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5. Your Dog May Bark in Chinese
Thanks to publicity campaigns to get people to spray or neuter dogs, some shelters are running low on popular small dogs and puppies. They ensure a sufficient supply of adoptable dogs by importing them from foreign countries.
Visit website of Taipei Abandoned Animal Rescue Foundation to see how happy they are to have placed so many dogs in United States including at Humane Society of Snohomish County, WA and Pets Alive, a no-kill shelter in Middletown, NY.
They're not alone. A Tufts University 2000 study identified 6,000 dogs that had been brought into U.S. from foreign counties including Puerto Rico and Taiwan.
The impact of so many dogs from unknown breeders and from countries with limited veterinary medicine is completely unknown.
6. Shelters Are Not Dens
Many dogs do not do well at shelters. Some dogs can adjust to kennel life but many others become fearful, frustrated,and overactive which makes them even less likely to be adopted.
Many shelters simply do not have sufficient staff to exercise and play with each dog to degree dog needs to become socialized.
It's also extremely difficult to prevent spread of illnesses when you have so many pets in one location. There's a reason term "kennel cough" conjures up an image of sickly dogs.
7. Owners May Not Have Told Truth
The most common reason given for turning in a pet is that owner is moving and can't take Fido with him.
The moving may be true but begs question of why didn't owner try to place dog himself? If you paid $500 for a purebred, it's very likely you'd try to find a good home for him (if not resell him).
The dogs that wind up at shelters tend to be dogs that aren't socialized or trained. They may be capable of becoming gentlemen and ladies or they may be neurotic, puppy mill (domestic or foreign) offspring who don't belong in any dog owner's home.
At shelters as well as used-car lots, caveat emptor.
Former dog breeder and all-round dog person, Louise Louis now runs a website, toybreeds.com dedicated to helping people match the best small dog breed to their lifestyle.