BY JANET McAFEE
Siberian Huskies are magnificent dogs with striking facial masks and piercing blue or multi-colored eyes, incredibly intelligent in addition to being beautiful. It is incredulous to see so many of these wonderful animals in public shelters throughout Southern California. And it is heartbreaking to learn how many don’t make it out alive from those shelters.
The athletic and independent Huskies can be a challenge for first time dog owners. Many Huskies are “Houdini’s,” escaping from fenced in yards. They should never be left alone in a back yard when their humans are away. They require a great deal of attention and mental stimulation. Some will require a very secure yard that is sunk in the ground to prevent escapes.
Pictured here is Shyah, a 5-year-old Siberian Husky, rescued by Loving All Animals from the Riverside county shelter in Thousand Palms. Curtis Sweesy, foster parent for Loving All Animals, spotted the beautiful dog. He felt bad for her plight after learning she’d been at the shelter several times after escaping, and finally her family callously relinquished her. To adopt Shyah, contact www.lovingallanimals.org or call (760) 834-7000. You must have a secure back yard with a tall fence in order to adopt this dog.
Shanna Roberts, founder and director of Luna Siberian Huskie Rescue, shed some light on why so many Huskies end up in shelters. Shanna cites the television program, Game of Thrones, as one reason for the increase. The program’s direwolves are awesome animals that are super-loyal, read the minds of their human companions, and fiercely protect loved ones. “Thronies” purchase Huskies on impulse from pet stores and breeders without understanding the special needs of this breed and the work and commitment they require.
Shana cites the proliferation of illegal back yard Coachella Valley breeding operations as contributors to the overpopulation of Huskies. There are simply too many dogs and not enough homes. Shanna states, “These back yard breeders provide very little care for the dogs, and they sometimes send out sick dogs to anyone who pays. There is often no vet care. Animal control does not have the resources to police these illegal operations. You can adopt a beautiful Huskie now at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus shelter.” There is no reason to go any breeder and spend thousands of dollars when you can adopt a rescue dog of any age and of any breed. Search for a rescue dog near you at www.petfinder.com.
Dogs from Luna Siberian Husky Rescue are featured on this page. The group rescues this breed from shelters throughout Southern California, and they need foster homes to help save them. To view their adoptable animals, make a donation, or inquire about fostering go to www.LunaSiberianRescue.dog.
Huskies do not fare well in shelters. They are extremely active dogs and become frustrated in a confined small kennel space. They have a loud, high pitched bark which makes them unsuited for apartments with adjoining walls.
Game of Thrones star, Peter Dinklage, shares this important message with his fans and with dog lovers across the country:
PLEASE, TO ALL OF GAME OF THRONES’ WONDERFUL FANS, WE UNDERSTAND THAT DUE TO THE DIREWOLVES’ HUGE POPULARITY, MANY FOLKS ARE GOING OUT AND BUYING HUSKIES. PLEASE, PLEASE, IF YOU’RE GOING TO BRING A DOG INTO YOUR FAMILY, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE PREPARED FOR SUCH A TREMENDOUS RESPONSIBILITY AND REMEMBER TO ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ADOPT FROM A SHELTER.