Dogtown: Hard-luck Harley needs a happy home

Heard more than once across the checkstand this past week: “There should be a lot of flowers in May!”

Looking at the weather forecast for this coming week, it looks like perhaps Spring is finally ready to commit to some sunshine. The shelter volunteers have been doing an impressive job getting all the dogs out for walks each day, adjusting their schedules and outerwear around the showers and downpours.

The sunny days feel like a treat and we try to make the most of those times by matching up dogs for some playtime in the yard. We are all looking forward to a training program that will be coming later this summer. It’s a group called Dogs Play for Life and they teach shelters and rescues how to set up doggie playgroups.

Shelters where this program has been implemented have seen an increase in adoption rates and a reduction of behavioral issues. We already see such a reduction of stress in the dogs that have a regular play buddy; it will be great to have a program where everyone can join in the fun!

Some of the other fun things coming up include a Saturday adoption event at the shelter on May 12 from noon to 4 p.m. This could be a great time to bring the family and met the adoptable dogs and cats.

Remember the shelter is also regularly open late (till 7 p.m.) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And you may remember Sparky the (Kinetic) Rescue Dog, who will be returning to this year’s Kinetic Sculpture race on Memorial Day Weekend. Sparky is getting in shape for his big yearly outing to represent Redwood Pals Rescue. Once again Sparky will have some of his adoptable friends in his entourage!

I have mentioned before that it is nice to take a little time when meeting a dog under consideration for adoption. Especially when they are spending most of their day in a kennel, they need a little time to run around and shake off the kennel vibe before they can show off their best side. It’s nice when we can take the dogs on an outing, like to dog class or a hike, and be able to report how they were in the car and out in public.

We try to post photos on the Humboldt County Animal Shelter or Redwood Pals Rescue Facebook pages when the dogs have an adventure.

One of the shelter dogs, Rocky, is having a sleepover weekend with a volunteer. Look for photos of him going to a workshop at HSU and having some outdoor adventures also.

Sleeping is a big activity for the dogs once they are away from all the noise of the shelter! It’s kind of like getting home from a hospital stay where you are woken up every four hours for vital signs…


One of our Redwood Pals dogs found the noise to be too much for him and couldn’t settle down enough in his kennel to be considered Adoptable at the shelter. It’s a shame because this dog is really great with people and other dogs.

Harley came into the shelter with a broken pelvis, probably from a fall out of a truck, and had to sit quietly for many weeks while his bones healed.

He passed his temperament tests for behavior, but just found the Adoptable wing of the shelter to be overstimulating and he couldn’t settle down in his kennel. Shelter staff doesn’t want a dog to get hurt bouncing on the concrete floors so they put him back in a quieter part of the shelter. He is looking for a foster or adoptive home now where  he can show what a great dog he can be in a less stressful environment.

Harley is a small, two-year-old Pit Bull mix. He has a big head on a little body (maybe some Bulldog in there?), which certainly gives him a tough guy look, but five minutes with this dog and you’ll see that is misleading!

Harley has been our go-to dog for testing other dogs as he is very patient with them. He played very nicely with Lucy, who was featured last week, but can entertain himself with balls and toys as well. He is all healed from his injury now and we’d love to find him a home.

If you would like more information on Harley, or might be able to give him a foster or permanent home, please contact us at [email protected] or call (707) 839-9692.



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