Dogtown: Impressive results with ‘wild child’ dogs

mention the shelter volunteers a lot in this column. This dedicated group of dog walkers and cat fanciers makes a big difference in the lives of the animals at the shelter.

There is plenty of statistical evidence that shows a positive correlation between volunteer hours and adoption rates at shelters. It’s not surprising that the more an animal is handled and trained, the more comfortable it will be around people and the more likely an adopter will find them desirable.

We have seen some impressive results with shy dogs and cats that have come out of their shells and wild child dogs that have learned that polite behavior gets them more walks and a better chance at being adopted. One of those is Raven, who is featured today.


Raven is a 1-year-old lab mix. He has a beautiful black coat and is a nice medium size, probably around 50 pounds. He came in short on manners, but has demonstrated a great response to training. Raven has learned to walk nicely on a leash, sit, play fetch and pay attention. He is a good listener and is eager to learn. He will still occasionally check whether it’s OK to get excited and grab his leash, but responds very quickly to correction.

He used to bark excitedly at other dogs, but now initiates play behavior when meeting others. He would make a good playmate for another dog. Raven is gentle when taking treats and is housebroken. Like all of our available dogs and cats, he is neutered, microchipped and current on vaccinations. Come meet this nice boy soon!

Another dog that was aided in his journey towards adoption was our big boy Brice. Brice is a five year old border collie and lab type mix. He has some striking golden eyes that give him a bit of a wild look in photos, however this dog is far from wild. He knows quite a bit of obedience training, is a fairly easy walk and even seems to be fine around cats.


He was nervous about being in a kennel when he first came in, not really surprising for a dog that has lived out in the country and suddenly finds himself confined.

Redwood Pals worked with him for a bit to help him get more comfortable and now he is in our adoptable wing and ready for a home! This is a larger dog (though he could stand to lose a few pounds for optimum health), probably around 75 pounds.

Brice is easy-going, likes to ride in the car and always ready for any adventure. He is also neutered, microchipped and up to date on vaccinations. Like Raven, he is available at the Humboldt County Animal Shelter, located at 980 Lycoming Ave. in McKinleyville. The shelter is open Monday through Friday, with later hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. More information is available at (707) 840-9132.   

Adult volunteers are always needed at the shelter. The application process is a little cumbersome, as the shelter requires a background check and the application needs to go to the main Sheriff’s office, then back to the shelter, then an orientation needs to be scheduled.

It can be very rewarding once you get through all the preliminaries! Stop in at the shelter for an application or email us at [email protected] and we can send one to you.



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