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Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Help for selecting the right shelter dog.

It might be love at first sight, but how do you know the attraction will stand the test of time? No, I’m not talking about an online dating website, I’m talking about a system developed to match adopters with shelter dogs for maximum compatibility.

The “Meet Your Match Canine-ality Adoption Program” was developed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as a way to reduce the likelihood that a dog adopted from a shelter would be returned. The system helps to determine which types of households are best suited with which types of dogs. There is also a similar system to match cats to potential adopters.

Shelter dogs are assessed based on their level of:

  • friendliness and sociability
  • playfulness
  • energy level
  • motivation (internal, external or human)
  •  manners

Each dog is assigned a color category based on energy level:

  • green
  • orange
  • or purple

Potential adopters also complete a survey assessing their lifestyle and are also assigned a color. Green adopters do best with dogs who like to be physically and mentally stimulated, orange adopters are a good fit with medium-energy level dogs who crave regular activity and interaction and purple adopters are most compatible with easygoing dogs.

Potential adopters aren’t limited to dogs within their color code, but the coding gives adoption counselors more insights and helps adopters make more informed decisions. Shelters report that return rates have dropped since the introduction of this program. Locally, the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) uses this system to type the dogs and cats available for adoption.

Rattlesnake Aversion Training

What would you do if you and your dog encountered a rattlesnake? It’s a real possibility on some of the trails in the South Bay. The Santa Clara Dog Training Club is sponsoring a rattlesnake aversion training class on Sunday, April 22 in Morgan Hill. The cost is $75 per dog and the dogs receive individual attention. For more information and to register, visit the Santa Clara Dog Training Club website.

Pet of the Week

This week’s pet in need of a loving home is Jasper, a 9-year-old harrier mix. A harrier is similar to a beagle or English foxhound. Jasper did have a hernia in his diaphragm area, but he’s recovered nicely. The shelter staff say he has a wonderful, friendly personality. If you’re looking for a well-mannered companion, Jasper’s your guy.

For more information on Jasper and other dogs available for adoption, visit the SVACA website.

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