The dog days of summer have hit the Lucas County dog warden -- literally.
The pound has more dogs up for adoption than ever in its history -- 62 by week's end. Adoptions have been slow, which worries Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle because dogs continue to come in daily, either through surrender or impound.
"The last thing we want to have to do is euthanize dogs for lack of space," Ms. Lyle said. "We are asking the public to consider now as a time to adopt your new best friend. We have a lot of lovely dogs to choose from."
The pound normally has between 20 and 30 dogs available for adoption at any one time. The pound has about 150 cages, but some of those are used for dogs being held for potential claim by owners or dogs awaiting testing for potential adoptions.
Operations Manager Laura Simmons is trying to come up with new ideas to market dogs. Last week she introduced a feature on the dog warden's Facebook page, where staff members pick their favorite dog at the shelter and tell why they chose that dog. Online users can find the site by doing a search on Facebook for "Lucas County dog warden."
The first dog featured, Pickles, was chosen by Ms. Lyle. He was adopted by Ann and Alan Bethea of Toledo, who brought Fritz, a 1 1/2-year-old Schnauzer and Yorkshire terrier mix, in to meet him.
The couple had to euthanize their 12-year-old dog Arthur recently and they wanted to adopt a dog from the pound in his honor because he had come from the pound.
"There's a big hole in our hearts from losing Arthur," Mrs. Bethea said. "Even Fritz misses him. He really needs a playmate. We couldn't imagine coming anywhere but the pound."
Another new feature on the pound's Facebook page is photos of the dogs on flyers.
They were created by volunteer Molly LaMountain of Whitehouse, who got the idea from marketing suggestions for shelter dogs on the Web site of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Ms. LaMountain, who has been volunteering at the pound for more than 18 months, started taking pictures of the dogs while walking them. She decided to get creative with the pictures on her computer at home before posting them on her Facebook wall as well as the pound's Facebook page.
The one for Mr. Fox, a chow mix, reads: "Ready to settle down. Loves walks in the park, tennis balls, and your leftover dinner. Available at the Lucas County Dog Warden." The ad for Siobhan, a black Labrador retriever: "Likes quiet nights at home. Always lets you choose the movie. Available at the Lucas County Dog Warden."
"People should adopt a dog from the pound because they are just super dogs," Ms. La- Mountain said. "Every one of them has something special about them. With so many right now, I can't imagine how anyone could leave without one, if they met a few."
Contact Tanya Irwin at: email@example.com or 419-724-6066.