This year LAPS staff will care for over 800 dogs. About 80% of them will go home to their families but plenty will stick around and begin the next stage of their life’s journey with us. While it’s true that we sometimes get young, healthy, highly adoptable dogs through our doors, more often than not the dogs who stay with us have a story to tell. Perhaps they have some sort of expensive medical condition or a few behavioural quirks that make them challenging to live with…we’ve seen it all!
Take ridiculously adorable Edna, for example. This sweet senior Pug is a hilarious, snorty, snuggly bundle of love. She’s also great with cats and other dogs. Who wouldn’t want her?!
Her previous owner, that’s who. That’s because Edna is a bit of a medical lemon. The poor old gal is covered in itchy, thickened dark skin thanks to years of untreated allergies. She’s got massive ear infections in both ears and the smell coming off her…well, let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a small, enclosed room with her. Whew! But that’s all about to change…For the first time in years, Edna is getting proper medical attention and boy, is she feeling good! We’re fixing her up with help from Paws & Claws, one of our partner vets, and someone will be very lucky when she’s ready to find her forever family.
Money and Josh are another great example, although more on the behavioural side of things. These two gorgeous German Shepherds turn heads wherever they go and people can’t believe they’re still here. They’re great dogs but they arrived at LAPS with very little life experience and in desperate need of a few doggy manners. They’ve come a long way but they’re looking for a very specific, very special home to call their own and these things take time. While they wait, their trainer Gwen is hard at work teaching them the skills they need to be great companions for their future family.
These dogs are just three examples of the many “special needs” dogs that we see. They need a little bit extra in terms of medical care or training and as a result, will often end up taking much longer to be adopted. It’s always a celebration when we wave them off with their new families and we’re extremely grateful to the people who welcome them into their lives. As I’m sure you can imagine, the longer we care for them and the more we discover their likes, dislikes and all the little quirks that make them unique and special, the harder it is to say goodbye. We’re so fortunate that we have the time, space and resources to find perfect homes for our special pooches. The follow up phone calls and emails, full of happy stories and big, doggy grins, fill our hearts and keep us going. Their original owners they might have thought they were too expensive or too much work but we know these dogs are worth every penny and every second spent on them!