Bud can tell you if your new dog likes cats | RecordCourier.com
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Bud can tell you if your new dog likes cats

by Linda Hiller

It’s a dangerous job, but some “Bud” has to do it.

Bud, a.k.a. Arthur, a.k.a. Stubby, is a three-legged, 8-year-old tabby cat who can instantly tell if a dog is cat-friendly or cat-loathing.

As a “dog tester,” he is invaluable to personnel at Douglas County Animal Control. When a dog is adopted from the center, many times the new owners want to know how their pet will get along with the family felines at home.

Enter Bud.

“Bud will let us know right away if a dog likes cats or not,” said supervising animal control officer Rhonda Fingar. “If a cat-friendly dog comes in, Bud will just lay there, but if he gets nervous and disappears, we know he has a bad feeling about the dog.”

Like other animal shelters across the country, animal control personnel in Douglas County have found that employing Bud can help make adoptions stick.

“Our adoptions are stronger this way,” Fingar said. “If people come here looking for a dog and they have cats at home, we’ll bring the dog they like out to see Bud, and if he just lays there we know the dog is fine. If he growls, slaps and runs, we know the dog isn’t friendly to cats.”

Bud, Arthur or Stubby – he’s called the name that fits his particular mood. It’s “King Arthur” when he’s being regal, “Bud” when he’s being a pal. He has been through his share of aggressive dog encounters over the years, Fingar said.

“He’s been mauled, attacked and chased,” Fingar said. “We had a wolf hybrid who nailed him and then a rottweiler got him in his mouth and was shaking him like a rag doll until we got the dog to drop Bud.”

Even Fingar’s own dog, a German shorthair, chased Bud up a tree during a rabies clinic.

In true cat-has-nine-lives style, Bud survived all three attacks. The loss of his right rear leg happened before he was dropped off at the shelter to be put to sleep five years ago, Fingar said.

Since then, Bud has more than earned his keep as the chief cat-dog compatibility tester.

Fingar said a new law went into effect in October, requiring all animals to be spayed or neutered before going home with their new owners.

“The prices for adoption went up a bit because of that, but at least now we’ll be sure the job gets done, which helps everyone in the long run,” she said.

Adoptions for animals which have already been neutered are still $22, which includes the license, shots and adoption fee.

For dogs who need the operation, the adoption costs range from $72 to $97, which includes the license, shots, operation and adoption fee.

For cats, the cost to adopt an un-neutered animal range from $31 to $41.

Fingar said many discounts for grooming and dog training as well as free exams and distemper shots by area veterinarians are also included with the paperwork of adopting any animal from the shelter.

For more information, call 782-9061.

Plus, free of charge, Bud the furry feline psychic will test your future pet for feline affinity and canine compatibility.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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