As part of our annual Dog Days of Summer issue, the Indy asks four local rescues/shelters to tell our readers about their least-likely-to-be-adopted animal.
These cats and dogs (and sometimes bunnies) are available for adoption, but, for various reasons, are having a hard time finding their forever homes.
We hope you fall in love with and adopt one of these sweethearts.
Dillinger is a bunny with a sordid past—after all, she's done hard time. After spending the majority of her formative years in prison, she was paroled in October 2009. This was not proverbial prison, or an animal shelter, but an actual prison. Dillinger (along with six other rabbits) participated in a program designed to give prisoners the responsibility of pet care. She and her rabbit friends lived inside the prison, cared for by the inmates.
When the program lost funding in 2009, Dillinger and her accomplices were left without a home and were facing euthanization. All Creatures Rescue & Sanctuary was contacted to take them in. Because of their age, they were considered poor adoption candidates. Although rabbits can live to be 10–14 years of age, to most people a 7-year-old rabbit is a senior, and there are hundreds of teenaged bunnies that are just as needy.
Dillinger quickly became a favorite in the rescue. She was dubbed "the best bunny we'll never manage to adopt." We often say in rabbits that you can have two of the three major traits: You can be friendly, you can be neat or you can be cute, but you can't be all three. Dillinger is the magical bunny who is all three, but due to her age she's been overlooked time and again. In the two-year period she's been in foster, she's had few inquiries.
So what is Dillinger like? She is a nosy, outgoing rabbit who won't leave you alone given the opportunity. She loves the vacuum and exploring and is often in the way when you're tidying up the cage. An accomplished jumper, she also has a great love of chilling on the couch. She has been paired with other bunnies in the past and is generally easygoing and laidback.
Freddie is about as good as a dog gets—he's 55 pounds of handsome with beautiful brown eyes and a shiny black coat, he has impeccable house manners, and he gets along well with other dogs once properly introduced (he has lived with dogs his entire life).
But he keeps getting overlooked in his search for a forever home. At 7, Freddie is a little older, but he doesn't look or act like it. He's in great physical shape and will leap off the ground in pursuit of a ball. He's a little timid around strangers, but once he's made an acquaintance, it just takes one pat on the head and he is completely enamored and turns into the biggest lovebug you've ever seen. Freddie is not really fond of young children—they have too much energy and random movement for him. He much prefers the predictability of adults and teenaged kids.
Maturity has its perks, too. Freddie is completely housetrained and doesn't need to be crated or confined when left home alone. He has proven himself trustworthy and hasn't chewed or destroyed anything in his foster home. He knows and obeys basic commands, his energy level is moderate, and he just needs consistent leadership.
Garner may have Scotty McCreery, but Cary has Freddie: If the Idol competition were expanded to include dogs, Freddie would be at the auditions showing off his talent—he loves to sing along to his foster dad's harmonica playing.
Freddie is smart, loving and loyal. He's got it all—except his forever home.
Were you ever misunderstood? Overlooked? Discriminated against? Then you and Rufus have something in common.
Rufus, an 8-year-old brown tabby cat, arrived at the SPCA of Wake County in 2010. Routine blood work showed that he is FIV positive. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) impacts the immune system and may make a cat more susceptible to disease and infection. In many animal shelters, FIV usually means that a cat like Rufus won't get a second chance at a loving home.
On behalf of Rufus and all the other FIV-positive cats in our care, we want you to know the following: FIV is a slow-acting virus, and FIV-positive cats can live long, healthy and normal lives. There is no evidence that FIV can be transmitted to other species, including humans and non-feline pets. FIV is primarily transferred through bites. FIV-positive cats can live in households with other compatible cats.
Rufus is a gentle soul who loves to cuddle. He delights in being held and getting his chin scratched—he'll even stretch out his neck to ask for attention. He adores the company of people and also enjoys the company of other cats. Rufus is, in fact, one of the most loving cats to ever grace the halls of the SPCA. But as an 8-year-old cat who is FIV positive, he is easily passed by for the kittens and FIV-negative cats.
Rufus will stay at the SPCA of Wake County until he is adopted. He is different, but he still desires what all shelter pets want: a place where he is cherished and where he can warm a lap and lay in the sun and get his chin scratched until he is very, very old. Spend just a little time with Rufus and you won't be able to leave him behind.
Am I not the cutest girl? I have a huge smile and a heart to match. I love to run and play in the fenced yard, and I'm great with kitties and other dogs. I love to greet the neighbors and can't wait to welcome home my foster mom with my big smile and a wag of the tail. Car rides and walks in our neighborhood are some of the ways I enjoy the dog days of summer.
You may be wondering how a happy-go-lucky girl finds herself on a list of hard-to-adopt pets. I love routine and thrive in a home where I know what is going to happen every day. However, there is something about adoption events that terrifies me. I tuck my tail and sometimes growl after too many people poke and prod me. I'm also terrified of storms, so I need a home where I will never be left outside to chance getting stuck in a thunderstorm. My ideal home is one with parents who will be patient with me until I feel confident and learn their routine. I would love another doggie pal to play with or a kitty to keep me company during the day when my humans are at work.
I know many basic commands including sit, stay and kennel. I would love for you to teach me more! And I'm housebroken and crate trained, of course. Can you provide my forever home where I can grow into a strong, confident young lady?
Paws and kisses,