About 6,000 animals spend time at the county’s animal services and adoption center in Derwood each year. Many of them need the same thing—a home.
Gene Buehler and his daughters, Bronwyn (left) and Margot, walk the hallways looking at dogs while they await their appointment to discuss adopting guinea pigs. Larger dogs are housed in the big kennels, while dogs that can’t jump over the walls are in the small-dog area. Large dogs, pairs or those who are anxious are put in rooms with windows at the front of the adoptable-dog area. Some dogs that are available but can’t tolerate being looked at by lots of people every day are housed in another area. Each dog is given a kennel card with the dog’s name, ID number, age, sex, breed and picture. A supplemental “Check Me Out Card” contains a summary of the dog’s behavior and personality, provided primarily by behavioral staff and volunteers, center director Tom Koenig says.
In the guinea pig area, Margot (left), 12, holds Pumpkin, and her sister, Bronwyn, 11, holds Cinnamon. The girls adopted the pair with their parents, Juliane Caviston and Gene Buehler of Rockville. (They changed Cinnamon’s name to Pokey.) The family had two guinea pigs previously, but one of them died recently. The remaining guinea pig, Pippa, was no longer active and hiding in her house in a cage, so they came to the shelter to find two more who would give her some company. Guinea pigs were their “entry pets,” Caviston says. Last year, the girls successfully lobbied for a small dog, Wally, which they rescued from another shelter.
Maggie and Marco Calderon of Montgomery Village, pictured with their granddaughter, Natalie Blanco of Laytonsville, adopted a 2-year-old beagle mix, Limo, and renamed him Toby. The dog was brought to the shelter because the previous owners were moving and couldn’t have a dog in their new apartment, Maggie was told. “It seems like the people had taken good care of him. He had [an identification] chip and everything,” she says. She was eager to get a new dog after the couple’s terrier died two weeks earlier, making the house feel too quiet. “He’s a handful, but a sweetheart.”