Dogs end up in shelters for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes their owner dies, and no one else is able to care for them, so they’re surrendered as was the case with Jack. He was so traumatized by his owner’s passing and the subsequent stress of being placed in a shelter, that he became extremely antisocial. Out of fear he spent his time with his head hidden. Once Jack’s behavior was properly diagnosed, and his symptoms were viewed as a result of severe trauma rather than problematic, he was matched with a compatible family that provided the support he needed to restore his gentle and social nature.
Studies are now conducted much more frequently than in the past. They look at the root causes for a dog’s possible behavior problems, such as depression or a medical condition. In fact, one such study performed by a police department found that even when a dog was labeled aggressive, he could still be rehabilitated with proper training and caring treatment.
Ghost also needed a closer look. He was found wandering and homeless in Florida when he was three months old. This pit bull mix is deaf, and he originally presented with behavior problems. The local Humane Society saw his high energy level as endearing rather than problematic and sent requests to shelters across the country in an effort to find him a home. He was rescued by a Port Angeles, WA Humane Society who knew just the person to work with him.
Today, Ghost has found a home and a job. He works as a narcotics dog for Washington’s DOC K-9 unit and lives with his handler. Luckily, Ghost’s boundless energy and determined focus were recognized as attributes rather than detriments that would have made him unadoptable. He’s happy, healthy, and a contributing member of society.