This post was inspired by the following dog. Bolt.
Bolt has been at the Glasgow Scottish SPCA center for 466 days. It doesn’t say that on the page. What inspired me is a small video on their Facebook page which can be found here.
Why has he been there that long? What’s wrong with him?
Absolutely nothing. He’s beautiful, and I can see why they named him Bolt. He runs really fast. He sits patiently next to the person in the video, allowing himself to be described, then a bit later in the short video who see him running around having fun.
So why? As someone that volunteered at an animal shelter I have a few theories. I want to dispel the myths behind what might be keeping this beautiful dog at a shelter.
First, he is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. There is no such thing as a Pit Bull. This breed falls under a category that has been called that. They can be hard to adopt out, though their reputations are getting much better as people find they are actually the dogs who fall under that umbrella are wonderful, friendly and loving.
Second, he must be the only pet in the home. This can make a dog hard to adopt, but I heard far too many times, especially with larger dogs. “Oh, is he aggressive?” Now were he a cat, no one would say that as a general rule. It would be chalked up to cats wanting their owner to themselves, etc. Well, dogs sometimes just want the house to themselves. Even if they are not too keen on other dogs in the house certainly doesn’t mean they are going to bite you, or your neighbor. They’re not mean. It’s just a personality trait. Much like a person who likes to be the only person in the apartment.
Third, he should only be around older children. Again the inevitable “Is he mean?” These questions come up more with certain breeds when it comes to this stipulation. Children at younger ages are small. They pull ears, shriek, squeal, hit the dog. Until they learn how to treat an animal, which is general better with older children. Some pets just do not have the patience for it. Would you? Again, this dog is not mean, this is just who he is. Maybe he likes quiet. Not having his ears pulled and being chased round the house no matter where he goes because little ones don’t understand not to, until they learn.
I know these things put people off. Even single people who have no children, or no other pets.
He’s not mean, vicious, antisocial, or not a good pet.
Usually with smaller dogs I found this was often over looked because “Well they are small, I can see how a child might seem like a holy terror.”
So please, when you see a dog like Bolt, and you have a home that he could fit into, give him a chance. If he catches your eye, take him out for a play, hang out with him. If he gets along with you, give him a chance.