officers of the Nebraska police department had the dogs ride around in the car, stick their heads out of the window, take them on a leash while walking around high traffic areas, and let them connect with kids and adults of the community. The dogs were sporting a police bandana and a police badge that looked like dog shirts. These dogs were able to freely interact with children on the streets and this helped potential owners understand the personality of the dog and the charisma that the dog had. It is difficult for dogs in a kennel to show their true personality, but when they were able to walk around with an officer they were able to feel more like themselves.
The first dog that was part of this program was Mickey, who was a 6 year old Bull Terrier. After participating in the K9 For a Day program he was adopted a couple of days later by a citizen that he met. It is incredibly difficult for older dogs to find homes when they are in a shelter so this program is a great way to show people that older dogs make for a great adoption. They are house trained, know how to walk on a leash, know a few tricks, and have a milder temperament.
While this ingenious initiative was great for the dogs and the local shelter it was also a great opportunity for the police department. The officers were able to use this opportunity to get out of their cars and connect with the citizens that they protect each day. It helped people see cops as more than just an officer and more of a neighbor or a friend. Having the dogs on the ride along with allowed officers to more easily start conversations with community members, get people asking questions about the dog, and build more trust between the police department and the community.
After adopting a dog from a shelter you must make it feel welcome in your home. You should get your home ready for your new family member to make it feel as comfortable as possible. You should always have toys, food, bowls, a collar, leash, and a bed for your dog to sleep in. These things can help your dog feel more comfortable and part of the family. When a dog walks into your home for the first time it may feel a little bit afraid but after a day or so it will likely warm up to you and your home and let its true personality come out.
If you or someone you know is considering adopting a dog from a shelter and giving it a chance at a new home where it can be loved and cared for you should encourage them to do so. You can even give them gifts for dog lovers to help reduce the expenses they may have. Gifts for dog lovers could be a new food and water bowl set, a new leash, or an engraved tag for the dog's collar. Purchasing a new dog can be expensive if you go to a pet store, but adopting one from an animal shelter can significantly reduce the costs.
Animal shelters are frequently overcrowded with dogs and cats and to help these new pets find homes more businesses and public services should find ways to help these animals. If you are not able to adopt a new pet for you and your family, you should talk to your local police officers and other business owners to look for ways that they can help local adoptions centers. Starting the conversation and sharing this story can get people talking and thinking about new ways to help our four-legged friends find a forever home. Whether your local police force wants to implement the K9 For a Day program or another innovative idea you should help support their efforts and look for ways to get involved. The sooner these programs are started the less time these animals will have to spend in a kennel.
Show your support of pet adoption by wearing a Catty Collins dog shirt. With every purchase, Catty Collins will donate a portion to shelters, adoption programs and other charitable causes that help abandoned and homeless cats and dogs.