I'm thinking about getting a dog from the shelter but I have heard that many of the local dogs can have major health problems. Is that true and are there certain breeds I should be wary of?
I think it is just the opposite. The local dogs rarely have problems like purebreds.
ask about heartworm testing. VI has a high rate of heartworm disease. Once they are infected it is very expensive and risky to treat.
My two cents worth.
Local "mutts" aka Coconut Retrievers are wonderful dogs!
All dogs are susceptible to problems with their health.
Local dogs can be more resistant to rashes, allergies, and illness that have to do with the environment, bugs, plants, temperature........
If you adopt from the shelter they will test for heart worms.
We've personally rescued 3 dogs in the past 25 yrs that had heart worms. All of them were treated successfully and lived full, happy lives. Two are still with us.
It can be expensive treatment and can be hard on the dog so it's best to find one without heart worm. However, there are different stages of heart worm and if caught as a puppy and the puppy is strong the dog should respond well to treatment.
With a Mutt you get a one of a kind dog.(tu)
All the dogs and cats at the Animal Shelter on St Croix are as healthy as they can be when adopted---any dog you adopt will be heartworm NEGATIVE, flea/tick free, spayed/neutered, up to date on shots, dewormed, microchipped etc...The shelter staff work very hard to get all the adoptable animals healthy and keep them that way. The veterinarian who contracts with the shelter does weekly check-ups on all the animals.
Mixed-breed dogs are generally healthier than purebreds that have suffered from in-breeding. Less problems with genetic diseases like hip dysplasia.
Yes! Adopt with no fear! If anything, rescue or mixed dogs have FEWER health problems than the purebreds some pay hundreds or thousands for. Go to the shelter. You'll be hard pressed to leave with just one!
Stxem, One of our shelter dogs was heart worm positive. The shelter did not offer to treat her at their expense. We paid for her treatment out of our own pocket.
That is very unusual--did you adopt her recently? Maybe it was a special circumstance or something? However, currently, I can assure you that every dog up for adoption right now is heartworm negative. On intake, all dogs are tested for heartworm. If the animal is positive, they are typically not eligible for adoption (unless it is a very special case) because it takes months of treatment and is very costly. Due to the great numbers of animals with heartworm that come in, the shelter cannot afford to treat every case (especially since there is no 100% guarantee of recovery with heartworm treatment), so the animal is not placed for adoption. Unfortunately that is the reality on island given the prevalence of heartworm and large numbers of abandoned animals.
I recently took a dog from the shelter back to the states thru the pets from paradise program. The dog was healthy and had all the backup documents to support this. And at 6 weeks, the dog was neutered.
Everyone who had contacted with him, loved him. He was obedient and almost house trained.
My cousin adopted him and took him to a local vet in RI, the vet classified him in good health.
Last year I took 2 cats from the STX shelter back to RI for my sister. Again, after a few days my sister took the cats to the vets, and the RI vet classified both of them in good health.
And we adopted a cat from the shelter last year also, and the vet here on STX classified him in good health and we have had no physical issues with him(although I classify him as a nut case, ie he likes to play with a ping pong ball at 2:00AM in the morning, and alot of crazy cat stuff. We call him our CATDOG....full of energy . )
Bottom line, if I had a choice to adopt, the first choice would be a pet from the shelter here on ST Croix.
PS Anyone traveling back to the states, contact the shelter to see if you can help by bringing a pet back to the states. The shelter coordinates someone from the states to meet you and take the pet. Its a great feeling knowing something as little as traveling with a pet on your return to the states has helped. Email infor email@example.com.
my two cents worth also... i have adopted cruzan dogs through they years (or they have found me) anyway i remember when i first moved here the local told me " you cant beat a local dog.......they are usually healthier and are better tempered" then most breeds.
i think they have soulful eyes and appreciate you giving them a good home. i have three currently and would not trade them in for any pure breed.
i just adopted a one year old mama dog from the stx animal welfare shelter and we are in love. she is the sweetest tempered, calmest, most appreciative dog i've ever come across. she is also house trained. she has been tested for hw and given her shots and spayed. i have to take her to get her stitches out but it's all included in the $100 adoption fee. i really can't recommend the caring staff and sweet dogs at the stx shelter enough. and yes, purebreeds have A LOT more health problems than mixed breeds.