Alturas seems to end up with a number of Pit Bulls and Pit Mixes in the City Shelter, and many of them are very nice dogs that would make great pets. We have always worked very hard to take these people- and dog-friendly dogs, regardless of age or breed, but I am afraid that will have to change for now.
For a variety of reasons, even the friendliest Pits and Pit mixes seem to take anywhere from two to six months to place in new homes, compared to one month for other breeds. For instance, Charlie Brown, shown in the photo at the right, is one of the friendlies dogs I have ever met, loved to fetch and had no issues at all, yet was with us for six months! With Foster Homes so limited now, that means that for every Pit we take, we will not have room for as many as six other dogs.
SHORT TERM PLAN: I hate that it comes down to statistics, but for the short term, we will not be able to take Pit Bulls or Pit Bull Mixes that are over six months old from the shelters until we can implement our long term plan.
YOU can be part of that plan!
LONG TERM PLAN: We are in the process of building an all volunteer "Pit Bull Team". The Team will only be asked to work with Modoc's excess Pit Bull population, and will consist of a Team Manager, Foster Homes, Trainers, Transporters, and Exercisers. By spreading the responsibilities, we should be able to not only improve the adaptability of every Pit Bull we take in, but also shorten the adoption time and make the care of these dogs enjoyable and rewarding for all concerned. Here is how the responsibilities break down.
TEAM MANAGER: The Manager is responsible for keeping track of the Team members and their Foster Dogs, uploading the dog's information to the website (HPHS will show you how!), communicating with the Dog Program Manager regarding any team needs, and establishing relationships with other rescues and agencies that might take our dogs as transfers or help them get adopted. The Team Manager also makes sure every dog and human accepted into the program is getting the attention and help they need, and works with the HPHS Dog Program Coordinator to evaluate dogs for acceptance into the program.
FOSTER HOMES: All the dogs will stay in Foster Homes, with a maximum of two dogs (who get along with each other) per Foster Home, so we will need several foster homes to make this program work. The Team Manager will make sure every foster home gets the time off they need from fostering, and HPHS will provide all the equipment, medical attention, and food needed to keep the dogs safe and healthy. Ideally, all Foster Homes will be assigned an all-weather kennel facility (we call them Pup Huts) to keep the dogs safe, sound and separated from the household pets when needed.
TRAINERS: The Team will have one or two dog trainers available who can evaluate dogs for acceptance into the Pit Bull Team, and help our Team Members train the dogs so they have the skills they need to be adopted.
TRANSPORTERS: Transporters will do exactly that - take dogs to and from appointments, homes, adoption events, and to their destination home or rescue as needed and their time allows. If needed, the gas used by Transporters can be reimbursed at the Federal Rate for non-profit organizations, (currently 14 cents per mile).
EXERCISERS: These volunteers will go to the foster homes on a regular basis to exercise the foster dogs. Team Dog Trainers will be available to assist Exercisers during the first few meetings to be sure everything goes smoothly.
HPHS DOG COORDINATOR: The HPHS Dog Coordinator will work with the Team Manager to ensure the Team gets the resources it needs to care for the dogs. HPHS will write grants for the program, pay for all shots and spay and neuter costs, as well as food, and work with Foster Homes to make sure they have the equipment they need to care for the HPHS dogs on their property.
Want to change the world for Modoc Pits?? JOIN THE TEAM! If you are thinking about helping, please message Jenn Andersen at HPHS@Ymail.com to talk more about it!