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Adoption event matches dogs with families

The North West Animal Shelter held the event Sept. 16 at Total Pet
A young handler puts a canine friend through its paces on an obstacle course during the North West Animal Shelter’s dog adoption event at Total Pet on Sept. 16. (Tom Best/The Interior News)

The North West Animal Shelter held a dog adoption event in the parking lot at Total Pet Sept. 16.

This event was not just a chance to meet some new canine friends, but also featured a chance to learn some of the ways these animals, (as well as their potential owners!), could develop behaviours that might make the whole process enjoyable.

Nicole Murray, the main caretaker and adoptions coordinator for the shelter, was running the event for the first time. While she has done similar cat adoption fairs, it was her first dog specific event.

“Normally, dogs are typically quickly adopted since there is usually a waiting list, but this year has been different,” she said.

“At this point, there are dogs which have been available since June. These are well-behaved animals. A number of factors would be the summer, where people have been on vacation, coming out of COVID, where there was a big puppy boom, but I think the economy has been the biggest thing.”

Murray indicated that she was very pleased with the program. There were eight dogs for the event and numerous applications to adopt.

She said that within the applications there are lifestyle and energy-level needed to match the animal that a potential adopter might be interested in. In addition, leisure time activities were important. For example, somebody who likes to stay at home and watch tv is going to need a different animal from someone who likes to go for long distance runs.

“We ask questions about the pet friendly rentals in the area,” she said. “We contact landlords to make sure that they are allowed to have animals. We ask if there are other animals in the home and what happened to previous animals. Have they adopted an animal before? Our goal is to make sure that the animal is adopted into a good situation.”

There is a minimum two-week trial period to ensure it will be a good placement.

The adoption contract does not merely rid the shelter of just another dog. There have been situations inc which people have had to move and were unable to keep the animal or had health issues that would not allow the new owner look after them.

In such cases, the adoption contract warrants that the shelter takes the animal back for life.

Quick 4-H volunteers Samantha Hosik and Rebecca Glanz were on had to assist at the event. As a young 4-H participant, Murray had been involved in some of the programs available and had learned the value of pets.