The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

August 22, 2013

Rescuers try to help pets that need each other

LOS ANGELES — Ivan, Domino and Joshua arrived together at the animal shelter when their ailing owner could no longer care for them. To get adopted, they will need to go as one.

The shepherd-husky mix, Dalmatian mix and Benji-lookalike will stay at the New York shelter until someone will take all three because the owner took legal steps to keep his dogs together and well cared for before he entered a Texas rest home.

Despite email blasts to supporters, social media posts and a video on talk show host Howard Stern’s website, there have been no takers since they arrived June 14 at a Long Island shelter.

The plight of the threesome points to the challenge of finding homes for multiple pets that must be adopted as a package deal to honor a previous owner’s request or to keep inseparable pets together. Shelters and rescue workers have to get creative in their pitches to place multiple animals in the same home.

“They are such a dignified trio of dogs,” said Joanne Yohannan, senior vice president of operations for New York’s North Shore Animal League America, said of Ivan, Domino and Joshua. “It’s going to take a very special person, someone who has the room and will love them.”

To help with a multiple adoption, some shelters waive adoption fees or sponsor two-for-one deals. When shelters across the county cope with an annual kitten population explosion, prices drop drastically for those who can take multiple pets. There are lots of extras thrown in too, like spaying or neutering, microchips and collars.

If a bonded pair is separated, animals could exhibit bad behavior, such as destructiveness or aggressiveness toward people, said Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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