When Europa first came into our orbit at LHS, things were looking a little bleak. The new mom of five had been living alone in a windowless basement – doing her best to take care of her newborn puppies without any food or water. Luckily, thanks to the intervention of concerned neighbors who called and alerted LHS to Europa’s situation, we were able to safely move her and her puppies to our shelter and get them the proper medical care they needed to go from surviving to thriving.
Though puppies arriving at LHS may seem like a relatively everyday occurrence, it’s actually quite rare. Puppies – especially newborns like Europa’s five little ones – are increasingly rare at shelters like LHS, thanks, in part, to successful community spay and neuter programs. So, when puppies do come to us, our staff must focus our resources to begin immediate intervention to help expose them to proper socialization activities with the goal of developing them into happy, healthy, and loving dogs who will make fantastic pets.
However, proper socialization of puppies isn’t just about introducing them to people and other animals – it’s a complex and precise process that helps young pups adjust to and understand the world around them – much like human babies. This process includes introducing them to new sights, sounds, smells, textures – all things they will eventually experience when they’ve been adopted into a loving family. This kind of research-based intervention also helps prevent common behavior problems in dogs – many of which can be traced back to limited or absent socialization – making staff’s efforts with Europa’s puppies of the utmost importance
Thanks to the intervention of our staff, Europa is doing well. Her puppies are growing each day and enjoying the opportunity to learn more about their ever-expanding world. And though our staff is working hard to properly socialize these young pups, donors like you can still play an invaluable role in helping these dogs, and dogs that might come our way in the future, live their best lives on the path to a successful adoption.
Giving Tuesday gives recurring and first-time LHS supporters the opportunity to make a contribution and be part of a worldwide effort to support organizations working for the common good. Your support today will go directly to assist efforts like saving Europa and her puppies that go on all year long. Together, we can ensure all animals that come into the LHS orbit have the best chance to thrive and live the happy, healthy life they deserve.
A version of this article appeared in LHS' newsletter The Dispatch. Click here to sign-up to receive The Dispatch.