John Griffin is the director of shelter services at the Women’s Humane Society in Bensalem, PA. They are committed to the humane and compassionate treatment of animals and are distinguished as America’s First Animal Shelter.
How to pick a dog when you have children at home?
Kids again, it’s not like I’ve got a list of parent’s that are like “yes let’s bring my child and I want them to meet strange dogs with no behavioral history”. But based on some of the things that have happened with handling them or reports from the owner we can somewhat make a gauge of like “I’m not so sure about this animal with children”. What we want is the adopter to bring their children in. Just as unique as the do is it’s just as unique as people’s children are. You have rowdy children, you have quite children, maybe he likes to play video games and the one that wants to wrestle over everything. So not all kids are created equal and not all dogs are created equal, so we want the adopter’s children to meet them and not just again if I introduce every dog to the perfect child what am I learning, but again we can be smart about how we are doing it.
How do shelters evaluate dogs for being kid friendly?
Most shelters look at the history provided by the previous owners. If a dog comes in without any history, sometimes it is the shelters call based on what they see with the dog’s evaluation.
But as John said, it is hard for every single dog to meet a bunch of strange kids. They are already stressed in a shelter and a bunch of rowdy kids might not be a good idea.
Kids are so unique! All of them. Dogs are unique as well. So it is really best to just bring your child to meet the dog at the shelter. The interaction will be supervised by professionals from the shelter to ensure that everything is going to be going smoothly. Plus, no shelter would put a child with a dog if they suspect the dog would not like the child.