Pet Feature: Oliver the puppy needs a home

Darlene Foreman, caretaker at Esther L. Boyd Animal Shelter, shows off camera-shy Oliver the puppy. Henry Culvyhouse/Daily

WINCHESTER — In the break room at the Frederick County Esther L. Boyd Animal shelter, 10-week-old Oliver the puppy sniffs around on the floor.

Oliver was surrendered to the shelter Jan. 28, along with his brother Otis and his sister. Like any typical puppy, the pug and beagle mix is still growing and needs training, said Darlene Foreman, a caretaker at the shelter.

“He needs basic puppy training,” Foreman said. “An adoptee would have to make sure they’re taking him outside on a regular basis, establish a routine, like taking them out in the morning, after they eat and before they go to bed.”

The 7-pound puppy is expected to grow to almost 30 pounds, Foreman said. However, not only is his body developing, but so his is personality, she said.

“He’s still coming out of his shell,” Foreman said. “He’s still a little timid, but he’s friendly with everybody. He’s still a little shy, maybe a little quieter than his siblings.”

Because Oliver came to the shelter with his siblings, he gets along fine with other dogs, Foreman said. She also said she believes he should be able to adjust to cats as well.

“Most puppies, if they grow up around a cat, learn to adjust,” Foreman said. “Usually the cats put them in their place anyways and show them who’s boss.”

Foreman said she thinks Oliver could adapt to almost any living situation.

“He would get along with just about anybody,” Foreman said. “I’m sure he’d be great with kids. He’s going to be a somewhat small dog, so he’d be good for anybody who lives in an apartment.”

Oliver is not a very picky puppy, Foreman said. She said Oliver will “eat just about anything” and he loves all kinds of toys. Foreman said any potential owner, whether it is for Oliver or any other animal at the shelter, should give the animal time to adjust to a regular diet.

“Oliver is just eating puppy food right now,” Foreman said. “Our food is donated, so they don’t always get the same thing. We always tell people when they adopt an animal to give their system time to adjust to their food. You don’t want to keep switching food around too much.”

Since coming to the shelter, Oliver has been de-wormed once and has received a shot for his intestinal system. Foreman said he still needs two more shots and if adopted, he will need to be neutered.

“With the puppies, you have until they’re 6 months old to get them spayed or neutered because most vets won’t do it until they’re between 4 to 6 months,” Foreman said.

The adoption fee for Oliver is $30 and the shelter requires a new owner to put down a $70 deposit toward his neutering. The shelter will give Oliver’s new owner a certificate verifying he or she has made the deposit, which most local veterinarians will accept and deduct off the bill, Foreman said.

Foreman said she expects Oliver and his brother Otis to be adopted fairly quickly. In fact, Oliver’s sister found a home Tuesday, just six days since arriving at the shelter.

“Puppies usually go pretty fast,” Foreman said. “Everybody wants puppies or small dogs, so they usually don’t stay around too long.”

Those interested in adopting Oliver or any other animal at the shelter can call 540-667-9192 for more information. The Frederick County Esther Boyd Animal Shelter is located at 161 Fort Collier Road in Winchester.

The shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com