Choosing to adopt gives an animal a second chance in life, helps prevent overpopulation and stands against unethical puppy mills and backyard breeding.
Hannah Henschen, an animal care manager, has been working at the Franklin County Dog Shelter for nine years. She oversees adoption, rescue, behavior and foster programs.
“I manage everyone who’s in the departments. I look at all the numbers. I pay attention to all the dogs we have in the building. Lots of things, as each of those departments is very important in what the shelter does,” Henschen said.
Henschen’s purpose at the shelter is not only helping the dogs, but helping people create special bonds with the shelter’s residents.
“Initially it was for the dogs … but the more I’ve worked here, it’s about the people and the dogs and making those lifelong connections,” Henschen said.
Animal shelters typically have lower prices than breeders or pet stores, and the pets at these shelters are in need of a loving home.
“These dogs come to us as, most of them, stray dogs,” Henschen said. “Getting a dog from us, we have a pretty low adoption fee … all [the] dogs are spayed and neutered, they’re up to date on vaccines. They have had a medical exam, a full physical. Most of the time they’ve had some kind of behavior evaluation so we know a little about the dogs, and they’re dogs that are truly looking for homes.”
There are currently a high number of dogs at the Franklin County Dog Shelter who are in need of a forever home.
Paz, a 3-year-old pit bull mix, has been at the shelter for 219 days and is currently the shelter’s longest resident.
Henschen describes Paz as a very playful dog who loves his toys. He is very active, but will also enjoy relaxing after exercise.
“[He’s] looking for someone that can kind of just keep up with his energy level, meet his needs and give him the toys he needs and then also just like hangout with him at night,” Henschen said.
According to Henschen, Paz could use a little basic training, but he is very capable of learning.
“He’s very strong, he’s very handsome, as well,” Henschen said. “He does need some work on the basic manners, he likes to jump and things like that [and] he’s a little bit impatient. But he’s very willing to learn.”
Joy, a 1.5-year-old pit bull mix, has been at the shelter since April after being returned multiple times.
“Joy is just like…joy. She loves life, she loves everyone she meets. She’s a very active dog, very high energy, and that’s unfortunately what has gotten her brought back a couple times. So, someone that can take her on runs would be great. Someone who can kind of just take her places [to] let that energy out,” Henschen said.
Joy generally does well with other dogs, but a dog that is also high energy and can play in Joy’s play style would be ideal.
Journee, a 2-year-old pit bull mix, has been at the shelter for 97 days.
“She is a little shy at first… kind of flinches at some things, needs some positive reinforcement to adjust to different environments and new people and fast movements. A quieter household would probably be good for her,” Henschen said. “She does like to go on runs, but she isn’t as active as the other [dogs]. Someone that can kind of just spend their time with her and make her learn to trust the world would be really good for her.”
Ginger, a 1-year-old large breed mix, has been at the shelter for 105 days.
“Ginger is also an active dog, but all she needs is like one walk a day and she’s happy,” Henschen said.
Ginger was recently taken on an overnight camping trip to get her out of the shelter setting for a short period of time.
“She loves people. She did really well on the hiking/camping trip. Everyone she met she was social with, did really well with. She was fine with passing dogs on the hiking trails, passing bikes in busy areas and [she’s a] very well-rounded dog. She even seems to know basic commands,” Henschen said.
Patricia, a 2-year-old pit bull mix, has been at the shelter for 83 days.
“Patricia actually was part of our shy dog program initially, and she has really blossomed. Really shown she can be a social girl. She was really scared here at first, but has opened up really well,” Henschen said.
Patricia may prefer to be the only dog in the home or be with a dog who will give her space as she adjusts to her new home.
All the above dogs came into the Franklin County Dog Shelter as strays.
If interested in these dogs, anyone is welcome to stop by the shelter.
“They really can just come to the shelter anytime we’re open; we’re closed for adoptions on Wednesdays and Fridays but open for adoptions [the rest of the week],” Henschen said. “They can just show up, they don’t need an appointment, and they can just sign in to see any dogs they like. Hopefully, one of these guys; but if not, they’re welcome to walk around and visit any dogs they’d like to.”
The Franklin County Dog Shelter can be found at 4340 Tamarack Blvd, Columbus, Ohio 43229 or by phone at (614) 525-3647.