Thursday, August 14, 2014

Helping “Hard to Place” Dogs

Trudy is what shelters call a “hard to place” dog. She has been at the OHS for over three months now. Trudy is often overlooked by hopeful new families because of her rather large size and dark colouring. Those that do take a closer look often shy away when they meet her and experience first-hand her very boisterous and vocal nature; others simply aren't a good match for a dog that really isn't a dog park kind of girl (marketing lingo for “does not like other dogs”). And have we mentioned that Trudy likes cats…a little too much?

Size and colour issues are no match for our eager Adoption team. Gentlemen will no longer prefer blondes by the time our staff have mounted their marketing efforts. But while a slick salesperson may try to convince you that an ill-fitting garment really does flatter your figure, the stakes are simply too high for dogs like Trudy for us to value placing her quickly over finding a permanent, loving home that can meet her needs. It just may take awhile.

Trudy has been at the OHS for over three months and is often
overlooked because of her large size and dark colouring.
Leading animal welfare organizations predict that it will not be long before the supply of puppies, small dogs and adorable, healthy young pets are a very small fraction of homeless pet populations. Many shelters are already experiencing this; some cater to their communities’ desires for such pets by importing highly adoptable pups from neighbouring cities or countries.
Trudy does still have her age—and her good health—working in her favour. Many dogs are harder to place because they’re a little long in the tooth or suffer from a chronic but highly manageable health condition. Do they not still deserve a second chance? Should we not be devoting more resources to helping more dogs like Trudy find homes—or to helping dogs with even more challenges than Trudy become adoptable in the first place, rather than “brokering” pups from afar?

We think so. And thanks to you, we can do more every day. And so, while Trudy waits for her new family to come forward, we’re helping things along by ensuring that she receives enrichment to keep her relaxed in the shelter environment and training to help her develop good habits, so that she’s ready to put her best paw forward when that family does appear, no matter how long that takes.

Of course, the OHS will always be a strong partner in the animal welfare community, and when we do have resources to help another community in need, we have helped and will continue to help more animals to find homes through our shelter.

Sharon Miko
Deputy Executive Director

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