Starting on March 20, the Copper Country Humane Society will be implementing new policies about the way we allow visitors to interact with shelter dogs. We will no longer be allowing free access to our dog population area. When you arrive at the shelter, there will be books up front with photos and bios of our current dogs available for adoption. If you are a dog walker, you are more than welcome to look at the book and let staff know which dog you’d like to walk, or you can let us choose for you. If you are looking for a new forever friend to adopt, you can look at the photos and let us know who you are interested in meeting or if you’ve already seen a dog online, you can ask us about that dog.
There are some very important reasons for these changes:
- Most importantly, less stress on our dogs! The animals are why we are here. Their physical, mental and emotional health is very, very important to us. We get anywhere from 50-150 visitors during each open shift. Can you imagine that many people staring at you? Well, many of our dogs don’t like it. We have put signs up asking people not to stand in front of certain kennels, yet still we catch people teasing dogs, taking videos of very stressed out dogs leaping off the walls of their kennel and so on. What not everyone understands is that these behaviors can get worse over time, especially when encouraged by the observer who is laughing, mocking, barking back, etc. Stressed out dogs can start to have increasingly worse behavioral issues, and this makes it more difficult for them to be adopted. Unfortunately, stressed out and anxious dogs can also turn into aggressive dogs. Dogs have big teeth! We like to keep them in their mouth and off our skin.
- More communication! Talking about the dogs we have and what you are looking for leads to a much better understanding of what you need, your expectations, what the dog’s needs are and leading you to the best match for your home. If you are looking for a dog to be a couch potato, it’s unreasonable to expect a young, spunky and energetic dog to be your perfect companion.
- Giving dogs a chance that otherwise wouldn’t have one! So many times people go in the dog area and come back up front telling us how mean or aggressive some of the dogs are. That is so far from the truth! They are not mean at all, but have barrier reactivity. This is stress-induced behavior. These dogs will have a much better chance at being adopted by being seen one-on-one without immediate judgment based on how they act in a kennel. Those dogs deserve the best forever homes as well as the ones that are calmer in the kennels, and this will give them the best opportunity to find that home.
Thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to strive to always do the best we can for our shelter dogs and cats.