Ontario rescue group takes in Klinger, a male Chihuahua mix

12/23/2012
BY TANYA IRWIN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Laura Simmons, Lucas County Dog Warden operations manager, holds Klinger before his departure from the pound.
Laura Simmons, Lucas County Dog Warden operations manager, holds Klinger before his departure from the pound.

Klinger, a Chihuahua mix who was found on the street by the Lucas County dog warden, has a second chance thanks to an Ontario, Canada, rescue group.

The nine-pound brown-and-white dog with outsized ears was transferred to LOYAL Rescue, which is based in Peterborough, Ontario, near Toronto, and has foster homes all over the province.

The year-old dog, picked up by a deputy dog warden on Oct. 24 on Upton Avenue in Toledo, was not deemed behaviorally sound enough to go up for adoption at the pound because he showed food-guarding behavior, said Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle.

LOYAL is the first Canadian group to take a dog from the pound. Canadian Dachshund Rescue is also signed up as a transfer partner but has not yet taken any dogs, said Laura Simmons, Lucas County Dog Warden operations manager.

Klinger was sprung from the pound on Friday and was sent off to his foster home in Pembroke, Ontario, about 250 miles northeast of Toronto, last Saturday. He arrived in Pembroke, which is 530 miles from Toledo, on Sunday afternoon.

“Klinger is settling in quite well,” said Lynn Lindsay, the LOYAL volunteer who is fostering him. “He has been sleeping with us and he gets along pretty well with everyone. He has taken over my husband and loves to sit in his chair with him. He’s going to make someone a great pet.”

He was offered to local rescue groups via the pound’s dedicated transfer partner Facebook page on Nov. 30, but no one stepped forward. Jean Keating, executive director of Lucas County Pit Crew, took pity on the little dog and networked to find another rescue group that might be able to take him.

The pound currently has 27 approved transfer partners, said Ms. Lyle. Through the end of October, the pound transferred 488 dogs to the Toledo Area Humane Society and 99 dogs to other approved partners.

Gord and Kathleen Pollack took Klinger partway to Pembroke, Ontario, where he arrived on Sunday.
Gord and Kathleen Pollack took Klinger partway to Pembroke, Ontario, where he arrived on Sunday.

“Transfer partners are important to our operation as they are able to help us place more dogs,” Ms. Lyle said. “Transfer partners are able to take dogs that have medical needs or behavioral issues that make them unadoptable at our place, as well as dogs that don’t show well in a kennel environment and give them typically one on one attention in a foster home.”

Besides the food-guarding tendencies, Klinger exhibited other behaviors at the pound that impeded him going up for adoption there, she said.

“Klinger had behavior issues initially to the extent that we were not able to worm him or check his age at intake,” Ms. Lyle said. “He was reported to be trying to bite when he was in his cage as well.”

Transfer partners take a wide variety of dogs, she said.

“Some are harder to place, such as seniors, some are super adoptable, and some are not adoptable here,” Ms. Lyle said. “All of our adoptable dogs are available to our transfer partners as well as specific dogs with special needs that we inform our transfer partners about.”

LOYAL Rescue currently works with six other pounds in Ohio, including Mercer County, from which it has taken many dogs in the past, said Ingrid Czerwenka, who is on the group’s board of directors.

“In Ontario there are a lack of available, adoptable small dogs in our shelters and humane societies,” Ms. Czerwenka said. “For this reason alone, moving dogs from overpopulated areas to ones where they are sought after increases their likelihood of adoption.”

Last year the group adopted out more than 300 dogs, with most coming from the United States, she said. “Dogs don't know about borders or which province/state they came from,” she said. “If there’s a dog in need and we have a foster spot, we offer it.”

The rescue will work with Klinger on any issues he shows before putting him up for adoption, Ms. Czerwenka said.

“Being in a foster home where those issues can be addressed and worked with will definitely give him a better chance of adoption,” she said. “Rescues can pick the dogs they take in and spend the time to address concerns, whereas most shelters don’t have that luxury. For this reason alone, in the case of Klinger, he’s better in a rescue where we can help him work through the issues and find him a perfect home when he’s ready.”

Contact Tanya Irwin at tirwin@theblade.com, or 419-724-6066.