The puppies that yearn for love | The Canberra TimesThe puppies that yearn for love | The Canberra Times

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It’s true: Tinkerbelle is not an adorable pooch with soppy eyes to drown in. It may be the touch of Stafforshire bull terrier mixed in with who knows how many other non-designer breeds that means she gets left on the shelf. While demand for cavoodles, moodles, groodles, clumberdoodles, labradoodles and sheepadoodles rises like the tail of a poodle that sees a mate, Tinkerbelle has no takers after 113 days at the RSPCA shelter in Weston. Cute she ain’t. But lovely she is, according to Michelle Robertson of the RSPCA. “I love this dog. I think she’s beautiful. She’s a big girl. She’s very affectionate,” the organisation’s chief executive in Canberra said. She and her RSPCA colleagues think Tinkerbelle’s a bit of a softy. “Tinkerbelle can take some time to warm up to new people but once she makes friends, be prepared for loving slobbery kisses,” they say. With the lockdown, the demand for dogs jumped as people sought companionship – and demand for dogs from the RSPCA shelter did rise, but that still didn’t mean a taker for Tinkerbelle. “There’s a massive demand but people are looking for smaller, designer type dogs,” Michelle Robertson said. “We have a whole lot of dogs which aren’t small. We have mixed breeds. “A lot of adopters are looking for dogs but not the dogs in the shelter. It’s been worrying. We always have dogs and I want them to go to a home.” She said that a less than glamorous dog could be very fulfilling. “Please open up your heart to a different choice. You would know that you are giving it a second chance.” Luke Quade gave Sassie a second chance. He lives on his own and the unabashed mongrel he got from the RSPCA is a great companion. “She’s a great dog. We go for walks together,” he said. He said he was going home from shopping at Big W one day when he called into the shelter to see what was there. His kelpie had died of cancer and he had missed the companionship. And there was Sassy, at the shelter after 440 days. They hit it off. She has a bit of Staffordshire pit bull in her but Mr Quade thinks the breed’s alleged bad nature is a fiction. Bad behaviour is more to do with the owner than the dog. “When people hear the word ‘pit-bull’, they think they are aggressive, but they are not,” the happy part pit-bull owner said. Michelle Robertson admits that some discarded and abandoned dogs can be difficult but she says all dogs can be. “Puppies are going to chew your slippers, whether it’s a cross-breed or not.” “We often end up with dogs which have been traumatised by humans and then people say they don’t want them because they’re not fluffy.” The RSPCA spends time and money bringing animals back to health both physically and mentally. They aren’t offered for adoption until they are suitable. And some of the gruff looking dogs have lovely natures. “It’s about perception. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” At the time of writing, the RSPCA in Canberra had 220 animals in care of which 23 were available for adoption. There were 74 dogs in care of which 11 were available for adoption. Including Tinkerbelle at $395.

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