Saturday, September 19, 2009

Summer's End? (New York City)

(Picture Left: "Chuchi" -- mystery dog.)

This is, calendar wise, the last weekend of the summer, though summer really seemed (to me) to end on Labor Day with the closing of the outdoor pools.

I had been hopeful and anticipatory that summer's end would represent an upsurge in new animal rescues and adoptions.

So far, "upsurge" would not describe the last couple of weeks.

Though fortunate to get one successful cat adoption and several new dog fosters (and rescues), the number of adoption inquiries still remains scant and mostly non-committal and all of our dogs in boarding still linger.

Later this afternoon, I plan to go to the dog spa (one of the places where we board dogs) and walk Joy (who was recently returned from foster) and "Chuchi," a new Pomeranian mix we just rescued from the Brooklyn AC&C where she was in threat of going on the Euth list.

I haven't met Chuchi yet -- and was not eager to take still another dog to put into boarding.

Despite asking the shelter for more "time" to advertise Chuchi and attempt to find either a foster or adopter for her, neither the extra time nor advertising resulted in any kind of home.

It is amazing and shocking that a small, healthy, friendly and adorable dog like this would not garner public inquiry and interest once advertised -- but it is reality.

The few inquiries we got on Chuchi apparently could not read. Though clear in the writeup that Chuchi needed to be an "only pet" those who called on her had other dogs.

Sometimes I wonder if I speak and write English?

Chuchi was turned into Animal Control as an "Owner Request Euthanasia."

Apparently, Chuchi's former owners acquired another dog who, (according to them) "Chuchi attacked."

One wonders how and why a resident dog not happy with a new pet addition to the home would suddenly be dumped in the pound with a request for death? Most dogs and cats are not thrilled when a new animal is brought to the home and quite often will react with initial aggression in order to establish "pack order." Usually with time, the animals work out a relationship.

In those few cases where a second pet acquisition doesn't work, it is usually the newly adopted (or purchased) pet who is returned or brought to a shelter.

According to the Behavior Test conducted on Chuchi in the shelter, she seemed OK around other dogs.

So yes, Chuchi right now is a bit of a mystery with the background information on her both questionable and scant.

Unfortunately, for most "Owner Surrendered" animals turned into city shelters the information (and history) provided by former owners is sketchy, incomplete and often not very helpful in trying to get a true picture of the cat or dog.

This is why most animal shelters these days rely so heavily on so-called, "Behavior Tests" which themselves are questionable and often in contradiction to what the former owners say about the dogs.

In the end, there are no crystal balls or accurate predictors of how any animal is going to do in a rescue situation, boarding, a foster home or an adoptive home.

Nor, is there any guarantee that any rescued animal actually finds a "forever home."

We just have to take our chances, try to get to know the animals and hope for the best.

Oh, and hope that the distractions and seeming indifference and cruelties of summer finally end -- though one would never sense that by the huge numbers of cats and "summer kittens" still flooding into and dying in our city animal shelters. -- PCA


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