Patience Helps Critters With 'Culture Shock'



For those who work with shelter animals, it is quite evident that homeless pets go through an entire gamut of feelings from shock to disbelief to despair when they are lost, abandoned or relinquished by their owners. Eventually they resolve themselves to their fate and many actually find the kind treatment they receive at Payson Humane Society to be an improvement over what they previously had. They play with other dogs, go for walks with volunteers, get special treats and, of course, lots of pats and hugs. They also receive whatever medical attention they need. For many of these animals there is actually a feeling of not wanting to leave the security of our shelter when it comes time for them to go home with their new family.

For dogs and cats who have lived one lifestyle and then are placed in a home with a completely different lifestyle, it has to be a culture shock. It could be compared to the feeling humans get when they go to another state or to a foreign country. The language is different, the food is unfamiliar, the rules are not the same. Imagine being transported to China, India, Iran or Africa and being expected to know how to behave in an unfamiliar society. That is exactly how animals may feel in a brand new setting.

For this reason we encourage adopters of our shelter animals to be patient, kind, understanding and sympathetic to the new pet's feelings and needs. Give them time to learn what is expected of them, what is allowed, what the family's schedule is. Spend extra time with a new pet to make it feel accepted and wanted. Show it the way you want things to be, and do it in a gentle, calm manner. If you have a problem, feel free to seek advice from shelter staff.

Unfortunately some people think when they bring an animal home, it should behave perfectly the minute it arrives. This is an unrealistic expectation, for animals, like children, must be taught acceptable behavior, and a well-trained pet doesn't happen overnight. Puppies, in particular, cannot completely control their elimination until they reach the age of 6 months. This means they must be taken outdoors regularly or there will be potty mistakes in the house.

Pet owners can educate themselves about how to best train an animal by going to the library to check out a book on the subject, or going online and Googling whatever question they may have. The humane society can recommend professional dog trainers or offer possible solutions to problems.

Now for a few of our adoptable pets of the week:


Harvey is a graceful, dignified, 1-year-old neutered male Black and Tan Coonhound.

He's a favorite among volunteers to take for walks because he has a rhythmic, easy prancing gait that makes you feel like you're in the ring at a top-notch dog show.

Harvey has a wonderful, even disposition and is good with people of all ages. He has a beautiful bugle voice, but he is mostly a quiet dog, unless he sees his favorite dog walker coming.

He would love to live the country life, riding in your pickup with his head hanging out the window, surveying the landscape with his nose. He'd also be content curled up at your feet on the porch or by the fire.


Tigger is an adorable 10-month-old neutered male Beagle/Jack Russell Terrier mix. He immediately stole our hearts because he is a grinning dog.

He has a short, clean-looking coat in a pretty mix of brown, white and black, and a long, happy tail with a tip that looks like it was dipped in white paint.

Despite his youth, Tigger is such a well-behaved little fellow. He is a joy to take for walks on leash and he gets along great with other dogs.

This pup is ready and willing to be your constant canine companion.


Shasta is a sweet, loving 2-1/2-month-old neutered male Australian Cattle Dog.

He is white with reddish tan spots all over his body. Shasta is one of our special needs dogs because he is deaf.

This does not inhibit his love of life at all, but his new owners will need to communicate with him by touch, sight and smell, not verbally. He can learn to follow commands when touched.

This pup is extremely people-oriented and loves children. He is gentle and well behaved, and not at all rambunctious like some youngsters.

He will make a great puppy for a family that is understanding of his needs and who will be watchful that he is always safe, either in the house, in a well-fenced yard or on leash.


Triton is a cute 1-year-old neutered male Miniature Pinscher mix.

He is a handsome little dog with his caramel brown shorthaired coat and stubby tail.

Triton is a pleasure to walk on leash and minds well. He is housebroken, too. He's a very smart, loving and energetic pup.

Come by our shelter and let him steal your heart.


Tilly is the sweetest 9-month-old spayed female Shar Pei mix pup you will ever meet.

She is our little sunshine girl, always in a cheerful mood and happy to see whoever comes by.

She is a calm, quiet dog, who barks very little and shows her attention by gently wagging her tail. She is not a very big dog and will easily fit into the passenger seat of your car, happy to be your best sidekick.

You will be proud to be seen with this pretty girl.

Payson Humane Society is located at 812 S. McLane Road. For more information, call (928) 474-5590.

Special cat adoption rate for senior citizens

During the month of March, the Payson Humane Society is offering a special cat adoption rate to people aged 60 and older. The adoption fee for adult cats, 2 years of age and older, will be just $10 when you show proof of your age.

Cats make wonderful companions for seniors, so come on in and take a look at our friendly felines at 812 S. McLane Road.

For more information, call (928) 474-5590.

Spay/neuter clinic canceled

The low-cost spay/neuter clinic scheduled for March 29 has been canceled.

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