Shelter dogs really are great dogs

WTOP's David Burd offers a first-person perspective on why you should get a dog from a shelter.

Editor’s Note: WTOP’s David Burd is an absolute dog lover. He owns a kennel in Urbana, Md., and recently toured the Frederick County Animal Shelter.

David Burd,

I was watching the Westminster Dog show and saw that one of the contestants was a dog that had been abused and malnourished.

The dog was purchased from craigslist (of all places) and the new owner nursed it back to good health, so good in fact that he entered the dog for competition in the Westminster show.

Watching that show made me realize that it just goes to prove that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a pure-bred dog to be a winner.

I recently toured the Frederick County Animal Shelter.

The Frederick County shelter receives up to 6,000 dogs a year. About 52 percent are strays and the remainder are brought in for economic reasons. The owners have either lost a job, or there is a health issue with a family member.

Whatever the reason for these dogs being in a shelter, one fact is clear: It is not their fault and they are good dogs. In Frederick County, if you find a dog at the shelter you like, all it will cost you is $92. This includes spaying or neutering and shots.

All the dogs that I have ever had have been rescues, or I got them from a shelter. They have been the joy of my life. They give you unconditional love and wet sloppy kisses.

I was lucky that I didn’t have $92 on me at the time of my tour, otherwise I would have put 3-month-old Victoria in my car. She is a Portuguese Water mix.

This is why I cannot go to an animal shelter without adult supervision, otherwise I would come home with a pack of dogs.

The other reason I didn’t get Victoria is because my dog, Diesel, wouldn’t approve. He has a one man, one dog policy. I think he would have loved Victoria

Before you spend a lot of money on a dog, please go to your local animal shelter and check out the fuzzy faces that are there. They want and need a home and I’m more than sure that you will be more than happy.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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