Dogs swapped to different shelters more likely to be adopted

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A change of location was all it took to get some longtime shelter dogs into forever homes.

Hillsborough County's animal shelter, the Pet Resource Center, recently started a pilot program that swaps dogs with another county, and it's already getting results. Of the six dogs involved in the exchange, three have been adopted so far.

"One of the shelter managers came up with the idea and proposed at regional shelter meeting to see if others would be on board," said Lauryn Postiglione, the program coordinator at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center.

Postigilone said each shelter took in three dogs that had been in the other shelter for more than 100 days. She said the shelter has nearly 300 dogs, and it's a challenge to find new homes for the larger dogs.

"I think a lot of the time they get overlooked. So, we wanted to give them that new set of eyes and new people to see," said Postigilone.

It worked. Two dogs originally from Hillsborough County were adopted from Hernando County's shelter.

"Our staff was super excited to find out that they had been adopted, and we actually found out they were adopted within hours of each other on the same day," said Postigilone.

Families who rescue dogs think the program is a must.

"I think it's very important for them to do that. It's so overpopulated," said Mark Blakey, of Brandon. "People need a good pet. They're friends. We love ours to death."

So far, only one of the three currently in Hillsborough County and originally from Hernando County found a new home.

"We have Spuds, which was adopted from us. It was one of [Hernando's] dogs, and we just got an update today that he's going great in his new home," said Postigilone.

The remaining dogs from the first swap, Mindy and Chico, have to meet the right person. Mindy is around one year old and loves to play with people and other animals.

"She would be kind of a good all-around dog," said Postigilone.

Chico is around five years old and likes belly rubs and being around people.

"He likes to give kisses so he will bombard you with those if you're not paying attention," said Postigilone.

Shelter workers said they plan to keep swapping three dogs at a time, hoping someone will be interested in taking them home.