Shelter Dogs of the Week

This week’s shelter dogs are completely different and yet both are as sweet as can be.

First up is the lovely Mama Dog, who I’ve been calling Willow. She came into the shelter two months ago and within days, gave birth to a large litter of pups. Willow has been the best mom, diligently taking care of her dynamic brood and now that they’re weaned and off to wonderful homes, it’s mama’s turn in the spotlight.

Willow is incredibly friendly and gentle. She’s definitely a nanny figure and would love to hang out with your kids. She’s fine with other dogs as well and is scheduled to be spayed this week. After raising her pups, Willow is ready to be someone’s baby. This girl wants attention, toys, and some love. Will you open your heart and home to this super mom?

Sweet Linda is an absolute doll. She’s a pup, around 6 months old and perfectly delightful. This little lady will keep you on your toes and would fit in perfectly with an active family. Linda loves playtime and is super smart. Her gorgeous brindle coloring makes her stick out from the pack. Shelter life for a puppy isn’t ideal and little Linda is hoping you’ll stop by the MCAS to meet her. Once you do, you’re going to want to take this sweetie home with you.

So, let’s assume you’ve done your research and understand the financial cost of dog ownership and the time involved in caring for your soon-to-be best friend. You’re excited and a little apprehensive, yet ready for the huge commitment. It’s finally time to get out there and find the perfect pet.

There are many factors to consider before you decide. Reflecting on your lifestyle is a first step in the process. Are you an active person who wants a dog to go hiking or jogging with you? Are you more of the leisurely type who would enjoy hanging out on the front porch or watching TV with your pet? To pick the right dog, you should look at the needs of your family, especially if there are children or elderly relatives in your household.

It’s also important to think about the size of the dog you bring into your home. Once full-grown, will she be tiny enough to fit into your purse or large enough to take up the entire couch? Do you live in an apartment, the suburbs or on a farm? Smaller dogs are better suited to apartment living, whereas a large breed might be more comfortable with an expansive yard to roam.

After size, determining whether you want a dog with a low, medium, or high energy level is something to consider. Certain breeds like collies and blue heelers are working-class dogs and want a job to do. They require more activity than a basset hound or pug. Matching a dog to your energy level is a good way to go.

If you’re having difficulties deciding between a tiny or a large breed, you can settle on a medium-sized dog. A dalmatian, cocker spaniel or boxer would fit nicely into this category. These are the dogs that might be just as happy living in an apartment with a park close by as they would living on a country farm. Sometimes medium-sized dogs are simply easier to handle. They can be carried if needed, but you don’t have to worry about stepping on them or a coyote easily snatching them up in the backyard after dark. They usually aren’t as delicate as a small dog but are more manageable than a large one. Small dogs tend to be a bit snappier around strangers and children but might be the perfect selection if you want a dog that’s fiercely loyal and fits into your lap nicely.

Large dogs should be well-trained and have good manners or there’s a possibility they’ll drag you down the street when you take them for a walk or knock you over with their exuberance.

If you’re searching for a dual-purpose dog, one that’s a great family pet but can also guard the house and your loved ones, a German shepherd, Labrador or retriever could be the dog for you.

But don’t forget that the bigger your dog is, the more it costs to feed and medicate them.

Also, it’s important to think about what your budget is for grooming. Many breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls and hounds require little to no fur maintenance. An occasional bath is all they need. But some breeds are major shedders and if they aren’t groomed regularly, their fur will become matted. A Great Pyrenees or an old English sheepdog needs to be brushed regularly. Poodles or schnauzers typically have fancy hairdos to accentuate their breed style, which can be costly.

Floppy-eared dogs are prone to ear infections and large breeds usually have a shorter lifespan than their smaller counterparts.

Adopting a puppy can be overwhelming. It will be your responsibility to potty train the pup and teach him manners. Depending on the breed, this can be smooth sailing, or you may experience several months of trials that will thoroughly test your patience. Your furniture, shoes, and personal belongings could become casualties to sharp little teeth and expect howls of displeasure if you refuse to share your bed with the tyke. But if you have the stamina, raising a puppy is a rewarding adventure and the two of you will have each other for many years to come.

A senior dog might be for you. They have lower activity needs and will most likely be housebroken and quieter than a puppy. The only drawback to adopting an older pet is they might need special attention as they enter their golden years, including more veterinarian visits, yet sharing your home with an older dog is a truly feel-good experience.

The last type of dog on the list is a good, old-fashioned mutt. The word mutt sounds derogatory, but anyone who’s owned a Heinz 57 style of dog knows that it’s probably the biggest compliment to pay to a canine.

Because of a mutt’s mixed genes, they’re not as likely to suffer from some of the health conditions that affect purebreds, which translates to less veterinarian costs in the long run. Studies have shown that mutts might even have stronger immune systems than purebreds and they may also have fewer arthritic problems as they age.

And let’s face it, purebreds cost a lot compared to a mutt.

Regardless of whether you choose a large or small dog, old or young, purebred or mutt, there’s a good chance you can find exactly what you’re looking for at your local animal shelter. A reputable breeder might have a dog for you, but when you adopt, you’re saving a life.

So, if you’ve started your hunt for the perfect dog, remember to stop by your local animal shelter to see what they have to offer. You might be surprised at how many amazing animals there are to choose from.

The Friends of the Mason County Animal Shelter are holding an adoption event at Maysville’s Tractor Supply on Thursday, June 23 from 4-6 p.m. Volunteers will have a variety of dogs for you to meet.

The group works diligently to assist shelter animals find homes through spay/neuter, medicating, exercise, grooming, training, rescue, fostering, and social media. Volunteers will be on hand to help you through the adoption process and assist you in finding your perfect dog match. The group is currently raising money to match a $5,000 donation from a local philanthropist, and they need your help to do it. Please consider donating to help shelter animals get fixed, stay healthy, and find their forever homes.

The shelter has been over capacity for many months and are just now seeing the numbers drop due to the volunteers’ hard work and dedication. Your contribution will aid volunteers to continue the progress they’ve made and do even greater things in the future.

For your meet and greet with Willow, Linda, or any of the other lovelies at the MCAS, head on over to 301 River Drive in Maysville. Shelter hours are noon to 4 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays and until 6 p.m. on Fridays. The facility is open 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Arrangements can be made for special visitation. The shelter’s phone number is 606-564-6067. You can also contact shelter staff at [email protected] for inquiries.

The Facebook page, Friends of the Mason County Animal Shelter, provides information and pictures of shelter animals that are available for adoption. Follow their page for updates and to show your support for the movement.

If you can’t adopt, please consider donating to spay/neuter a shelter dog at Just make a notation on your donation for it to go towards a shelter dog or cat.

The best way to stop the flood of unwanted pets into your local animal shelter is to spay or neuter your pets. The Humane Society of Buffalo Trace offers $50 vouchers to assist with the cost of spaying/neutering. You can access their online application at If you have any questions, you can visit HSBT’s Facebook page. is another option to find low-cost spay/neuter options around the area.

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