San Francisco Shelter Using DNA to Get Dogs a New Home

BY | February 02 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
San Francisco Shelter Using DNA to Get Dogs a New Home

Nowadays, when many Americans are on the hunt for a new furry friend, they aren't looking for a purebred. The hot new trend is to adopt a designer mix like Labradoodles or Puggles. Near San Francisco, the Peninsula Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PHS/SPCA) is looking to capitalize on this trend with the help of science.

Discovering new mixed breeds 

The PHS/SPCA is using DNA testing to figure out which breeds the dogs in the shelter have ties to, according to CBS San Francisco. The program is called "Who's Your Daddy" and will allow the organization to add new layers to the otherwise less desirable breeds that so often languish in shelters, like Pit Bulls or Chihuahuas.

By conducting the mouth swab DNA test that costs $60 per dog, the shelter is able to see what other breeds this pooch had as ancestors. For example, if the PHS/SPCA has a dog that looks like a Chihuahua and is unlikely to be adopted, the DNA test may reveal the dog also has some Parson Russell Terrier. This lets the shelter call the dog a Cherrier, thereby radically improving his/her chances of being adopted.Designer mixed breed dogs can be sold for thousands of dollars, but the shelter is only asking for $135 for puppies and $75 for dogs older than 7. Not only does this help cover the cost of the DNA testing, but dogs rescued from the shelter have all their vaccinations, a microchip, veterinary checkup, and have been spayed or neutered."We have great dogs as unique as the so-called designer dogs," PHS/SPCA spokesperson Scott Delucchi said in a statement quoted by CBS. "Odds are, they were bred accidentally, but we aim to turn that into something positive for dogs found stray or surrendered to us by owners unable or unwilling to keep them."

DNA testing your pooch 

While the PHS/SPCA plan is a novel way to find great dogs loving new homes, DNA testing may be able to help your pooch as well. Just like Heartgard Plus, some pet parents use DNA testing as a form of preventive health care.According to the Canine Journal, DNA testing can help you discover your mixed breed dog's genetic makeup. This information can be extremely useful in determining a genetic predisposition for a diseases or health concern. If the DNA test shows that your pooch is related to specific breeds, you can look into which chronic diseases are characteristic of that breed.For example, if your dog has more golden retriever in them than you expected, they may be more likely to develop cancerous tumors. Knowing that, you can increase the number of screenings your dog has per year to catch an illness early, while there's still something to be done.Or if it turns out that your dog is part Border Collie, you might discover that they inherited their mother's ivermectin sensitivity, meaning drugs like Heartgard Plus can be extremely dangerous. This is a good thing to know in advance, because heartworm preventatives like Heartgard Plus are extremely important, but not if your dog can't tolerate them.Additionally, the Canine Journal explained that knowing your dog's breed makeup can also help you know the exercise level they need. Your dog may have ancestors who were particularly active and that means that they should be too.Often, people who adopt or rescue dogs turn to DNA testing because much of their dogs background remains a mystery. A DNA test can work to help you understand how your pooch will look when they're finally grown up, or how their behavior may develop.Most DNA tests cost between $60 and $70. All you need to do after you buy one is swab their cheek and mail the sample to be tested. PetPlus has all of the medicine, food, and supplements that an adopted dog from the shelter needs, whether they're a Chihuahua, a Cherrier, or anything else.

The same is available at other places too. Scroll down to know more.

DNA Testing Helps California Shelter Dogs Find Homes

In California, one-fourth of dogs that end up in animal shelters appear to be Chihuahuas. These similar-looking dogs have a tough time getting adopted, since prospective pet parents are typically underwhelmed by their lack of distinctive characteristics. According to The Associated Press, however, shelters are looking to change this through DNA testing.

Who's your daddy? buprenex-dog-pain-relief

According to a press release, Scott Deluchi, senior vice president of the Bay Area's Peninsula Humane Society, came up with the idea of DNA testing after noticing the low numbers of Chihuahua-like dogs being adopted. His slogan, "Who's your daddy?" encourages potential pet owners to pay $50 for an accurate DNA exam that reveals what mix of breeds their prospective dogs are. It turns out that many homeless Chihuahuas are more than meets the eye. Often, this makes the mixed pooches much more desirable, and even earns them creative nicknames. Long gone are the days of simply tossing around the term "mutt." Today's dog owners want their furry friends to stand out. For example, a golden retriever-miniature pinscher-Chihuahua mix was marketed as a "golden Chinscher," earning it much more attention.The shelter tested 12 dogs in a preliminary trial run to see how effective DNA examinations would be in terms of actually placing the dogs in loving homes. After discovering the unique mixed backgrounds of 11 dogs and advertising them as such, the animals were all adopted within two weeks. This process was twice as fast compared to similar-looking dogs with uncertain backgrounds.

DNA tests reveal important pet information 

DNA-Breed-Blog

Not only do pet owners want to be able to proudly boast their dogs' breeds, but the source explained that knowing exactly what types of animals they're acquiring makes people far more comfortable opening their doors to shelter dogs. Since different types of dogs have different dispositions and personality traits, puppy parents can know exactly what to expect as their pooches mature and develop. The source reported that California resident Lynn Mazzola was planning to take home a large dog when she visited Deluchi's shelter, but the term "Chorkie" caught her eye. She ended up leaving with Lily, her new Chihuahua-Yorkie mix. She told The Associated Press that the unique combination of personality traits from the two breeds makes Lily the ideal pet. If Mazzola hadn't been aware of the dog's Yorkie side, however, she likely would've overlooked her new furry friend.Keep your adopted pup healthy and happy with a PetPlus membership, which allows you to get the best prices on food and medication.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like