Whenever adopting a dog at a shelter, always look for dogs who have been at the shelter for the longest time; this is what I always say. You would be surprised at how long some of them have been there. All the puppies and young dogs are usually the first picks. It’s just like draft-night for any of your favorite sports. The ‘athletes’ or dogs, in this case, are selected for adoption and those in the best of shape are adopted first.
Some shelters have a strict policy in terms of how long these dogs get to stay there before being euthanized. The usual stay at some of these shelters is roughly about 24 months, and although many communities have been pushing for longer stays, the shelters are simply not large enough to accommodate all of them. Every day, people drop off pets at the shelter citing all sorts of reasons for which they cannot keep taking care of them.
The dogs that are adopted within the first months are very fortunate. They get to go and become part of a family almost right away. Some of them are rescued from very grave conditions of abuse. There are dogs that have been used in dog-fighting rings. These dogs not only display physical scars but often have deep psychological scars as well.
When a shelter rescues dogs from these conditions, they have them go through a process known as socialization. This process shows the dogs to communicate and interact with other dogs and people. It teaches them interaction in a more loving way. Kind of a way of reprograming their responses to different stimuli. This process takes a longer time for some dogs than others, but it’s the only way they can be adopted.
Some of the other rescued dogs also need some sort of psychological support. There are times that the emotional trauma they have suffered makes them unable for adoption. Once they finish their often-short rehab program they are put on, they are placed with the other dogs to be adopted. When an adoptive family comes, they are briefed on the dog’s background, so they can make a better-informed decision.
The dog in the following video did not really have any traumas. He was just ecstatic to be adopted. He had been a familiar face for the rescuers who had seen him every day in his 4 years at the shelter. He was quite a senior there, but as all the dogs there, he finally got his shot at adoption. When he found out he was being adopted, he could not contain himself. And his heart-warming reaction to adoption has been captured in the following video. Truly something that will make your day a little brighter!