Meet Shady, the dog nobody wants

Shady is looking for a forever home. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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When you think about getting a new dog, you would certainly have a specific image in mind – most likely a puppy with enough energy to keep you running around at the park for hours. But, would you consider a dog that’s a few years older?

According to Animal Welfare League NSW Engagement Coordinator Alyssa McDougall, their Kemps Creek shelter is consistently quite full, with anywhere between 100 to 150 cats and close to 100 dogs at any given moment.

Though some get scooped up fairly quickly, others remain there for months, or even years, with McDougall saying breed is a significant factor. But, the even more prominent reason is a dog’s age.

“We find that puppies go fairly quickly, whereas the older dogs tend to stay for quite a while,” she said.

“We’re really lucky that we will keep dogs for as long as they need to stay here, in the sense that if they don’t find their forever home for a year or two years, we will keep the kennel space for them until they find their home.”

Alyssa McDougall and Shady. Photo: Melinda Jane.

Dalmatian Cross Shady is eight-years-old and is one example of a long-term resident who hasn’t had much luck at the shelter.

“He’s been here for a couple of months now, and has unfortunately no interest whatsoever, and I would say it’s because of his age,” she said.

“He’s such a lovely dog. He’s obviously gorgeous, and he’s still got that energy and a lot of life to him.”

It’s because of this that McDougall is encouraging incoming pet owners not to overlook older dogs.

“People tend to like the cuteness of puppies and the energy of puppies, whereas I find that older dogs have a lot more character, and they’re great companions,” she said.

“Obviously their life span is going to be a little bit shorter than the younger dogs, but it just makes it so much more special to have them in the home.”

For some, older dogs may even be a better option.

“I believe older dogs are great for anyone, but ideally someone who’s going to be able to spend a lot of time with them is really good,” she said.

“They don’t often need to be exercised as much as a puppy or a younger dog, so potentially someone older, but they’re great for everyone.”
McDougall said that adoption is always the right answer, with plenty of animals in need of a forever home.

“Not only are all shelters quite full, but they’re full with these amazing dogs with amazing personalities that have so much life and love to give,” she said.


Cassidy Pearce

Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.

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