Karin Sherbin

Karin Sherbin

An acquaintance excitedly showed me her new puppy and, while we cooed over the cute bundle, he passed a six-inch worm.

She had found the dog on Craigslist, and the original owner — who had claimed the puppy had been wormed — could not be reached after the infestation discovery. My acquaintance went to Craigslist because she swore she couldn’t find a puppy at the local shelters/rescues.

Is there a local shortage of puppies in shelters and rescues?

Laura Doty Linn of Central Virginia Regional Rescue said, “We nearly always have puppies available for adoption. I would say about 30% of our adoptions are dogs under four months. Generally, we adopt puppies within two to three weeks of listing them. Competition tends to be greater for adoption when it’s a smaller breed or a smaller litter size. Generally, though, if you are not picky about breed, and your application is good we can find you a puppy within a month or less.

“My best recommendation is to be thorough when filling out an application. Help us to see what his life with you would be like. Email to follow up. Follow Facebook pages of local shelters,” she added.

Barbe Shackelford, director with Friends of Campbell County Animal Control, has a different perspective. “The number of puppies has really dropped over the past 10 years, and I think that’s awesome. It’s much better for us to have fewer puppies than to have so many that we can’t find homes for them. It also means the spay/neuter program in our county is working.

“Spay/neuter is a big part of it, but when we have no available fosters, we do send puppies to rescues. Our group is connected to Campbell’s shelter, and we have some foster homes, but we don’t always have the right foster home at the right time to handle a litter of puppies.

“Not everyone wants the puppies that are available for adoption, such as hounds, beagles, or pittie mixes. I encourage families to consider an adult dog that has been in foster care if they really want to save a life.”

Jill Mollohan, associate director of the Lynchburg Humane Society, said, “Puppies get adopted very fast at our shelter, but we do have them frequently.”

Lynchburg Humane Society fees for puppies cover initial vaccinations, vet visit, and spay/neuter, and a microchip for $10. Mollohan said these benefits likely make adopting from humane society cheaper than if someone adopts a free puppy and pays for initial vetting services.

Mollohan advises people wanting a Lynchburg Humane Society puppy to regularly visit its website or shelter.

Here is Lynchburg Humane Society’s record of rehoming puppies three months old or younger:

2019 — 306

2018 — 397

2017 — 321

2016 — 361

2015 — 243

Lynchburg Humane Society also takes puppies from shelters where they are at euthanasia risk as part of its contribution to making Virginia a no-kill state by 2025.

With dogged determination, puppies can be had outside sketchy online sources. Or consider legitimate breeders or another species. Shelters and rescues overflow with cute kittens.

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