Download MP3 (22.0MB)
(To save MP3 file, right click and select 'Save Target As')
It's a sad but true fact that many of the dogs bought as ill thought through Christmas presents find themselves homeless before spring. We know they end up in shelters, but once there, what is the process that helps put them on the road to a new home?
Host Julie visited the Gonsal Farm RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruely to Animals) shelter to find out more. Did you know that it's much better for a dog to be taken to a home by his owner than to be taken in as a stray, as staff can find out lots of relevant information from the owner. The more the shelter knows about a dog, the more likely it is that they can find a suitable home for the dog. For example if a dog has lived happily with children, this is a good piece of news to have.
After arriving at a shelter, a dog goes through a range of health checks and temperament assessments. For those that pass the assessments and make it to the adoption kennels, so far so good, but what lies in store for those who have problems? Usually a lot of training and patience from staff and volunteers. Most problems can be solved with time.
Once in the adoption kennel is life plain sailing? Which breeds cope well with kennel life? Which breeds don't adapt well? How much enrichment can be provided through food? How do dogs tolerate that worst of problems - noisy neighbours? Find out all this and more as we trace a dog's journey through a rescue shelter.
One dog at Gonsal Farm has been waiting for a home for quite a while, but no one has been taken with her yet. Could you give China a home? For more information about China - and her kennel mates at Gonsal Farm check out the website.
Thief of Hearts - listener contribution
Michelle Muto enjoys listening to DogCast Radio, spending time with her dogs and writing.
Michelle sent us her story about rescuing one of the dogs she shares her life with. Thief of Hearts tells Tasha's story.
Can Tasha overcome her bad start in life and find her forever home?
To find out more about Akita rescue, go to the website of Heart of Dixie Akita Rescue.
In Puppy Playtime, hosted by Jenny we find out about the Westminster dog show top dogs, and how water - in winter or summer - doesn't always mix well with dogs.
Could you help listener Mark with his problems toilet training his dog?
If you sailed through toilet training with no problems tell us what you did that conveyed the message to your dog so well? If you struggled with toilet training what did you find that worked well finally?
Help us get Mark through this sometimes fraught stage of a dog's life.
For Shirlee Kalstone's advice on house breaking your dog check out episode six of DogCast Radio.