Lodi City Council members Tuesday learned that some of the loudest and messiest overnight visitors at the Lodi Animal Shelter were four tropical birds, and that purebred dogs are frequently up for adoption.
Shelter supervisor Jennifer Bender led the five council members around the shelter and the building where people can adopt or register their pets as part of the council’s early morning study session.
“Coming and getting to actually see what we are talking about is very nice of you guys,” Bender said.
Bender led the council through “Kittie Cat Cabin,” a room decorated with small pieces of artwork where people interested in adopting a cat can sit down and see if there is a match.
The city officials also spent time in the intake area, where animals are first housed and evaluated when they come to the shelter.
Then the tour went to the dog kennels, where a terrier-Chihuahua mix, a basset hound-lab mix and a lab-pitbull mix barked and wagged their tails as the council members put their hands up to the cages, which have both indoor and outdoor areas.
Following are some of the topics city leaders learned about at the meeting:
How do I adopt an animal?
To adopt a cat or dog, residents must be at least 18 years of age, have current and verifiable of identification and live where pets are allowed.
All adopted animals are spayed or neutered and have up-to-date vaccinations. Dogs, which cost anywhere between $100 to $150 depending on their size, also have microchips, Bender said.
Animals are adopted through both the shelter and People Assisting Lodi Shelter, a nonprofit that rescues and adopts out dogs and cats from the shelter.
To adopt, you can go to the Lodi Animal Shelter at 1345 W. Kettleman Lane, call them at 209-333-6741, or visit their website at www.lodi.gov/animal services/adoption_program.html.
Adoption hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For more information on how to adopt through People Assisting Lodi Shelter, go to their offices at 1405 W. Kettleman Lane, call them at 209-224-0354, email pals.lodi@yahoo. com or visit www.palslodi.org and www.petfinder.com.
Center hours are Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
What if I want a German shepherd or a yorkie?
The shelter frequently does receive purebred dogs, Bender said.
The most common purebred they receive is a German shepherd, but they also get poodles, Rottweilers, Yorkshire terriers and miniature pinschers.
The shelter keeps a request list, so if you are looking for a specific breed, you can call and get your name added.
“You are coming to save a life at the animal shelter regardless of whether it’s a purebred or a mix,” Bender said.
Should I consider an older dog or cat?
The shelter and PALS have many older animals, especially cats.
Older pets can be great for seniors who want a low-maintenance pet, Bender said. It also is easier to see the personality of older cats and dogs, so people can really know if the animal will fit in with their family.
“Older dogs are not going to chew up anything, and they are potty-trained. If you go with an older cat, they aren’t going to chew and scratch up your furniture,” Bender said.
What are some of the weirdest animals to end up in the shelter?
The shelter is known for getting dogs and cats, but sometimes unexpected animals also come through the door. Council members were surprised to find a rabbit that was abandoned at Lodi Lake in the cat intake section.
Other animals have included turtles, iguanas and four exotic birds — two cockatoos, a macaw and an African gray.
One time they even picked up a goat.
“You walked into the dog section, and in the cages, it was a dog, dog, goat, dog,” Bender said.
The officers usually contact a rescue organization or someone in the community they know has experience keeping these different animals.
How can I volunteer?
Both PALS and the shelter have opportunities for dog walking, cat cuddling, grooming animals, feeding, doing laundry and cleaning cages.
Volunteers are also needed to provide foster homes for shelter animals that need care before being placed in permanent homes.
PALS runs the office for the shelter, so they need help answering phones, filing and copying, and volunteers are also needed for the PALS thrift store on Main Street.
For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Michelle or Gail at the adoption center at 209-224-0354 or download a volunteer application from www.palslodi.org.