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Berkeley, California (Wednesday, May 10, 2017) - At Berkeley's animal shelter, staff labeled Ricky as a Berkeley Lap Hound. It's easy to see why: as long as he has your permission, his favorite place is plopped in your lap.

Ricky doesn't realize he weighs almost2017-05-10 cmo bacs meet ricky
60 pounds! Fortunately, he's a great listener, and if you tell him "No" or "Off", he'll happily settle for leaning into you and staring up at your eyes… and maybe planting a few kisses on you. Ricky is a seriously sweet dog, and loves showing affection for his human friends.

The volunteers and staff at Berkeley Animal Care Services provide daily exercise, enrichment and training classes as well as top-notch medical care to ensure that our dogs are well-cared for and ready for adoption. Most of it is done by members of our community, hundreds of volunteers who regularly offer their time and service. In the process, we socialize the animals that may need just a little extra love and attention to make them suitable for a home.

We're highlighting Ricky as one of the many animals we nurture at Berkeley Animal Care Services, the only shelter in Berkeley that opens its doors to any dog in the city needing a new home. So even if Ricky isn't the dog for you, there may be another pet that may work for your home. 

Ricky is about two years old, and is a smart, fast learner. He walks well on the leash, and knows basic commands like "Sit", "Stay", and "Look". He also loves to play with his doggy friends after a proper introduction! Ricky has plenty of energy when it's time to play, but most of the time, he prefers to find a patch of sunlight or a comfy dog bed, lie down, and start snoring. Ricky is a quiet, trusting dog who loves everyone he meets. He'd do best in a home where he can get plenty of quality time with his people and/or a well-matched dog friend.

Oh, and one more note: feel free to make your own guesses about Ricky's ancestry, but there's a good reason the folks at the shelter decided to stop bothering with breed designations. In short, they're rarely accurate, and don't actually predict a dog's behavior!

A recent DNA testing study at Berkeley Animal Care Services confirmed that even experienced animal care professionals can only guess a dog's breed about 30% of the time. On top of that, even an accurate breed identification doesn't tell you much about a dog's personality. So the shelter staff decided to forego the guesswork and use observations of actual behavior to come up with a unique "breed" description for each dog.  

After all, what really makes a dog a great fit in a new home isn't its lineage, but its behavior. Some people want a dog to take to the park, or to jog with on the beach; to keep their other animals company, or to relax with on the couch after a long day. The folks at Berkeley Animal Care Services are confident that if people base their decision on a dog's observed personality, rather than making assumptions based on physical appearance, it will lead to happier and longer-lasting adoptions.

Which is exactly what Ricky is looking for: a forever home, albeit one with a lap to snuggle up to!

Berkeley Animal Care Services is located at  1 Bolivar Drive, Berkeley, CA 94710. Reach us by phone at (510) 981-6600. 


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