The Lucas County dog warden is hoping a drop in the adoption fee will reduce overcrowding of dogs at the pound.
A dog can be adopted for just $25 this month in a special promotion, “Christmas in July.”
Dog Warden Julie Lyle said the kennels are close to capacity with dogs looking for homes. Several more are coming in every day.
“We have 166 dogs currently and some of them have been waiting a long time for a home,” Lyle said. “We had 10 dogs per day come in last week and we are approaching capacity.”
Lyle would not give a number when it came to capacity, but said the pound has kennels for both large and smaller dogs and that it’s hard to define.
Two-thirds of the dogs are picked up as strays while one third are owner surrenders, she said.
Lyle said she has “heard it all” when it comes to reasons people give up their dogs.
“I have heard they had to get rid of the dog because they are moving, they or a child has allergies, the dog barks too much, and they can’t house train the dog,” Lyle said. “The problem is, many people get these dogs as puppies and they do not train them properly. Now they have a dog with an annoying issue. Many of the dogs we have just need a little help becoming great family members.”
Lyle said at any given time, approximately 40 percent of the dogs in the pound are pit bull mixes. The pound also houses dogs that are being “bite quarantined” as well as those being held by courts.
Dogs could be euthanized if space becomes limited. However, Lyle said it has never happened since Lucas County Commissioners hired her in March 2010 to replace controversial long time warden Tom Skeldon, who had resigned in January of that year following intense criticism for having one of the highest kill shelters in the area.
“Space is a limiting factor,” said Lyle. “We do not want to euthanize because of space. We work hard to make sure we do not have to do that. We have never had to do that since I took office. We hold special adoption events like this and we work with outside organizations so we do not have to euthanize.”
Lyle said many factors contribute to an uptick in the numbers of dogs coming to the pound, such as the weather.
“In the middle of winter, there are not as many dogs running loose,” Lyle said. “The kids being home from school also adds to the problem. The kids are running in and out of the house, not paying attention, and the dog takes off.”
The pound has a variety of dogs up for adoption. Big, medium and small, everything from Bull Mastiff mixes to Chihuahuas, puppies, adults and seniors, can be found there. After the promotion is over in August, the adoption fee goes back up to $100, she said.
Dogs are spayed or neutered, wormed, vaccinated and have been heartworm tested. They have been evaluated for behavior and micro-chipped, Lyle said, adding they have a couple of dogs who went through the PHD (Prisoners Helping Dogs) program who are especially well trained.
Some dogs have been at the pound longer than others. Hopes are high Christmas will come early and they will be adopted during the event.
“These are wonderful dogs all looking for good homes,” said Lyle. “Some dogs have sponsors that have donated part of their adoption fee so the only thing that will need to be paid is the license fee, which is $25 in Lucas County.”
The Lucas County Dog Warden, located at 410 S. Erie Street in Toledo, is also seeking volunteers. Donations such as blankets, towels and dog supplies are always appreciated. The warden’s office recommends that your dog always wear a license and proper identification so that it may be found if it ever goes missing. To search for a missing dog, or for more information, call the warden’s office at 419-213-2800.
Photos of dogs available for adoption at the pound are on the Lucas County dog warden’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lucascountydogwarden and www.petfinder.com/shelters/lucascountydogs.