Q: Why do you rarely have small-breed dogs for adoption?

A: It’s simple. It’s easy to find homes for small dogs. Also, most people think a small dog isn’t as much trouble as a large dog. Most people are more forgiving of a small dog with behavior problems. For example, if a small dog makes a mistake in the house, it’s not a big job to clean it up. Also, if a small dog jumps up and barks at people coming into the home, most people laugh at the dog, instead of being scared of it.

Q: Help! I have a new puppy, what’s the best way to housebreak him?

A: As a rule, you should not paper train your dog unless you want the paper to be a lifelong spot for urinating and defecating. It’s much more difficult to train a dog to go outside once he’s been paper trained.

Crate training is the best way to housebreak a dog. Most puppies won’t go in their crate unless they simply cannot hold it any longer. A crate should be big enough for the puppy to stand in and comfortably turn around, but not so big that it can eliminate in one end and lay comfortably in the other end afterward. A puppy can wait about 1 hour for each month of age between urinations until it is five months old. It should not be asked to wait longer than that. If the puppy will have to wait longer it may be better to paper train.

When housebreaking a puppy, you must catch him in the “act” and issue a sharp “NO” within a couple of seconds. Never drag the puppy back to a wet spot or fresh stool and try to discipline it or yell at it — you are absolutely wasting your time doing this. Dogs do not associate behavior with any sort of punishment after a few seconds have passed. All they know is that you don’t like them to be near a wet spot or stool. Next, take him outside and tell the puppy “good dog” after he has calmed down and has a bowel movement or urinates. This is a necessary step.

Going to the same spot each time outside is helpful. Feeding meals on a regular schedule is helpful, too.

Taking the puppy outside after meals, after it gets up from laying down, at least once an hour or so, if it gets excited during play and before it goes to bed. It is sometimes possible to get the puppy to learn to go outside without ever catching it going inside.

Once you have caught the puppy and told it NO inside it is necessary to take it outside. The puppy has to know it isn’t OK to go inside but is OK to go outside.

Q: Do you spay/neuter all the animals before they are adopted?

A: Yes.

If someone desires to adopt an animal before it is old enough to be spayed/neutered, (approx. 8 weeks) they can complete the adoption process. However, we still keep possession of the animal until the appropriate age where it can be altered. We schedule and deliver the animal to the clinic for their procedure, then the adopter may pick up the animal from the clinic where it was altered. Each animal is altered and current on all vaccinations.

Q: What’s the difference between The Humane Society of Garland County and Hot Springs Animal Control?

A: The Humane Society of Garland County is a private, no-kill, 501C3 nonprofit organization. We receive no government/tax funding. We are supported by private donations. We also rely on fundraising events to fund our mission.  We screen our intakes of new animals, taking only animals who are potentially adoptable.  We do not take in feral animals or animals demonstrating vicious behavior, as our goal is to find permanent homes for them.  If our kennel becomes full, we have the option of closing our doors to new intakes. Hot Springs Animal Control is a government agency supported by local taxes and they are required to take all animals surrendered to them, including aggressive and significantly injured animals.  They do not have the option of turning an animal away or closing their doors.  If their kennel becomes full, they sometimes must euthanize to make space available.

Q: What currently are your biggest needs in terms of funding?

A: These vary, but we are always in need of support for our basic supplies such as pet food, cat litter, and medical supplies. We also need funding to keep our programs and facility operating, which includes staffing, utilities, computer equipment, etc. Please link to our urgent needs list from the home page.

Q: Is there a time limit on how long the animals are kept for adoption?

A: No, there are no time limits whatsoever. We will keep an animal its entire life should it not be adopted unless it becomes incurably ill or is an animal with vicious behavior too dangerous to adopt out.