I am the one doing this column because last week Diane wrote about the rescue dogs at Lucky Puppy, the new nonprofit “rescue and retail” shop on Ventura Blvd. But the problem with Diane is that she is not a rescue or even a dog, either. I am both of those things so you should read my column instead. Or both, but mine first I think.
But first I have a squirrel update for the dogs, because we care! You read here on the Patch about Sherman the squirrel that bothers me every day. Well, earlier this week me and my peoples found Sherman shredding the cover that goes over the deck chairs in the winter so we had to throw it away. And then later we saw Sherman sitting in the trees looking super-duper fat! So we think now that Sherman may really be a girl who is not fat but pregnant and planning to make a nest for the squirrel babies out of our deck chair cover. Then all of them will bother me.
OK, after my squirrel break I’m back to the subject. Guess what, on Thursday I got to interview a very important person about a very important subject at a very important meeting at Aroma, on Tujunga Boulevard (I got a biscuit to eat at this meeting). Her names are Jennifer Warner Jacobsen (she has three of them) and she is director of shelter outreach for Adopt-A-Pet.com, a nonprofit that lets you search for a dog online!
Maybe you won’t be lucky enough to find a dog like me just by mistake. I was found outdoors then taken care of and given a home so I get to be somebody’s puppy forever and ever. But since you are always on your computer anyway (that’s how peoples are) you can go to the website and search for whatever kind of dog you want, all over the country. Or any kind of pet, like if you want a cat or a rat they have those, too. Even a horse and a lizard. I forgot to ask about pigs.
This is how it works, says Jennifer Warner Jacobsen. You plug in what you want by criteria that you think are a good idea, like breed, size, age and zip code in case you don’t want to drive very far to get your dog or cat or rat. Then, the brain inside your computer will search everywhere and find some pets that match what you want.
The computer will tell you where they are and you can go to there and see if you are a match! You still have to see if you qualify to take the dog home and if the dog likes you too. You can’t just order one and they mail it to your house. But maybe it will work, or maybe while you are there at the shelter you will find another pet that’s better for you! Also you can even get updates in your e-mail when a dog that might want you for a parent enters the database.
This is a good system because you know what you are getting. It’s not the same as having a people baby that you don’t get to meet until you have already painted their room yellow or pink or blue. You don’t even know if you will like the baby you get or if it will like you. Probably so, but there should be a website.
I don't think you should care about whether you get a purebred dog because we are all dogs on the inside even the Chihuahuas, but if you do care that’s OK because Jennifer Warner Jacobsen says 20% of rescue dogs in shelters are purebreds. Since millions of shelter animals are put down each year, she says nobody needs to go to dog breeder to find their perfect dog, purebred or any other kind, for years and years and years.
When I am out patrolling Studio City with my peoples I see lots of pet adoptions right there on the street, so Adopt-a-Pet.com is not the only way to do it, but to me it looks like a good place to start. And if you already have a dog, the dog can look over your shoulder at all the pictures on your computer and help you pick out another dog or a pig if they have them.
But just like a people trying to find a mate online, Jennifer Warner Jacobsen tells potential dog parents not just to go by looks. Do your research, she says, on the temperament of the breed and how the dog or cat or pig will fit in with your family. Consider the expense of feeding, grooming, and veterinary care. “Consult an expert,” she says.
That expert would be me, a rescue dog. I think it is such a good idea that you should do it, maybe this weekend, Sunday after breakfast would be good. But if you want to adopt Sherman the squirrel and her puppies when she has them, they are available and you can always reach me at the Patch.