Shelters seeing increase in purebred dogs
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3154 October 9, 2012 4:50PM
Shelter director Betty Clayton visits with a 2-3-year-old chihuahua named Pooki at the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana in Gary, Ind. Tuesday October 9, 2012. The shelter has been receiving an unusual number of pure bred pets, some as surrenders. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Trick or treat for pets
The Lake County Animal Control and Adoption Center is hosting a pet Halloween festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Industrial Building at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point. There will be a pet Halloween costume contest, vendors, adoptions and refreshments. Admission is $5 for adults.
Want to adopt?
Humane Society Calumet Area
421 45th Ave, Munster
Humane Society of Northwest Indiana
6100 Melton Road (U.S. 20), Gary
Lake County Animal Control
3011 W. 93rd Ave., Crown Point
Updated: November 11, 2012 6:21AM
The shifting clientele at the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana in Gary’s Miller section may be indicative of an economy still on the rebound. It’s hard to tell, the Pomeranians aren’t talking.
“Usually, we have one or two purebreds,” said Betty Clayton, executive director of the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana.
In recent weeks, the shelter has taken in multiple purebred dogs — three Pomeranians who were strays, two poodles, an old English sheepdog, a shih tzu, a golden retriever, a white German shepherd and even a stray great Dane.
Purchased from a breeder, each of these dogs could cost as much as $400 to $1,200, Clayton said.
Frisco, a reddish-colored Pomeranian, has already been adopted. Unfortunately, Clayton expected someone to surrender a rat terrier and a beagle Tuesday because they couldn’t afford them.
“None of these dogs deserve to be here. It’s just the luck of the draw by who their owner is,” she said.
“This is what we’re here for,” she said. “We have a large number of animals now.”
The shelter is particular about who adopts its animals. There’s a six-page application to be filled out and home and yard checks. It does criminal background checks on anyone who wants to adopt a pit bull.
“We are just as particular as who adopts our little brown mutt as we are our English sheepdog,” Clayton said.
The stray great Dane is being treated for heartworms and a respiratory infection. He also hasn’t been neutered.
Clayton said many people tell her they can no longer afford to feed and care for their pets.
In Crown Point, Deborah Nowland, director of the Lake County Animal Control and Adoption Shelter, said she also has seen an increase in purebreds coming to the shelter.
“I think it’s because of the economy,” she said. “A lot of people are losing their homes and have to go into an apartment and can’t take them. For some, the medical costs are high. People are surprised with how much work is involved for vet bills and food.”
Rachel Delaney, executive director at the Humane Society Calumet in Munster, said she hasn’t seen a noticeable increase in purebreds at her shelter.
All the directors noted it’s a big time for kittens needing homes. Nowland said for the first time at the Lake County shelter, all the cats have been spayed or neutered. “I’ve been working on that for quite a while.”
There’s good news for the 9-year-old golden retriever at the Humane Society Northwest in Miller. Clayton said a family has decided to adopt him, despite his age.
“Nowadays, our society is a disposable one. Anything that isn’t shiny or new, they want to get rid of. Animals shouldn’t be disposable.”