Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It?s raining pups

Animal Shelter has several litters up for adoption

Express Staff Writer

These three "tropical fruit" puppies are among several litters up for adoption at the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, near Hailey. Courtesy photo by Andrea Nelson.

At the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley near Hailey, one can usually find a young dog to adopt. But this year there is a glut of litters.

One litter of puppies was apparently abandoned in the southern Wood River Valley and one litter is the result of an unwanted pregnancy in a purebred mother, a flyer released by the shelter states.

"This is quite an anomaly," shelter director Dr. Joanne Dixon said. "In 2007, we had one litter all year. We have a really successful spay program and this is not a reflection of that. We spayed almost 400 dogs last year.

"But the valley is growing. I don't know if economic hardship is involved. People say they find the litters. We did have one litter we were told was abandoned but we found a poster at the grocery. So we contacted the owners and had the mother spayed. It's hard for the animals that have been here for awhile since puppies tend to go first and when they get bigger they're not as adoptable. It's difficult to raise puppies in a shelter."

There are several litters at the shelter, each with its own name: four black-and-brown "presidentials"; three new retriever-and-German-shepherd mixes called Miley, Billy Ray and Cyrus; three "tropical fruits"; five of the "Irish" litter; and three of the 4-month-old "Frenchies"—Pepito, Pierre and Muriel.

"We just want people to know it's really easy to have your pet spayed," Dixon said.

The animal shelter offers spay and neuter clinics in spring and fall. The shelter absorbs all veterinary costs of sterilization procedures for qualified individuals. It also will pay for spaying and neutering of the community's senior citizens' pets.

For more information, visit or call 788-4351.

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