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Humane Society: More than Chihuahuas in need of good homes

By Debbie Carson, Online Editor

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — In the days following a breeder relinquishing 75 Chihuahuas and a pug to the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County, more than 200 adoption applications have been filled out.

It could take months to adopt out the Chihuahuas, according to Humane Society officials. But those looking for a dog – or a cat – to bring into their family don’t have to wait that long.

“Find a dog that does well with your family,” said Janet Winikoff, the director of education for the Humane Society.

Bam Bam is one such dog that might do well with many families. He’s a 5-year-old Labrador mix who has been at the Humane Society since Sept. 4.

Winikoff said that the staff at the Humane Society is torn over the Chihuahuas and the dogs already at the shelter.

“We want to see the Chihuahas adopted,” Winikoff said, but there’s “a great dog like Bam Bam sitting here.”

People come into the facility set on one type of dog and “lose sight of what’s important,” she added.

“They’re so focused on ‘I’ve got to have a certain breed,'” Winikoff said.

The Humane Society is currently caring for about 150 dogs, all of which are in need of a good home. And half are ready to go home now.

What might surprise some visitors to the Humane Society is that 40 percent of the animals that come in annually are from breeders and pet stores – and many are purebreds, according to Winikoff.

But they only papers they come with is “basically just newspaper,” Winikoff said, explaining that the Humane Society places the same value on purebreds as it does mutts.

“We always have lots of animals that are looking for homes,” she said.

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