Stray dog deemed worthy of adoption after all
A stray dog that was headed toward death at a King County animal shelter last month has been cleared for adoption by the nonprofit Animals First Foundation.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Animals First Foundation: www.animalsfirstfoundation.org
A stray dog that was headed toward death at a King County animal shelter last month has been cleared for adoption by a nonprofit animal-rescue organization.
Carina Borja, founder of the Animals First Foundation in Seattle, said Ben, a large golden retriever mix, has shown no signs of aggressiveness since he was taken to a dog-rehabilitation facility in Fall City on July 15.
Auburn resident Jim Giuntoli found Ben and a terrier-mix companion wandering in traffic on Interstate 5 near Kent last month.
Earlier assessments at the King County Animal Shelter in Kent and the Seattle Humane Society in Bellevue showed Ben aggressively protected his food and toys if they were disturbed. At the county shelter, he received the lowest possible scores on food-bowl behavior and "body handling."
Giuntoli and his wife, Kim, dubious about those test scores and worried that Ben would be put down, adopted the two dogs and delivered them to the privately operated Humane Society.
The Giuntolis were concerned about Ben's fate because Buddy, a stray black Lab they had taken to the Kent shelter earlier, was euthanized despite their pleas to be allowed to adopt him. The couple's effort to rescue the dogs was the subject of a June 25 Seattle Times article.
King County Executive Ron Sims' office asked a county public-health veterinarian to investigate whether proper procedures had been followed in Buddy's case. That report has not been released.
Several independent reviews of the county's Kent and Bellevue shelters have found overcrowded, sometimes unsanitary conditions that spread disease and hamper efforts to reduce the number of dogs and cats euthanized.
The Metropolitan King County Council has appropriated nearly $1 million for interim improvements while studying whether the county should continue to operate shelters.
At the Humane Society, Ben's wandering companion, Barney, was quickly OK'd for adoption, and placed in a home. But the Humane Society agreed with the Kent shelter that Ben wasn't ready for adoption.
Preparing him for adoption would take longer than the Humane Society could spend on one animal, said Executive Director Brenda Barnette. "Almost any behavioral issue can be corrected with the right amount of time and resources. Since we're totally privately supported, everything is done with the donors' dollar."
Giuntoli agreed to take Ben back and place him with an Animals First Foundation trainer.
Two trainers worked with him and quickly concluded he was a gentle, if somewhat clumsy, dog that was fit for adoption, said Animals First's Borja.
"They were shocked at why this dog was judged the way he was or was told he was unadoptable."
Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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