Please don't write off shelter dogs because of Major Biden

Many dogs show incredible resilience and a capacity to love despite previous neglect and abuse. Boo Boo , a senior dachshund dumped at a shelter with a 3.2 lb. tumor, bounced back after surgery and now loves running and meeting new friends.Best Friends Animal Sanctuary used positive training methods to rehabilitate 22 pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s infamous dogfighting ring. When Layla , one of the last “Vicktory dogs,” died at the ripe old age of 15 ½, I spoke to her grieving adopter. She told me the American Staffordshire terrier passed the Canine Good Citizen test and volunteered in a program to help teens learn how to care for animals. Indeed, there are entire organizations that rescue dogs and train them to help people, like the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, which trains search and rescue dogs and donates them to firefighters and other first responders.
The nonprofit Working Dogs for Conservation and the Conservation Canines program at the University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology give rescued dogs a second chance as wildlife detection dogs. Eba , a mixed-breed dog dumped outside a shelter, even detects the scat of endangered killer whales from the bow of a boat.

‘First dogs’ Major and Champ return to the White House

02:18Recently I profiled a heroic German shepherd named Sadie , who saved her owner's life after he suffered a stroke — just months after he’d adopted her from a shelter. Brian Myers was still recovering in the hospital when I spoke to him about his dog, but he said it was worth the effort if it helped encourage people to rescue dogs from shelters.

Socialize your pet. This is especially important for puppies. Again – behavior problems are the number one reason dogs don’t stay with their families and don’t get adopted by new families. Lack of proper socialization can result in inappropriate fears, aggressive behavior, general timidity, and a host of other behavior problems that are difficult to extinguish once a dog is mature.

“They will get the love back to them tenfold,” he assured me.

I couldn’t agree more. The whole reason I started narrowing my focus as a journalist to pets is my own rescue dog, Rio. When my husband and I adopted the Labrador retriever mix from Farmington Regional Animal Shelter in New Mexico in 2010, I had no idea how much he would change my life.Rio is so smart and friendly that I had to share him with others. He easily passed the test to become a therapy dog and spread smiles to hospital patients for five years in Southwest Colorado. He’s also supported me as I coped with the deaths of loved ones, donated a kidney to my husband and lived through the pandemic.