Adoption increases in summer months

Dogs come to shelter for many reasons, including aggression, lack of funds



Rosa, a three-month-old Husky scheduled for adoption was spayed Tuesday and stayed in her run to heal before going home Wednesday.

MAGGIE QUINLAN, Evergreen reporter

Though the city’s student population dips every summer, it’s a popular time to adopt in Pullman.

June and July 2018 saw some of the highest adoption rates of the year at the Whitman County Humane Society, said Katelyn Snyder, animal care attendant and adoption counselor.

This May was a popular adoption month, with the shelter adopting out 39 animals, including around 18 dogs. But now they have as many dogs as they can manage, said Aspen Durand, assistant director at the humane society.

In the shelter right now, two dogs stand out, Snyder said.

When Westley, a 5-month-old German shepherd mix, broke his leg, his owners brought him to the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital but couldn’t afford the surgery he needed. The hospital and owners decided to euthanize him, but first, hospital staff called the humane society.

Snyder said they raised over $3,000 for Westley with the Humane Society’s Hope Fund. This more than covered his medical costs, and the extra will pay for future dogs’ medical care.

Still, Westley won’t be available for adoption until he heals, which could take several months.

Indy, a 2-year-old Catahoula mix, loves people, Snyder said, but is extremely dog-aggressive. Indy’s previous owner surrendered her to the humane society after trying for years to help her act calmly with the owner’s other dog.

“Her owner super loves, loved her,” Snyder said.

The owner gave care attendants an eight-page informative document about Indy’s health, food, “potty times,” and her character, Snyder said. She said most owners surrendering a dog don’t bring anything.

Tiffany Watson, an animal care attendant and adoption counselor, said a family with two young children visited Indy the other day, and she was great with them.

“Both the kids walked her on a leash, she didn’t pull at all,” Watson said. “She just, like, took it at their speed.”

Snyder said she’s felt attached to dogs at the humane society before, and it’s hard to see them go.

Durand said challenging cases can lead to the most bonding. These dogs stay at the shelter longer and bconnect with care attendants through hours of training.

“Once they get adopted, I watch them get in the car and that’s when the tears come,” Durand said. “Because we’ve put in so much effort.”

When someone wants to adopt, Snyder said to keep in mind you’re not going to get the “perfect dog” from a shelter. Durand said every dog is going to be a “project dog.”

Durand adopted a dog from the humane society named Caribou, who was cuddly at the facilities and whined a little, she said. When she brought him home, she said he was a “terror.” He has severe separation anxiety and screams when she leaves. She must sedate him before she leaves the house.

“It’s worth it, even though it’s frustrating most of the time,” Durand said. “He’s one of the most loving dogs I’ve ever met — his problem is loving people too much.”