His name is Snoopy. He lays in his crate with his head down. He hears the door open, and he picks up his head to see a young couple enter the room. The other dogs start barking and jumping up and down, vying for their attention.
The couple approaches his crate, and they bend down in front of him. They smile, and say “Hi there, Snoopy!” He gives his tail a short little wag, perking up. Then the couple hears people cooing over the puppies a couple of crates over, and they get up to go see them instead.
He puts his head back down.
Snoopy has been with the shelter for about two months now, and he still hasn’t found a home. This isn’t atypical for adult dogs in shelters, but Snoopy is only five months old. He should have been snatched up within his first week.
He was adopted early on, actually. But he was brought back. The adopters clearly did not understand puppies, as they returned him for chewing on shoes. I suppose they exhausted all possible methods of training in those two days they had him.
And then two weeks ago, he was almost adopted. It was a family – the mother brought her kids to meet him, and Snoopy got along great with them. She brought her other dog to meet him, and Snoopy got along great with him, too. She filled out all the paperwork, and told us she would be back to pick him up later.
Then decided he was too old.
Five months old. Apparently this is the new cutoff age. He is still a puppy, but Snoopy may already be bound to the fate of so many homeless adult dogs.Too frequently passed over in favor of their more infantile counterparts, this fate is so often life in a shelter… if they’re lucky. The euthanization rate in America is 31%*.
The pet rescue is working especially hard this season to find Snoopy and his shelter-mates the homes they deserve. Adopt a Senior Pet Month is transitioning easily into the Christmas season, and we want as many cats and dogs as possible to go home for the holidays. Next weekend, my shelter is participating in an adoption event with free or reduced fees for the older animals, so they can spend this Christmas with their forever family.
We are participating in this event, along with two other local shelters, through Petsmart. So, if you’re in the Gainesville area, come check us out at the Petsmart on Archer Road. If you’re not, I bet a shelter in your area is doing something like this as well. We want all our dogs and cats to spend Christmas with a family. And we usually have a lot of success with these events!
So this does not have to be the end of Snoopy’s story. He doesn’t have to spend his life in a crate, watching younger dogs get adopted as he ages behind metal bars.
Five months is not too old. Five years is not too old. Someday, hopefully soon, Snoopy will be able to keep his head up and his tail wagging, and he’ll finally go home.
*There’s no one definitive source for animal statistics, and estimates vary. I mostly use ASPCA and APPA (American Pet Products Association) numbers.