The Columbia County Humane Society has not yet received useful information about two dogs that were left on its property in January, but their chances for adoption seem good.
On the morning of Jan. 16, somebody placed an American Staffordshire mix and American bully in crates that the Portage facility stores outside of its building. The Humane Society sought information about the dogs in an effort to train them more effectively and it received a half-dozen tips and inquiries, all of them “dead ends,” said Jennifer Schkirkie, shelter manager.
“People have called us about dogs they once owned that were stolen, and from as far away as Minnesota,” Schkirkie said. “But we still don’t know who left them here.”
The dogs, both males, are between the ages of 3 and 5 years. They were understandably scared initially, Executive Director Susan Bratcher said, which is why the Humane Society wanted to learn their names and other information like their favorite toys or treats.
Trainers have since named the American bully “Snoopy,” and so far he is responding better to training than the American Staffordshire mix, named “Sampson,” Bratcher said.
“Both dogs have been taken outside of their kennel, which is a good thing,” Bratcher said. “Snoopy has been out on walks, but Sampson has not. It is taking him longer to trust people.”
The dogs apparently were well taken care of before being left behind, Schkirkie said — they were not skinny and one of them likely had his ears cropped professionally.
Some people have expressed an interest in adopting both dogs, but adopting both is not a requirement for applicants.
“If we can get one ready to go and start his new life, we’ll let him go,” Bratcher said.
The Humane Society puts dogs through various temperament and handling tests before they’re placed for adoption. Those include basic handling such as picking up and touching their feet and touching them all over their bodies without incident, Bratcher said in an email.
“Can we safely hug the dog? Can we safely exchange food bowls in their kennels?” Bratcher continued. “We also play fetch to see if they will give up their toys safely.”
Basic daily observations include seeing how the dogs interact with new people and environmental stimulation. They are also tested in dog-to-dog interactions and to see if they’re compatible with cats.
“CCHS is an adoption guarantee facility, which means any dog or cat who comes into CCHS and is adoptable gets the chance to stay here as long as they need to find a home,” Bratcher said. “There are times when CCHS has to euthanize. Those instances include major medical issues, where the best option medically for the animal is humane euthanasia, and major behavioral issues when an animal is not safe to handle or could pose a danger to the public or the staff.”
The Humane Society raises money for its Bibi Fund, which helps cover medical costs beyond normal veterinary care including dentals, amputations, tumor removals and more, Bratcher said. The fund has also sponsored classes for dogs in need of more behavior help.
For more information about the Bibi Fund, call the Columbia County Humane Society at 608-742-3666.