Home > Animal Rescue > Adopt a shelter dog

Adopt a shelter dog

The Humboldt County Animal Shelter is full of good-looking four-leggeds who need a home.

Chase is a 10-month old Black and Tan Coonhound and German Shepherd mix.

Got room?

The Redwood Pals Rescue blog has a handy database of dogs. Please give it a look.

The Humboldt County Animal Shelter is on Facebook.

  1. walt
    January 22, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Great that someone is making it easier to adopt cast-off dogs, but I notice 21 of the 34 listed are pit bulls or pit bull mixes. Can someone explain to me why pit bulls are such a popular breed, other than their reputation as attack dogs (which presumably reflects well on the macho image of their owners)?

  2. Decline To State
    January 22, 2012 at 6:51 am

    It may be a Humboldt County thing. The last couple of family dogs we’ve had have been rescues. It’s been difficult to adopt here locally as we have no interest in pit bulls or pit bull mixes. We were told by a couple of different agencies that if you want those cute, family, Disney-type dogs you need to go over to the central valley and look around there. Sure enough, there were many (too many) there to be had.

  3. anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Pit Bulls–reminds me of the old joke about how they are different from Child Protective Services.

  4. Anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Kids and young people, who haven’t figured out the responsibility of pet ownership, get pit bull pups from their friends, don’t get them spayed and neutered and voila, exponential growth in the pit-bull cross population. Poor puppies.

  5. Cristina Bauss
    January 22, 2012 at 9:44 am

    We have an American Bulldog, now about nine years old, who was a runaway from a neighboring homestead. She kept showing up in the middle of rainstorms, and we kept taking her back. When she showed up for the fourth time, we finally decided, “Hell, if she wants to move in that badly, we’ll let her.” Our main concern was that she not eat the cats, but from the first day she was the sweetest dog. All she’s ever wanted is to hang out in front of the fire on rainy days, run around in the vineyard on sunny days, and be a lapdog when she could get away with it. Which, at 115 pounds, is a bit of a challenge.

  6. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 9:53 am

    The first pit bull I ever knew, years ago when I had never heard anything about pit bulls, was sweet and loving with people and other animals. A few years later her owners had to move because pit bulls were banned from their complex, despite the fact that she had lived there from puppyhood and had never been a problem. Some dog owners (and parents) aren’t responsible enough to raise dogs (or kids) without turning them into a menace on society.

  7. January 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Adopting a dog is fine, so what’s the cost of adoption? Is the dog really worth it?

  8. High Finance
    January 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

    My cousin’s son owns a full blood Pit Bull. It is the sweetest dog I have ever seen.

    The only problem with him is every time anyone comes over he acts like that person is his best friend and gets so excited that at 100 pounds he can knock you over if you’re not prepared !

  9. Julie Timmons
    January 22, 2012 at 11:56 am

    For the first time ever, I totally agree with HiFi’s comments. He could be talking about my dog. As a breed, the pit bull’s major drawback is that they attract irresponsible owners. The charges at the Humane Society for adoption are around $125 as I recall. Does not include the license. Don’t know what the County shelter charges are but when my old girl goes, the replacement will come from the County shelter because those dogs really are on “death row”.

  10. Julie Timmons
    January 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Walt, the reason pit bulls are so popular is because of the many things they DON’T do. They DON’T shed, bark excessively, dig your yard up. constantly try to wander like beagles do. They will try to lick you however and it is true they don’t know their own strength. .

  11. Anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Does the county shelter spay/neuter dogs before they adopt them out?

  12. diane
    January 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    If they are so popular then why are they 2 out of 3 dogs at the pound? Seems like a very unpopular and unwanted breed to me. If they are so wonderful I would think that it would be hard to find one to adopt.

  13. jr
    January 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Diane, perhaps the ones that are in the shelter are the abused dogs that were never socialized by their former owners who could not control their aggressive behavior. If you treat a dog–any dog–with respect and love, they will return the favor.

  14. Anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    They are the highest percentage at the shelter because they are the highest percentage of mixes and dogs in Humboldt County. It is unfortunate that there is a very negative culture that is attracted to them, irresponsible people who want them for the wrong reasons. It is unfair to the animals, which obviously can be excellent pets. I think the other reason the highest percentage is pit bulls is because those irresponsible types who want PBs in the first place don’t end up taking care of them properly and they end up in the pound. As a property rentals owner, we do not allow pit bulls or any on a “frequent bite list” which contains about 12 breeds. Being a dog lover, it is unfortunately out of my hands as our insurance does not allow it. I do know that some breeds cause more damage when they do bite, and pits are one of those.

  15. Pit Mom
    January 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    For anyone who might find this useful: State Farm Insurance doesn’t discriminate based on dog breed.

  16. Anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    The emblematic dog of the lower classes.

  17. Anon
    January 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I like Cesar Milan’s pitbull, Daddy. Cesar is the dog whisper. Daddy is an impressive dog. No aggression, just calm, assertive energy that Cesar uses to retrain and rehabilitate the dogs he works with.

  18. Anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    As much as I know many pit bulls that are lovely dogs, it is not discrimination for insurance companies to restrict certain dogs from their insurance policies. Actuary stats show which dogs bite the most and the insurance company is trying to lessen their risk.

  19. Matt
    January 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    “perhaps the ones that are in the shelter are the abused dogs that were never socialized by their former owners who could not control their aggressive behavior” —

    Unlikely. All the dogs available for adoption at the shelter have been temperament tested and are fully vetted.

    More likely is that irresponsible, lazy people get a cute puppy and then dump them once the pup has become an active teenager around a year old. You’ll notice that most of the dogs at the shelter are between 8 months and 2 years…


    Also, yes the dogs from the shelter come spayed/neutered. I’m pretty sure there’s a law that they have to be before being adopted by the shelter. It might be a state law.

  20. January 23, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Don’t forget to spread around the Unchain Your Dog web site, too:

  21. alley
    January 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Good website, Fred, as I was going to mention Michael Vick’s dogs. Most of Vick’s dogs have been worked with enough and by the right people so that they enjoy living with loving families, even families with small children. I, too, have known many sweet, playful pits. It is too bad that people like Michael Vick have to create such a hostile/angry/fighting environment for these dogs.

  22. Matt
    January 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    One of Vick’s worst treated dogs has ended up becoming a stellar therapy dog.

  23. Anonymous
    January 24, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Pit Bulls have been bread to fight. There are many accounts of them acting sweet for many years and then turning on someone for no apparent reason. I’m not saying that they are necessarily bad dogs if raised right. But I wouldn’t take a chance having one around kids.

  24. walt
    January 24, 2012 at 5:55 am

    “bread to fight.” Soup to nuts. Loaves to fishes. Eats, shoots and leaves.

  25. January 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Yes, all the dogs at the shelter must be spayed/neutered before they can be put up for adoption.

    The dogs there, “even” the pit bulls, are not on “Death Row”. The shelter, as far as I know (I volunteered there from the day they opened until a couple of years ago) is No Kill, so does not kill healthy, adoptable dogs or cats for space. If you would like to find out about the No Kill movement, Nathan Winograd has literally written the book in it….”Redemption”, which I highly recommend.

    Humboldt County was on the cutting edge when the then Director of the Sequoia Humane Society, Kathleen Kistler, took them No Kill, one of the first shelters in the country to do so. That was the impetus for the building of the county shelter. Lots of stupid stuff goes on in Humboldt County, but compared to much of the country, we are shining example of how animal sheltering should be done.

    BTW, the “pet overpopulation problem” is a myth, kind of an urban belief tale. By far and away, most pet dogs and cats are neutered. The only segment of the population where that lags is low income people and families. But they neuter their animals, too, when they have access to free or low-cost spay/neuter clinics. It’s simply a cost issue. And some of you can rant all you want about who and who shouldn’t have a dog based on cost, responsibility, etc. but the people who actually work in animal welfare deal with the world as it is and do their best to help where they can.

  26. luckydog
    January 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Oh that it were true that the Humboldt County Shelter is a no-kill facility. Is the writer ‘foxstudio’ confusing the Humboldt County Animal Shelter, in McKinleyville, which is operated by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, with the Sequoia Humane Society, which is an independent non-profit agency, with a board of directors? The latter (SHS) takes in animals only those they wish to; the County facility is an impound facility and is required to take in stray animals from many areas of Humboldt County.

    The County Shelter has to maintain room for incoming animals and will resort to euthanasia of animals present, in order to accomplish that. While that is never a choice that is welcomed, and every attempt is made to avoid that, it can happen. Fortunately, there is a core of volunteers who have been working hard, and continue to do so, to see that as few animals as possible are actually put to sleep.

    Due to these efforts, the County Shelter’s euthanasia rate for dogs is spectacularly low for an impound facility, year after year. Some years it has been as low as 3.9%. Compare to the typical impound facility with rates in the 40-60% range, for dogs, and you can see how well our Humboldt County Shelter is doing.

    Based on the steady rate of animal intake into the County Shelter, day in and day out, it’s hard to see why ‘foxstudio’ considers this county to not have an ‘animal overpopulation problem’ and where he/she gets the notion that most of this County’s resident companion animals are spayed or neutered. Statistics are lacking, but, what is seen at the County Shelter suggests that we at least have a problem in this County involving responsible pet ownership and that a huge percentage of the animals arriving at the County Shelter are either unneutered/unspayed, or kittens and puppies, which obviously indicate a reservoir of animals breeding accidentally.

    As ‘foxstudio’ points out, those people working in animal welfare are doing the best they can. Unfortunately, it takes a huge amount of effort, time, money and manpower. They can use all the help they can get from other like-minded individuals. Irresponsible pet ownership has huge consequences not only for the unfortunate pet, but also those whose hearts are broken by the unending supply of neglected, abused, traumatized dogs and cats and unwanted puppies and kittens, here in Humboldt County.

    My credentials in animal welfare work are based on 7 years of volunteer work at and for the Humboldt County Animal Shelter.

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