|Is it really puppy breeding season? Just what we needed – more Chihuahuas and pit bulls
By: Mickey Zeldes
Dogs don’t really have a breeding season like cats, so why are there so many puppies here right now?
We went several years without getting in a single litter of puppies, and we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves. Then, a couple of years ago, we took in a pregnant dog that gave birth before we could get her into the spay clinic. Last year, we had a couple of pregnant dogs or dogs with newborns come in. This year is not off to a great start. Right now, we have a mom with four terrier/Chihuahua mix puppies, five American bulldog/pit bull pups, a mom with one Chihuahua pup, a single three-month-old pit pup, a four-month-old Chihuahua who needed her leg amputated, and two five-six-month old pit bulls that came in separately. Whew! That’s a lot of baby canine poop around here.
While puppies are cute and everyone likes saying hello and petting them, finding responsible homes willing to take on the care of a young pup and commit to the training needed to raise them properly is quite a challenge. Too many people think because they’ve had a dog before, they are perfectly capable of raising a pup without any help or outside training. Actually, the people most knowledgeable head straight for a training class when they get a new dog, realizing the need to get them off on the right paw. It’s also challenging to find homes for this large batch of puppies, because the market is flooded with Chihuahuas and pit bulls. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said after going through our kennels, “Wow, you have so many Chihuahuas and pit bulls.” We could do a whole fundraiser around that theme.
What I truly don’t understand is what’s up with this wave of puppies, given we are over a year into our most aggressive spay/neuter program yet. We offer Rohnert Park and Cotati residents free spay and neuter surgeries for their cats and only charge $60 to fix a dog (of any size). That fee, too, can be reduced or waived if there is a financial hardship or for pit bulls and Chihuahuas (yes, we are breed biased – but truly, we have enough). So, why are there all these pregnant dogs? Clearly, we haven’t reached our target audience yet. Any help you can offer would be appreciated. If you work with disadvantaged clients, or have connections with the Hispanic community, perhaps you can post one of our flyers – available in both English and Spanish – and help get the word out. Either stop by the shelter or e-mail me to get a flier. You can also fan our Facebook page and share fliers and adoption posters that way. Networking, we’ve found, is the best way to get animals adopted.
These pups are thoroughly adorable and getting lots of socializing here at the shelter. So, if you happen to be in the market for a puppy, or have a friend that you think might be interested, come on by and take a look. Warning though – you’ll probably fall in love with these cuties.
Upcoming events: Fix-it Clinic – monthly spay/neuter clinics continue – cats are free and dogs (any size) are just $60. Available to low-income residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati (proof of residency required). Call 588-3531 for an appointment.
Free microchips: We’re continuing this special offer until we hit 500 pets protected with a microchip. No appointment necessary, stop by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wednesday 1-6:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 1-5:30 p.m. and Sunday 1-4:30 p.m., with your pet and proof of residency in Rohnert Park or Cotati – only $10 if you live outside our jurisdiction.