October 25th, 2010 by Anne Braly in Chattapets

Marjorie Banks loves Dachshunds. At any given time, she'll have more than a dozen barking around her house and yard. Banks runs the Chattanooga branch of the Kentucky Dachshund Rescue organization, thus her high population of the little dogs. But she can think of few breeds that have so much charm and character.

"They have their own personalities, and it is a challenge to be able to understand each one," she said.

That may be their only downfall. On the upside, she added, they are loyal, fun, smart and bond easily.

If you're thinking about bringing one home, though, Banks warns against buying one that has come from a puppy mill.

"They are really hard to turn around," she said. "They've been raised in a wire cage, never knowing the ground or grass. They are so pitiful."

Banks has had many puppy-mill Dachshunds come and go in her 11 years of rescue work. She said it's rewarding to see the progress that can be made with consistent training.

"They are so sweet and needy and do not do well in a shelter," she said.

Banks needs people willing to adopt one of her rescue dogs, and she said foster homes are also needed. She has Dachshunds ranging in age from 11 months to 17 years.

Rescuers with the patience to help them make progress will be rewarded with a dog who is "sweet, bonded and wants to sleep in the bed with you and go everywhere with you," Banks said. "They are very smart."

Adoptions start at $150 and include all shots and neutering. If interested, contact Banks at 629-2634 or e-mail banks_marj@comcast.net.


Toyota and Megan Blake, pet expert with Animal Attractions TV, provide these tips to keep Fido safe on the way to your Howl-oween festivities:

* Buckled up: Always restrain your pet when traveling in your automobile. An unrestrained pet can distract the driver and injure itself and the driver in an accident.

* The right location: Keep pets out of the front seat unless they are secured in a booster seat that won't trigger the front airbag in an accident. Pets should be secured in the back seat or cargo area of the vehicle for their safety.

* Safety before fashion: Never dress your pet in a Halloween costume until you arrive at your destination. This way you can avoid getting the costume caught on something in the car and potentially harming your pet.

- McClatchy Newspapers