Pet of the week: Emma and Lilly a winning pair

Ten-year-old rat terrier sisters Emma, left, and Lilly stand attentive while on a walk with Clarke County Animal Shelter Manager Jenny Wright. Rachel Mahoney/Daily

BERRYVILLE – Sisters Emma and Lilly have spent their whole lives by each other’s sides, and the Clarke County Animal Shelter intends to keep them that way at a new home.

Shelter Manager Jenny Wright said the two rat terriers came to the shelter on Nov. 23 when circumstances made their previous owner decide to surrender them from a happy home. They’ve been attached at the hip ever since and they’re seeking another attentive home together.

“Definitely, wherever Lilly goes, Emma has to keep looking back to find her,” Wright said.

Of the siblings, Lilly is definitely the more playful and energetic of the two. Emma is a bit more calm and sedentary, and has become a little chubbier than her sister as a result. Wright said that together, the two tend to balance each other out and are adaptable to almost any home.

“They’d get laong anywhere, either apartment life or a farm life or anything, they’d do good,” she said.

Emma might not be up for a long and vigorous walk because of her fitness level, but she and Lilly will enjoy an active home that leads them out for regular walks. Outside playtime is a must for these curious and sniff-happy sisters that love to romp and explore together.

“They love getting out, whether it’s in a fence or on a leash,” Wright said.

She does recommend keeping them restrained by either of those methods while outside, since rat terriers, like beagles and Jack Russel Terriers, tend to want to chase after rodents like squirrels and rabbits and may end up running loose.

Emma and Lilly may greet strangers with some excited yips, but once they’ve made their greetings, Wright said they’d settle down with a little affection. Both of them are sociable and curious and will enjoy a good scratch – they don’t even mind being held.

“They like to bark a lot when they meet people – that’s always rat terriers though,” she said. “They greet everybody the same way: they bark and then they’re happy and as long as you’re giving them attention, they’re super happy.”

The two have gotten along fine with other dogs and interacted well with children who give them the attention they want. The shelter doesn’t recommend them to owners with cats, though.

Wright said some visitors end up being overwhelmed by Lilly’s high level of energy compared to her sister and gravitate toward Emma instead. The shelter doesn’t want to disrupt the strong and long-lived bond between the two, especially since Wright said their previous owner was concerned about them finding a home that would keep them together.

“Everybody that’s looked at them was either interested in one or the other, nobody’s wanted them together yet,” Wright said. “At this point we don’t really want to separate them.”

Both 10-year-old sisters are spayed and up to date on rabies, distemper, parvo and bordetella shots. Adopting both dogs would cost $50. Contact the shelter to learn more by calling 540-955-5104 or visiting http://tinyurl.com/hwassrn.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com