LOS ANGELES — Ivan, Domino and Joshua arrived together at the animal shelter when their ailing owner could no longer care for them. To get adopted, they will need to go as one.
The shepherd-husky mix, Dalmatian mix and Benji-lookalike will stay at the New York shelter until someone will take all three because the owner took legal steps to keep his dogs together and well cared for before he entered a Texas rest home.
Despite email blasts to supporters, social media posts and a video on talk show host Howard Stern’s website, there have been no takers since they arrived June 14 at a Long Island shelter.
The plight of the threesome points to the challenge of finding homes for multiple pets that must be adopted as a package deal to honor a previous owner’s request or to keep inseparable pets together. Shelters and rescue workers have to get creative in their pitches to place multiple animals in the same home.
“They are such a dignified trio of dogs,” said Joanne Yohannan, senior vice president of operations for New York’s North Shore Animal League America.
To help with a multiple adoption, some shelters waive adoption fees or sponsor two-for-one deals.
If a bonded pair is separated, animals could exhibit bad behavior, such as destructiveness or aggressiveness toward people, said Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“In these cases, it is certainly the case that two are better than one,” she said.
But not every package deal is a match made in heaven.
Julie LeRoy, animal care manager of the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Kingston, N.Y., said she was “hell bent” on adopting several pairs of dogs together.
“One of my biggest failures was adopting out two of the most fearful and shut down dogs: Cherry and Sundae,” LeRoy said.
Seven months later, the couple brought the dogs back, in worse shape than they started. They’ve since been placed in separate homes and have blossomed. The families are neighbors so the dogs still get to see each other.
Cats Woodchuck and Clint are shown at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City. Allison Wheatley adopted them together and renamed them Henry (left) and Angus.×
Provided/ap Laura Morse with her sons Justin (left) and Logan, along with their two adopted dogs, Zeus (left) and Thor at their home in Naples, Fla.×