S. Strabane Petco hosts purebred dog adoption event

Groups bring dog ‘ambassadors’ to promote breeds

February 23, 2014
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
Alex Gamrat of South Park cuddles with Ruby while appearing at the Petco store in South Strabane Township Saturday with German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue at a “Meet the Breeds” event. For more on the event, see Page A2. Order a Print
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
Deanna Buell, manager of the Petco store in South Strabane Township, second from left, talks Saturday to Patricia O’Brien about her chapter of New Life Boxer Rescue at a “Meet the Breeds” event. Order a Print

Purebred dogs often end up in shelters after their former owners learn the hard way they are not equipped to deal with certain species, a Pittsburgh dog rescuer said.

It can happen after someone visits a friend with an adorable German shorthaired pointer and returns home deciding their family must have the same type of dog,” said Deb Orpen, who runs a rescue group named after the breed.

“They become overwhelmed by having a delinquent ‘teenager’ in their home,” said Orpen, executive director of German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue Pennsylvania Inc.

Orpen joined several other animal rescue groups Saturday at a “Meet the Breeds” event at the Petco store in South Strabane Township to show off their favorite dogs and seek volunteers and local residents interested in going through the process of adopting the animals.

Many people don’t realize dogs other than mixed-breeds end up in shelters because they “don’t meet that person’s lifestyle,” said Deanna Buell, manager of the Petco.

“There are so many purebred rescue groups available,” Buell said. “I do want them to find homes for these dogs.”

Patricia O’Brien of Chartiers Township was among the groups there, and she represented New Life Boxer Rescue.

“We’d really like to get a bigger base of volunteers in this region and are looking for foster homes,” O’Brien said.

She said boxers are popular dogs and are not too difficult to raise.

German shorthaired pointers are hunting dogs, and they can be difficult to train,” Orpen said.

She said their owners can become frustrated when the dogs run away to self-hunt and result in fines.

“It’s a hyper dog,” Orpen said.

She said it’s important that pet owners purchase animals from reputable breeders.

One sign of a good breeder is their willingness to take back a dog.

“Death happens. Divorce happens,” she said.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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