Chico joined my household two years ago today. He’s a shelter dog and the actual date of his birth was lost in the shuffle. He was about a year and a half old when my sister’s family got him, and they had him for about three and a half years, so I figured he was about five when he came to me. When I had to pick a date of birth for him, I picked January 10th, 2005.
As coincidence would have it, today I read an interesting post about reducing or eliminating the shelter dog problem. Spaying and neutering, writer Casey Lomonaco argues, are not the solution because “Most dogs languishing in shelters are not puppies. They’re not even strays. They usually started out in a family home that for, whatever reason, neglected their training or were otherwise a bad match. The simplest way to solve shelter overpopulation is responsible dog ownership. If you choose the right dog and train him for a lifetime of companionship, you’ll make sure you aren’t contributing to the problem!”
While poor training and lack of socialization may not be the sole causes for shelter overpopulation, they are doubtless major contributing factors. My guess is that at a year and a half, Chico was too much for his first family and that’s why he went to the shelter. Read more of Casey’s post here. What do you think about the idea put forth by a commenter that shelters could do more to help people learn how to train and manage their dogs?