EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

February 15, 2008

Pelham: Officials hope Pet Adoption Day eases shelter crowding

PELHAM — There aren't too many empty dog runs at the Pelham police animal shelter.

Donna Clark, president of the Animal Rescue Network of New England, said the shelter is overflowing. She hopes most of the dogs will be matched with new families during Pet Adoption Day on Feb. 23

Clark has rescued several dogs on the euthanasia list at out-of-state shelters. Typically, the dogs have better luck finding homes here. But recently, the adoptions have not kept pace with the number of dogs — and cats — in need of homes.

It's turned into an unusually long wait for Keyton, a collie mix about 8 or 9 years old.

Animal Control Officer Allison Downing said Keyton has a sweet face and disposition, but his age works against him, and it's been hard to find a suitable new owner.

Keyton, whose nickname is "Pappy," has been living at the shelter since July. He's among several dogs from a New York City shelter whose manager called Clark for help. "She had exhausted all the possibilities," Clark said. "This was last call." The shelters in Manhattan are overwhelmed with unwanted animals.

"We took in the old buck." she said. Clark also took some younger dogs from the New York City shelters and from Virginia, and is working to get new homes for them, too.

All the dogs will be at Pet Adoption Day at the Pelham Congregational Church, 2 Main St., on Feb. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meanwhile, people who might want to adopt Keyton or the other dogs can find applications online at www.arnne.org.

Keyton has been adopted twice in Pelham so far, but both homes did not work out and sent him back to the shelter, Clark said.

Clark said she hopes to find a home — perhaps with a female dog where Keyton will be happy. She is ruling out homes with young children because he has arthritis and would not do well with youngsters climbing on him.

How to Help

What: Pet Adoption Day

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23

Where: Pelham Congregational Church, 2 Main St. (across from fire station)

Information: www.arnne.org

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