by Helen Hartel
For most dogs, being relinquished to an animal shelter is a drastic change and a stressful experience. Even though a shelter may make every effort possible to make a dog’s new shelter home welcoming, it is still often a place where dogs will be confined, separated from their previous families and exposed to more noise due to the close proximity of other dogs. These environmental changes are very stressful for most dogs.
Not surprisingly, most dogs don’t seem particularly excited when it comes time to be put in a kennel. Who would be? But keeping our canine friends locked up doesn’t just make them uncomfortable, it may be literally drive them crazy. Call it kennel deterioration, kennel stress, kennel induced behavior problems, whatever name it is given, this problem exists when dogs are housed for a long period of time, and it’s especially true of “bully breeds.” Here is Shadow’s story and how he behaved upon intake.
Shadow is a one-and-a-half -year-old male pit bull that started out his life with a family, but they brought him to the shelter in March because they could no longer care for him.
This is a description of Shadow when he first arrived:
- He is playful with children.
- He has had little training but is a smart dog that seems to be learning obedience quickly.
- He is happiest when one of the volunteers sits with him in the yard or the real room, giving him lots of love and attention.
- He loves to stay right by a person’s side for petting and will roll over for a belly rub.
- He doesn’t jump up on people.
- He is not very vocal.
- It is unknown how he will do with other animals, so if you have another pup at home, please bring him/her in so they can meet before being adopted.
Unfortunately, the effects of this deterioration can render dogs difficult to adopt. Even with the enrichment and stimulation provided for the dogs at the Agoura shelter, long term incarceration can lead to mental suffering that will go unresolved for many of the animals if they fail to find a home. Sadly, Shadow has hit his limit. He is barking and lunging at those in uniform and pulling when being walked. His situation is urgent and he is in desperate need of a family to call his own. Most feel that when he is in his home placement, he will revert back to his happy-go-lucky old self.
To adopt Shadow, request A4931807. The Agoura Shelter is at 29525 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills. Occasionally pets have already been adopted. To check availability, call 818-991-0071 or visit http://animalcare.lacounty.gov