Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Seward Animal Shelter

Regardless of where our travels takes us, the one part of it that I love most is learning about dogs and pet owners of that area.

We had a short break after a morning flight tour of Seward, which by the way, was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. More on this later.

So, we walked down to the Seward Animal Shelter. Who visits an animal shelter while on a vacation to Alaska huh?

MEEEEEEEEEEE! Here we are a the shelter, this small, old, run down building, with about 5-8 out door kennels for the dogs. Each one full to their capacity... and that's with five dogs! How nice huh! The lady who gave us the tour, said they do get busier than that... and have had to double up sometimes.

Three of the five dogs that were there, were there because they lost their owners to death. Two dogs in one family, and one, the border collie, who by the way was identical to Split (one of Doglando's Daycare Dogs) in personality.

How sad is this.... this lady was on a walk with her two dogs... the border collie and another dog... when the other dog fell into the river. Their mum jumped in, and unfortunately got taken away by the current, and she died. The dog made it to the banks. The mum's daughter was not able to care for both dogs, so she took the one that survived the fall into the river, while the border collie awaits her forever home at Seward Animal Shelter.

If I could have, and trust me the temptation was huge!!!!!!!! I would have taken her with us. We took her out to play with her, and the first thing she did was.............................................. yep! Get the tennis ball!

Then she dropped it in front of us and backed up while stalking us, just waiting for the throw.

The other two older dogs (8 and 12) who also lost their parent, await anxiously for a new home.

Maggie the beagle mix has been at the shelter the longest. When we took her out to play, she quickly let us know who ruled the roost around there.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was reported to be temporarily lost.... thankfully his owner was going to come and claim him.

What we learned about this shelter:

It fascinates me to learn how shelters around the Nation operate, where they get their funding from, how the dogs end up there, how the funds are used, and in general how they operate. For most businesses and services we have protocols to follow, and we are confronted by different governmental agencies to ensure we abide by and are in good standing of rules and regulations.

An industry that really needs to be monitored, and is not is the Animal Services / Pet Industry. Through my travels I have seen many operations, pet related businesses/services and different animal rescue facilities.... and they vary so much.

Despite the fact that Seward Animal Shelter is a small, run down, hidden, out door facility, the dog's truly seemed quite adjusted. There was no barking, they all go play time with one another in the small courtyard, and every dog had plenty of toys to play with. Best of all, each kennel had at least three or four interactive toys, and the volunteer who showed us around emphasized the importance of that to us. She said she fills the kongs with treats daily, and sometimes a couple times a day... "it keeps them happy and busy."

Each dog had a doggy house to go into, and plenty of blankets and bedding. The volunteer lady who ran the shelter single handed manned 5 dogs, at least 20 cats, a litter of kittens, and people coming in to visit.... yet no poop to be found anywhere. She told us, "it was very important to allow the dogs to relieve outside of their kennels, as they typically are potty trained and don't like to lay in the same area they go potty."

I thought this was the greatest thing ever!

Prior to our departure, we left them a Donation on behalf of every Doglando Dog. They were most greatful, and we knew it was going directly to the care of the dogs.

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