Pup Pics

August 3, 2011

Troy, a dog up for adoption. Photo by Devon Overbaugh

Have you noticed the snazzy photos of our dogs on the adoption pages? 

Devon Overbaugh has been volunteering her time to take photos of our adoptable pups!  Many, many thanks, woofs, and happy wags to her for this HUGE help!


Adopt-A-Bull Update!

July 29, 2011

Sadie, one of the pitties who went home last weekend!

Congratulations to our 3 adopt-a-bulls who went home with their new families last weekend!!!

Sadie, Maximus, and Hazel

We were ecstatic to see them all find loving homes over just three days!

The Berkshire Eagle featured Pit Bulls and Berkshire Humane Society in a recent article Many thanks to them for highlighting the dogs and the shelter.

Don’t forget, Adopt-A-Bull month runs through the end of July, there are still a few days left!  We have 3 adopt-a-bulls up for adoption: Rocks, Wonka, and Ortiz

A Message From the Adopt-A-Bulls

July 7, 2011

Check out this video featuring the shelter’s resident Pit Bulls!  Find out what makes their breeds such incred-i-bull pets! 

All the dogs in this video are currently available for adoption! You can view their profiles on BHS’ dog page!

And don’t forget, July is Adopt-A-Bull month here at the shelter!

July is Adopt-A-Bull Month at BHS!

July 2, 2011

Join us as we celebrate our Pit Bulls and mixes at the shelter!   All month long we’ll be highlighting this fun (and often misrepresented) breed.  

For the month of July, all adult Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes will have a reduced adoption donation of $50. 

Here are some fun facts about these terriers:

  • The term “Pit Bull” is a blanket term used to refer to a group of breeds, including the Pit Bull, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
  • Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes are the most common breed seen at Berkshire Humane as well as many other shelters in the Northeast US.
  • Pitbulls tend to be very energetic and playful! Take Rocks, for example.  If he had his way, he would fetch tennis balls and run all day, then curl up with you after a day full of exercise.
  • Pit Bulls tend to be social and loving, especially towards their human family. Just look at the way Wonka beckons attention with his eyes.
  •  Pit Bulls were originally bred in Britain to bait bulls.  Bull baiting was deemed inhumane and illegal in the early 1830’s, and Pit Bulls were then used for dog fighting.  Nowadays, just like any other breed, each Pit’s socialability with other dogs varies.  Pit Bull owners can help keep their dogs safe and comfortable around other dogs through early socialization as well as ongoing training.  (Two things any dog owner can do to help their pet!) 
  • Pit Bulls make great athletes!  They are strong, agile, and have lots of energy.  This makes them great candidates for everything from fetch in the backyard to agility to flyball!  Look at Ortiz’s joy as he triumphantly brings back his toy!  This boy is also into agility.

If you’d love an intelligent, playful, energetic companion, why not consider (or re-consider) a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix?  Come on down to the shelter and spend some time with any of these fantastic dogs.  Even if you don’t leave with a Pit Bull, we bet you’ll leave with a soft spot in your heart for them!

Look for more Pit Bull features coming all month long!

Special Seniors

April 26, 2011

Looking for a dog that’s already trained? One who is less demanding than a puppy? One that will make you cherish every day together? Sounds like it’s time to consider adopting a senior pet.

There are countless advantages to adopting an older dog. They have reached their mature size, they are past the heavy chewing stage, their habits are fairly consistent, most often they are housetrained,  most know their basic commands, and they don’t require as much vigorous exercise as a young pup (with the exception of Sam, of course).

One of the few disadvantages is, of course, is that there are fewer years to spend with older pets.  Also, geriatric care can be expensive since they are prone to a variety of ailments. It is wise to discuss healthcare options with your vet before major problems arise.

We offer a special program called Seniors for Seniors, which allows senior citizens to adopt older pets at a reduced rate. We find that these matches are mutually satisfying and especially heartwarming.

Currently we have 4 dogs in their golden years looking for their special family:

*Sam (now adopted!!) is a 12-year-old male Springer Spaniel that is in much better physical shape than one might expect! He is very well behaved and is looking forward to an active lifestyle.

*Wonka is a 8-year-old male Pitbull mix who loves to take leisurely walks and spend time with his human companions. He would prefer a quieter household with adults only.

*Rowdy (now adopted!!) is a 8-year-old Mini Schnauzer who is still full of life. He certainly lives up to his name and would love someone with a sense of humor.

*Steve (now adopted!!) is a 8-year-old male Beagle who was found as a stray. Like most other hounds, he loves to follow his nose and would love to accompany you on hikes!

For more information on our sweet seniors, call the kennel staff at (413) 447-7878 ext. 26. You can also visit us at 214 Barker Road in Pittsfield (click here for hours of operation).  The dogs look forward to meeting you!


March 26, 2011

We are very pleased to announce that two fearful dogs, Champ and Duke, have found their forever homes!  Each of them have faced challenges while at the shelter, but they have also made a lot of progress. We believe that they will blossom even more in their new homes!  In honor of these adoptions, we’d like to emphasize the importance of socialization throughout a dog’s lifespan.

Left: Duke enjoying the snow!

The most important period for socialization is early puppyhood, from 4 to 12 weeks of age.  If they are exposed to a variety of people in a positive way, they are more likely to grow up being accepting of others.  If, on the other hand, they have negative interactions or only meet a few people, they are more likely to have fearful or aggressive behaviors around humans.












Above: Champ is comfortable enough to cuddle with Jessie!

When a fearful dog enters our shelter, we initially have him interact with staff members only.  This way we can establish a trusting relationship and observe their typical behavioral responses to scary situations.  Then we begin to slowly (and we mean slowly) counter-condition them to that particular situation. This involves exposing them one step at a time to the frightening stimulus, and rewarding any confident behavior along the way. We always use postivie reinforcement because it is scientifically proven to be the most effective training method. If the dog acts scared, it means we have gone past their comfort threshold, so we simply remove them from the situation.  For example, when Champ confidently greets a new person, we verbally praise him and give him treats.  When he is showing signs of discomfort (tail-tucking, hiding, bulging his eyes etc.) we bring him back to a safe spot and try again when he is feeling comfortable.

Proper socialization is an exercise that should continue throughout a dog’s lifetime.  If a dog has had bad or limited experiences in the past, it’s never too late to start exposing them to different types of people.  Just remember to take it slow, watch body language to know his or her limits, and keep it fun and rewarding!

We love donations!

March 16, 2011

We’d like to give a special thanks to Al Ell for his generous Big Y gift card donation! It will come in handy for all of the critters in our care. Al came in to visit and show off his BHS alumnus “Balam” (aka “Pocket”), who is doing great! The toy poodle mix was too excited and wiggly to get a clear picture. 😉

If you’re interested in making a donation to our shelter, the dogs would love the following:
* soft, meaty treats
* unopened bags of dog food
* kongs and other durable (preferably large) dog toys
* 6-foot leashes in good condition
* medium – large buckle collars in good condition

We could also use cleaning supplies like:
* heavy duty rubber gloves
* large heavy duty trash bags
* paper towels
* sponges
* bleach
* window cleaner without ammonia

On behalf of all of the animals, thanks so much for your generosity!!

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