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ORANGE & BLACK is the new orange & black, and always in style for October. This  mystical month, our thoughts run to cats, bats, and all things orange and black. There are no bats for adoption at the shelter--they are much too busy exterminating insect pests to hang around--but cats and dogs, we do have. Many of these come in fashionable orange and black, with all the charming variations. Our Big Black Dogs can particularly use your help any time of year (see article below). Whatever the size or color, there are plenty of dogs and cats patiently waiting for you.


Friday the 24th
at the Feed Barn

Saturday the 1st
at the Paws Center

Saturday the 8th
at the Paws Center


Friday the 19th at  Jackson Rancheria


Thursday the 22nd at Volcano Union Pub

$9 for 9 LIVES for 9 DAYS


at American Legion Hall

BARK in the PARK 
Saturday the 30th at Detert Park, Jackson

All Treats, no Tricks

Animals and their people

Bring JOY to your WORLD

Saturday the 2nd
at the Feed Barn



BIG BLACK DOG syndrome
Are black dogs--particularly "Big Black Dogs"--at a disadvantage when it comes to getting adopted from animal shelters and rescues? What do the latest studies say about this long held belief?

Dispelling the TOP TWO MYTHS about Shelter Animals
"Animals in the shelter must have something wrong with them."

Pets end up in shelters when they've been given up by their owners for reasons that have nothing to do with the animal's behavior or health.  According to John Snyder, vice president of companion animals for the Humane Society of the United States, "The number one reason that owners give away their pets is because they are moving." Other common reasons include the onset of allergies, an elderly person's inability to care for the pet, and financial issues. Often, a dog adopted as a puppy never receives appropriate training. As the puppy grows, those "cute" puppy problems become unmanageable. That chubby, wiggling Boxer pup grows up to be a 60 lb, athletic adult, stuck in a small apartment. The adorable lap dog becomes uncontrollably dominant when growling or snapping has earned nothing but affection. Often, the adopter's expectations simply don't meet with reality. Most of these issues can be permanently resolved with time, attention and training. (rules-boundaries--limitations).

But there is "something wrong" with shelter animals.They are in a shelter, an artificial  environment, instead of among humans in a loving home.

"Shelters don't have purebreds available for adoption."

According to   Found Animals , 25% of the dogs and cats in shelters around the U.S. are  purebred. Our shelter regularly takes in strays and owner-surrendered purebred animals. This is most often the case with dogs, but we also get many purebred cats; Siamese, Persian, even exotics like Savannahs and Bengals.  Many of the purebred dogs taken in by ACAC & AC are sent to breed-specific rescue groups where they can be adopted by people who are looking for that particular breed. 

Not that there's anything wrong with adopting mixed-breed dogs!  Unless you're a breeder or are looking for a show dog, mixed-breeds are, most often, a better choice for a pet. They are generally free of the genetic or behavioral problems actually created by the selective breeding process, such as hip dysplasia, compulsive behaviors such as digging and licking, and certain neurological disorders. Betsy Saul, co-founder of Petfinder.com, explains, "Studies have shown that because mixed breeds are from different genetic backgrounds, they generally live longer than purebreds and have fewer health problems."

Don't let the myths scare you away. Come on down and meet your next great pet at our Adoption Center.
recently overheard in Amador County
"I'm not adopting a dog from that shelter. All they have is Pit Bulls." 

Loving. Loyal. Sweet  Would you use these words to describe a Pit Bull? Sadly, most people do not. Let's take a moment to debunk some of the common myths about the Pit Bull as a breed.

It is true that ACAC & AC sees a lot of pits and pit mixes come through its doors.This is not surprising. Pit Bulls have been an enormously popular breed for decades. What is lesser known is the fact that in 2015, 65% of the Pit Bulls in our shelter were either adopted or returned to their owners. In 2016, the number was an impressive 73%. In 2016, A-PAL provided free spay and neuter surgery for 54 Pit Bulls (1,007 over the course of its program).

Early in the last decade, many states and municipalities rushed to initiate breed-specific legislation against Pit Bulls, mostly based on public misconception that the breed was inherently vicious. Since then, the laws have been made more specific to cover ownership, spay and neuter surgery, and to define "vicious" and "potentially dangerous", without having to condemn an animal by its breed alone. For more detail on these laws, see this article at  Michigan State University Animal Legal and Historical Center.

Robin Rock is the founder and director of Measle's Animal Haven Pit Bull Rescue, a 501(c)3 non-profit rescue and sanctuary consisting of foster homes in Central Ohio. Robin has been rescuing, rehabilitating and advocating for Pit Bulls for over 10 years. She has worked with thousands of them.  Here is what she has to say about some of the myths she has contended with.

Pit Bulls are all inherently vicious.
This is a stereotype that is biased toward generalizing and condemning an entire breed based on the actions of a few bad people. The truth is that each dog should be evaluated on his own merits and not by his breed. A corollary truth is that there truly are no bad dogs, only bad people. In his essay Troublemakers, Malcolm Gladwell discusses what Pit Bull stereotypes can teach us about the wrongness of racial profiling of both humans and dogs.

A Pit Bull that is aggressive toward other dogs will also be aggressive toward humans.
Dog-aggression and people-aggression are two distinctive traits and should not be confused. Unless a Pit Bull has been poorly bred or purposefully trained to attack humans, they generally love people. They are, in fact, one of the most loving, loyal, friendly and dedicated companions you can have.

It is dangerous to adopt a Pit Bull that has an unknown history and parentage from a rescue or shelter, rather than buying a Pit Bull from a breeder.
Remember, each dog is an individual and should be judged by his current personality and behavior. Certainly he may be influenced by his genetics and history, but after working with thousands of Pit Bulls, I can assert unequivocally that many (if not most) Pit Bulls of unknown parentage that have been horribly abused, neglected, and/or forced to fight still love people more than anything, and still will be loving family pets. Responsible rescues and shelters evaluate dog behavior prior to adoption, and then adopt out only those Pit Bulls that display the proper temperament toward humans.

October 28, 2017 is National Pit Bull Awareness Day. Bless the Bullys introduced the idea of a national Pit Bull Awareness Day, and it took off. Visit   the website for more information. Help us celebrate this largely misunderstood breed locally in one of the ways listed below:
  • Adopt a Pit Bull from ACAC & AC
  • Volunteer at the shelter
  • Donate to APAL or the Rusty Fund
Spread the truth about Pit Bulls!
I t's ALIVE! A BEST FRIEND fashioned from the discarded tissues of a Shelter Dog

Well, it's happened. MooMoo (aka Moose) has found his forever home. Before securing his place in this new and extra-special family unit, MooMoo:
  • Logged seven (7) outings to our monthly adoption outreach
  • Was the subject of multiple ads in the paper and in this newsletter (the most recent of which-- dedicated to him alone-- was nothing short of begging)
  • Was accepted to and dismissed (without prejudice) from Marge Blair's summer session at Mule Creek State Prison, where he was re-named Moose to give him a fresh start
  • Acquired an endowment good for one free group obedience lesson at Marge's Twin Cedar K-9, underwritten by a volunteer who was willing to put her money where her mouth was (thanks, Lisa)
  • Caused inestimable moments of angst, plus ongoing efforts to cheer him on the part of volunteers and staff who were worried about his state of mind
In truth, MooMoo was a long-timer not because of any actual bad behavior on his part, but rather because he didn't 'show well' when potential adopters came to look at him. Furthermore, that dismissal from the prison was all a terrible misunderstanding. At first, he roared out of the gate determined to become a Canine Good Citizen along with the rest of his class, only to stage a hunger strike two weeks later when he realized he was desperately homesick--for the shelter.

Then, on September 20, 2017, five short weeks shy of his ONE YEAR anniversary, the two loving people pictured here showed up. They said he'd been at the shelter too long. They said they were determined to make a healthy, happy home for him to share with two beautiful huskies.

Never despair. Never underestimate the Power of Love. Congratulations Steve, Lindsay, Sam, and Sierra...   and MOO! You will be missed, but in the sweetest of ways. Fare well, dear friend.

we'd love to hear from you. Send your story, with photos if you have them, to Lisa Peterson.

EYWW. This turkey smells like dog.

RED ALERT! Thinking of becoming a VOLUNTEER?
The need for volunteers  at Amador County Animal Control & Adoption Center has reached a critical level. I f you think you'd like to join our ranks, please, drop by to the shelter at 12340 Airport Road in Martell and request a volunteer application. We desperately need dog walkers, but anything you are able to do will help immensely. You can review  the  APPLICATION for VOLUNTEER WORKER   here, but you will need to fill out an original pink copy, available from the shelter.  
PHASE 2 of the original building plan for ACAC & AC's new facility called for a barn. That project has stayed on the shelf since the shelter was completed (in 2005), until a recent endowment from the estate of a local and generous animal benefactor got things moving again. Look for an article  in an upcoming Newsletter  on the past, present, and future of this project, plus details on how you can help get our barn built.

UPDATE for September:
Hooray! The plans have been finalized and construction is scheduled to begin in 2018. Soon, our large animals will have a safe, modern and comfortable shelter while they are in our care..