Welcome to Dogtown USA

In DOG FANCY'S search for the best cities in which to be a dog, we discovered innovative shelter programs, generous amenities, thoughtful policies, and many wonderful dog-lovers.

By | Posted: Tue Sep 25 00:00:00 PDT 2001

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agency along with four private, nonprofit organizations participate in the program, each playing a different role in finding homes for unwanted pets and offering affordableif not freespay and neuter services.

Austin Pets Alive! serves as the program's information arm, publishing news about the problem and the proposed "No-Kill Millennium" solution and pointing renters to dog-friendly housing.

EmanciPet, another nonprofit group, operates a mobile spay and neuter clinic and raises money to offset the costs of pet sterilization for people who can't afford it. And members of Underground Rescue foster animals and work to find them permanent homes.

Meanwhile, the city-run Humane Society of Austin and Travis County operates a 15,000-square-foot no-kill shelter. Since the campaign began, it has helped people keep their pets and encouraged more people to become pet owners.

Recognizing that most people who give up their dogs do so because of behavior problems, the agency started helping owners learn to overcome them, says Executive Director Karen Medicus. The humane society offers classes for people who have puppies or older dogs and pet behavior counseling for owners who don't want to attend a class or think one would not help. It also expects to launch a behavior hotline this year.

Medicus says the agency places equal emphasis on improving the behavior of dogs awaiting adoption. Some dogs spend time in the shelter's mock living room, where they are more comfortable and can learn how to behave in a homelike setting.

Rochester, N.Y.
Where would people spend every Saturday afternoon at the local animal shelter? And who would load out-of-town guests in their cars to show off the local pound? Try Rochester, N.Y., and the people who live there.

Drawing about 100,000 people a year, the Humane Society of Rochester and Monroe County headquarters has become an attraction. "We're not your old dog pound," says Jim Tedford, executive director of the shelter, better known as Lollypop Farm.

The 125-acre farm on Rochester's rural-turned-suburban outskirts has a 42,000-square-foot animal shelter and a barn, a petting zoo, interactive exhibits, and a two-mile hiking trail that winds through a lush forest.

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