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A month for man's best friend

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and Lodi-area rescues have plenty of dogs in need of a home

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Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:30 pm

Did you know that October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month?

Lodi — like many cities — has dozens of dogs looking for a safe, happy forever home. But before you rush out to the Lodi Animal Shelter, here’s a little advice from local experts on how to choose your new best friend.

One of the most important steps: Research the kind of dog you want.

“The first thing they should do is look into the different types of breeds

they may be interested in,” said Stephen Curr, a PALS volunteer who works with the Lodi Animal Shelter.

Even if all you know is you want a large dog or a small dog, different kinds of dogs have different needs as far as space and activity goes.

“(They should) try to figure out the activity level they will be able to provide for the dog,” he said.

Lodi Animal Services Officer Jennifer Bender echoed Curr’s advice. If you are an active person, you want an active dog, she said. If you’re more sedentary, then look for a dog with less energy.

But it goes beyond that, Curr said.

If you’re active but work all week and go to a lot of weekend events, you’re not going to want a large, energetic dog. You have to make the best decision for both yourself and the dog. That goes for small dogs, too, said Pat Sherman, the founder of Animal Friends Connection, a Lodi humane society.

“Just because you think it’s the cutest dog you ever saw, doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for your family,” she said.

For example, families who are out of the house a lot may want to adopt two bonded dogs, she said. One dog may get lonely left at home all day; two will play and entertain each other.

Small dogs are often a good fit for someone without a lot of space, or who isn’t very active, simply because of their size. They can be happy with short walks and a game of fetch near the armchair.

For a family with young children, though, they’re often too fragile. Young children rarely hurt a dog intentionally, Sherman said, but they might fall while running or try to pick a small dog up and drop them accidentally.

With large dogs, this isn’t much of a problem, but it could badly hurt or frighten a small dog, she said.

Animal Friends Connection and many other local shelters are happy to help a family find a dog that fits their lifestyle, and to work with small children so they know how to play with their canine pals safely, Sherman said.

“Everybody should have a dog,” she said.

When it’s time to go meet the dog of your dreams, make sure to do it right.

“I definitely would make sure you bring your whole family, so they’re all involved in the adoption,” Bender said.

That way, you can make sure everyone from the family gets along with your new pooch, and they can get to know their potential new family, too.

If you have another dog, ask the shelter about bringing them along for a meet-and-greet, Bender added.

The best way to get started is to go on shelter websites or Petfinder.com and begin learning more about the animals in the area. Take note of the ones who catch your attention, and consider arranging a meeting.

“We’ve got a great variety of small, medium and large dogs, so there’s something here to fit almost every home environment or family environment,” Curr said.

Adoptable dogs in Lodi


A month for man's best friend: Anakin

Anakin has a lot of energy - he would probably make a great hiking companion. He's a 2 1/2-year-old heeler and terrier mix, and gets along well with dogs, cats and kids. He's been neutered and vaccinated.


A month for man's best friend: Clifford

Clifford is a young, active terrier mix. He loves to play with other dogs - especially a game of chase. He's been neutered and vaccinated.


A month for man's best friend: George

George is a playful, sweet Chihuahua mix, just about 3 years old. He can be shy, but warms up quickly. He's been neutered and vaccinated, and prefers a home without young children.


A month for man's best friend: Oliver

Oliver, or Ollie for short, is a Chihuahua mix and a little over a year old. He likes to be held, and gets along well with other dogs. HeÕs been neutered and vaccinated.


A month for man's best friend: Sandy

Sandy loves people (and belly rubs!) and gets along well with other dogs. She loves attention. Sandy has seizures, but is otherwise a happy dog. She has been spayed and vaccinated.


A month for man's best friend: Sawyer

Sawyer is a German shepherd, Labrador and border collie mix, and he's about 4 months old. He is friendly and well-mannered with a lot of energy. He's been neutered and his vaccinations are current.

Oliver and Sandy's portraits courtesy of 4 Paws Pet Photography.

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