Kuwait dogs seek homes in Maine

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted June 29, 2009, at 10:14 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — They’re furry and have tails, and they have come from halfway around the world looking for a family to love them.

Lara, Ariel, Peppy and Lucy arrived at the Bangor Humane Society about two weeks ago from Kuwait City, and two local families already have adopted two of the Persian Gulf dogs.

Their stories of abandonment are unknown, but what is known is that the animal orphans of Kuwait need good, loving homes, Dawn Weber, the local Humane Society’s adoption counselor, said Monday.

“A lot of dogs are considered vermin over there,” she said.

The local animal shelter is working with the Animal Friends League of Kuwait, which opened in 2005 to feed, shelter and place stray animals of all sorts into homes in Kuwait.

Through Operation Flight to Freedom, at least 10 Kuwait dogs have new homes in the Bangor area.

Others have been adopted through another shelter in New England, the Kuwaiti animal shelter’s Web site states.

“Most of them are desert dog mixes,” Weber said. “They tend to have the long muzzle, shorter legs and hair … and they tend to have really nice dispositions.”

There are big differences between Maine and Kuwait, beside the drastically different weather, and it takes time for the animals to adjust, Weber said.

“In Kuwait they don’t have carpeting and they don’t have grass,” she said. When the dogs feel the new textures for the first time, “some of them act funny. It takes them a little bit to get used to it.”

The cost of bringing the dogs to Maine is borne entirely by the Kuwaiti animal shelter, Suzan Bell, executive director of the Bangor animal shelter, said Monday.

“They don’t just ship them over,” Weber said. “They have to come over with somebody.”

A volunteer at the Bangor shelter is related to the manager of the Kuwaiti shelter, which is how the partnership was created, both Bell and Weber said.

Once in Maine, the animals are quarantined for about a week. During that time, the dogs — just like all others that are dropped off at the shelter — are checked over by a veterinarian, they get shots and are neutered, if needed, and they have aggression and personality checks.

Lucy was adopted last week and a family selected Peppy on Monday, Weber said. Ariel, a black short-hair mixed breed who is shy at first but soon opens up, was adopted but returned, and will be back up for adoption in a day or two, Weber said.

Lara, a white mixed breed with tan speckles behind her ears, is described as a “wall flower” on her plaque at the shelter.

“We’re all about saving animals,” Bell said, adding that there is no shortage of animals that need homes. “We have plenty of dogs. We have plenty here that are from good, old Bangor, Maine.”

On the Web: www.bangorhumane.org.

nricker@bangordailynews.net

990-8190

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/06/29/news/bangor/kuwait-dogs-seek-homes-in-maine/ printed on July 11, 2014