"No more Chihuahuas, many mutts"

"Success comes with a price.The Kitsap Humane Society, with overwhelming support from the community, successfully found new homes last week for all the adoptable Chihuahuas seized from an illegal breeder after Christmas.But now KHS officials are besieged with offers for homes for almost 300 other animals picked up on a District Court warrant on Friday.So what's the problem?Those animals are not up for adoption. We're just holding them, KHS spokeswoman Kathy Cocus said. There's an ongoing investigation, we're very limited in what we can say about it, Cocus said about the seizure of the animals.The court will have to decide what action to take, she added.There was an excessive number of animals, and there was some concern about the cleanliness of the facilities, she said.The animals - including two horses, 30 pygmy goats, 150 rabbits, 15 beagles, four schnauzers, four poodles, three Pomeranians and one Bernese Mountain dog - were seized from a grooming facility in the 3400 block of Erlands Point Road.The owners will have to post a bond, said Cocus.According to court records, they will have 15 days to show that they can care for the animals.Although these new animals aren't adoptable, plenty of others are available. Included are some beautiful and friendly dogs who would just love to find a new family or friend to go home with.The KHS does its best to make sure prospective pet owners and the animals are the best possible match.Adopting a dog - or any animal - is a lifetime commitment for the pet, Cocus pointed out.We have an adoption counselor in the kennels, to ask questions like: have they had an animal before? Is anyone home during the day? Do they have a fenced yard? And maintenance, what are the grooming needs, particularly for a long-haired breed, Cocus said.Certain dog breeds are also more compatible for families, she said.Hunting dogs, such as Labradors or pointers and setters, are best for families, Cocus said. Golden setters or Labradors are like the No. 1 family breed.And every personality, we have a dog breed for it, said Cocus, from couch potato English bulldogs to hyperactive terriers and antsy border collies.Cocus has two books with breed characteristics in her office for prospective pet owners. And if the potential pet is an all-American mutt, they try to figure out its possible heritage and look up traits for those breeds.If the family has another dog, we encourage the family to have a 'meet and greet,' where they can bring their dog up to the fence to meet the new one, to see if they'll get along, Cocus said.But things don't always work out.Sometimes we deny an adoption because it's not the best for a family or a dog, Cocus said.When people are in the pet search mode there's always the Internet. Animals (at the Humane Society) that are strays, or are released for adoption are put on the (Web site) as soon as we get them, she said. Anyone who wants to do something for the animals, but now's not the time to adopt, can volunteer for us, Cocus added.They can work with the animals, for special events (such as the annual Animal Crakers auction in the fall), or by donating, she added.People also can donate, goods and services, as well as money.The KHS always will accept donations of pet food, toys, old blankets, throw rugs and towels. The last few items are cut up and used as mats in the dog and cat kennels, along with a toy, to give them a sense of place, said Ron Burrows, kennel master at the KHS.For more information, call the Kitsap Humane Society at 692-7293. "

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