Shelter Offers More Than 3 Strikes





Two Paws







Strike three and you’re out! That’s a pretty common phrase, but not one we use here at HSCAZ.

One example of why we don’t is Abby. Abby first came to us as a tiny puppy. She was part of an unwanted litter. She and all of her littermates were adopted. Happily ever after, or so we thought.

Within a few months, the people who adopted her brought her back. She was a long-legged pup who had been taken home and left out in the big back yard with an older dog as her companion. As puppies will without any training, she was destructive to flower beds and such. She was looking for something to play with and, in her mind, she had found it.

When the adopters brought her back, they said she was the worst dog in the world. Abby couldn’t really say much, but she did seem to be afraid of anything with a long handle on it. So Abby was back where she started. Just bigger.

It wasn’t long before a loving woman came along and saw Abby’s beautiful face and just had to have her. She went home with the woman on a trial basis, because of the horror story we had been told of her past behavior, and to see if she would fit into the lifestyle of the new adopter.

It was no time before we heard from her saying how sweet Abby was and how easily trained to follow the rules of good canine companionship. The only problem the woman said she was having was Abby seemed to be scared of men and would behave aggressively if one approached her. This problem ultimately was too much for the woman, and Abby was brought back.

We never saw any problem between Abby and men, as most of our dog yard volunteers are men, and she loves them. We even had one of the local trainers do a “man test” and she passed with flying colors. So back on the adoption line for Abby.

The next folks to fall for those beautiful brown eyes were an older couple looking for a dog they could train to be a therapy dog for the husband who was having health troubles. Well, we all learned the hard way that this long-legged hound mix was not intended for such work or to live on a tether in a small RV park. Although she loved them, their cat, their grandkids and the limpy little weenie dog mix across the way, when Abby was outside on her tether, she would defend her property passionately. This got an anonymous letter mailed to us which made us think Abby was staked out in the heat in some torturous situation.

Needless to say, we called animal control and headed out on a rescue mission. When we got there, we found Abby, the older couple and the cat all inside the RV enjoying the AC. We asked about the situation we had heard about, and saw the nice long tie-out she used when she was outside. They said that as far as they were concerned, Abby’s only problem was that she could not be trained to be a therapy dog as “She’ll darn sure yank the scooter over to try to get a squirrel.” Once again, with a teary good-bye and all her worldly belongings (a foot-long rawhide and a squeaky toy) Abby returned to the shelter.

This time, the couple who have taken Abby to live in their home with her two new purebred Belgian shepherd sisters say they can find nothing wrong with her. She is housebroken, playful, sleeps next to the bed and is perfect for them.

Yes, this time we believe it really is a happy ending. It was her new mom who said, “I’m so glad you guys don’t do the awful ‘three strikes and you’re out’ thing.”

Come and see us at 812 S. McLane Road to meet all of the beautiful animals who we believe deserve a chance, or two or three. Or give us a call at (928) 474-5590.

Also, don’t forget, we recycle aluminum cans and we are the drop-off spot for the pull tabs that the Payson Womans Club donates to The Ronald McDonald House.

Other shelter news

Please join us from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Mazatzal Casino for Bow Wow Boogie Time. Dance to the music of Junction 87 at our annual fund-raiser. Festivities include a limited live and silent auction, as well as the auction for the 2010 pet calendar cover. Tickets are just $5 at the door. Please bring dog or cat food donations to help us during these trying times.

Web Parton will present a Snake Safe training course Oct. 9 and 10 at the HSCAZ shelter located at 812 S. McLane Road. Parton will teach your dog how to avoid going near a rattlesnake, and to warn you and your family when a rattlesnake is nearby. Training will be completed in one three-hour session, Friday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m., or Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7 a.m. The fee is $75 per dog, and pre-registration is required. Call (520) 465-3460 to schedule, or online visit


C.C. is a 9-month-old Labrador/Pit mix. She is part of the litter that was purposely bred because people were curious to know what lab/pit puppies would look like. She, like all of her siblings, is very sweet and outgoing. She loves to play and gets along great with the other dogs. She can be easygoing and will sit beside you in the car, or lie next to you on the couch with her head in your lap. She is very intelligent, and is already learning to walk on a leash and is potty trained. She does great with kids and will make a wonderful addition to someone’s family.


Two Paws is a 9-month-old Lab/Pit mix. Her story is the same as her brother’s. These innocent pups were bred for someone’s pleasure and then turned over to us because they could no longer afford to care for them. She can be shy and timid but is such a sweetheart when she feels safe with you. She hadn’t received any training prior to coming here, but she has learned how to walk on a leash and sit. She still needs some help with potty training, but we’re sure someone with patience will come along and adopt her, and show her all the right things. Two Paws has been in a foster home for the past two weeks and she is doing great. She gets along with the two Chihuahuas that live there, as well as the cats and grandkids that come by to visit.


Munch is an 8-month-old Pit mix. He was adopted by a former shelter employee, and recently returned because they were moving into an apartment that doesn’t allow dogs. He and his brother Wink have been together since they were born, and are best of friends. Munch is very playful and can even been easygoing. He is sometimes shy but very sweet. He has been neutered and is current on all of his shots. He is good with children and plays well with other dogs.


Wink is an 8-month-old Pit mix. He was part of an original litter of six. He and his brother Munch were adopted by a previous employee and recently returned because they are moving into an apartment that does not allow dogs. Wink is very affectionate and outgoing. He is good with children and other dogs, just like his brother. He has been neutered and is current on shots. He is the outgoing one who would love to go for hikes and  long walks.


Samson is a 2-year-old Shepherd mix. He was originally adopted from us and recently returned due to personal issues. He has been neutered and is current on his shots. He does great with children and loves to play with other dogs. He will need a secure yard with a tall fence, and we do offer a free training class to help with any fence jumping issues he may have. He is sweet, energetic and a great family dog.


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