Adult & Senior Dogs can Make Great Pets

Sometimes I volunteer to direct the behavioral rehabilitation of pets in shelters and foster homes. One of these was a German shepherd mix named Sarge, whose reactive aggression toward other dogs made him unattractive to potential adopters. Sarge’s plight caught the attention of Melinda, a committed volunteer at Albuquerque’s Animal Welfare Department. Here are Melinda’s comments on this dog she had worked hard to save.

Dr. Nichol,
Sarge was put to sleep. It seems my half hour training session each day could not overcome the frustration of an active and intelligent dog stuck in a kennel 23 hours every day for three months. I am heartbroken. But on the same day, another one of my project dogs was adopted to a wonderful family.

There are over 300 dogs at AWD facilities. It would take just a small percentage of Albuquerque families to step forward and empty the shelters. The AWD is doing a great job keeping adoptable dogs and cats for many months to give each every opportunity to find a forever home. But as time passes, some like Sarge just have had enough of kennel life and have to be relieved of their misery when no forever family has come for them.

I see folks every day at the shelter looking for puppies and dogs under a year old. The shelters are filled with awesome dogs from 1-15. You can skip the high maintenance puppy period and start with a great dog who is ready to take walks and give you all his love. People who cannot adopt can volunteer to be a dog walker to offer as many dogs as possible a time each day out of their kennel to see the sky and sniff a bush while they wait for their forever person.