Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 2, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 2, 2015 




Puppers is a senior Chihuahua 
mix, about 15 years old, who was 
surrendered to the shelter by an 
owner who could no longer care for 

 It’s always difficult to see a dog 
surrendered, but especially an older 
dog that has fewer chances to get 
adopted. Puppers was very lost and 
confused his first few days at the 
shelter, but gradually he became 
used to the daily routine, and got 
accustomed to the staff and volunteers 
who interact with him each day. He 
now greets visitors with a smile and a 
wiggle where his tail ought to be. At 
some point in his life, Puppers lost 
his tail, but he can still express his 
happiness with that wiggle.

 Puppers likes people as well as other dogs, and 
he gets along well with his kennel mate. Puppers 
is easy to harness and handle on leash, and he 
enjoys going for walks. He likes to keep moving 
on his walks, and has more energy than would be 
expected in a dog of his age. If he didn’t have a 
few gray hairs on his face, he could easily pass for a 
much younger gentleman.

 Puppers has an easy-going, mellow disposition, 
and likes getting pets and attention from people. 
He is also fond of treats and he appears to be 
carrying a few extra pounds because of that. As 
much as he enjoys walking, he should be back to 
his ideal weight before long.

 If you can find a place in your heart and your 
home for this sweet senior boy, he would happily 
be your new best friend. Senior dogs to not ask for 
much more than a secure and comfortable home 
to spend their Golden Years, and they have a lot of 
love to give in return. 

 He currently resides at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 851 E. Grand Avenue 
in San Gabriel. We are located off San Gabriel 
Blvd., north of Mission and south of Las Tunas. To 
arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Puppers, please 
stop by any time from 10:00am to 4:30pm Tuesday 
thru Sunday. 

 Pupper’s adoption fee is $120. This includes his 
neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchip and a free 
wellness exam at a participating veterinarian. He 
is also eligible for the shelter’s reduced-fee ‘Senior 
For Senior’ adoption program. 

 If you are interested in meeting Puppers or any 
of the other wonderful pets at the shelter, visit the 
San Gabriel Valley Humane Society at 851 E. Grand 
Ave., San Gabriel, Calif., 91776, Tuesday through 
Sunday. For more information, call (626) 286-
1159. See our website at for 
information and photos of all our wonderful pets. 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range 
of complex neurodevelopment disorders, 
characterized by social impairments, 
communication difficulties, and restricted, 
repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. 
Autistic disorder, commonly known as Autism, 
is the most severe form of ASD, while other 
conditions along the spectrum include a milder 
form known as Asperger syndrome, childhood 
disintegrative disorder and personal development 
disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred 
to as PDD-NOS).

 Experts estimate that 1 out of 88 children age 
8 will have an ASD (Centers for Disease Control 
and Prevention: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly 
Report, March 30, 2012). Autism occurs in all 
ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects 
every age group, although statistics show that 
males are four times more likely to have some 
form of ASD than females.

 The hallmark feature of Autism is impaired 
social interaction. A child with Autism may 
appear to develop normally and then withdraw 
and become indifferent to social engagement. 
They may fail to respond to their names and 
often avoid eye contact with other people. They 
may also engage in repetitive movements such 
as rocking and twirling and often have difficulty 
playing interactively with other children.

 There are various therapies known to help 
Autistic children with behavior modification 
using positive reinforcement, but success is limited 
with no promise that the child will ever become 
completely independent. Indeed, in most cases, 
the Autistic child will remain fully dependent on 
others for the entire duration of their life.

 No matter how much a parent loves their Autistic 
child, there is only so much they can do and there 
are only so many hours in a day. We humans are 
limited to a finite amount of energy and number 
waking hours, regardless of how dedicated we 
may be to a cause. This becomes particularly 
problematic when there are other siblings in the 
home, with their own set of needs for love and 
attention. Often parents become exhausted with 
the constant demands of raising an Autistic child, 
and they must reach out for help.

 In comes the canine. That’s right, there are 
service dogs specifically trained for the sole 
purpose of assisting Autistic children! Just the 
thought of this warms my heart. Although it 
comes as no surprise to me, because it just makes 
sense that a dog could do such a thing for a child 
in need. But when I read about how 
and why interaction with a therapy 
dog can have such a positive impact 
on an Autistic child, other than the 
obvious benefits we all get from our 
pets, I was truly amazed. It is more 
scientific than you might think.

 First, here is a little background on 
what has been found to be a major 
culprit of Autism. Cortisol is the 
body’s stress hormone, produced in 
anticipation of stressful situations. 
A body’s level of cortisol typically 
peaks a half hour after waking, 
which is called “Cortisol Awakening 
Response” (CAR). By measuring 
CAR, scientists can determine how stressed 
someone is, without having to verbally ask them 

 According to a new study at the University of 
Montreal, “Effects of Service Dogs on Salivary 
Cortisol Secretion in Autistic Children”, 
specifically trained service dogs can help reduce 
anxiety and enhance the social skills of children 
with Autism. “Our findings show that the dogs had 
a clear impact on the children’s stress hormone 
levels”, says Sonia Lupien, senior researcher and 
professor at the UM Dept. of Psychiatry, and 
Director of Centre for Studies on Human Stress 
at Louis-H Lafontaine Hospital. She continued, “I 
have not seen such a dramatic effect before.”

 The test results showed an average CAR level 
increase of 58% prior to the introduction of a 
service dog. With a service dog, tests showed the 
CAR levels plummeted to a mere 10% increase, 
significantly lower than before. Next, the dog 
was taken away for four weeks, and the CAR 
shot back up to a 48% increase every morning as 
the child awoke from sleep. Remarkable results, 
to say the least! Lupien also observed a notable 
improvement in the children’s behavior with a 
decrease in irritability and incidents of “acting 
out”, as reported by their parents.

 A number of hypotheses were drawn, to explain 
the desirable CAR response experienced by the 
subject children after spending time with the 
dogs, including positive psychological factors 
(e.g. calmer, happier children), or changes in their 
sleep patterns (some parents reported improved 
sleep habits when the service dogs were in the 
home), or perhaps the presence of the dogs created 
an anchoring effect that made testing cortisol 
levels easier on the children. For whatever reason, 
the fact remains that the dogs’ presence had a 
very positive impact on the children, and that is a 
fantastic fact!

 I found several groups on line, that offer trained 
service dogs to children with Autism, but the one 
that impressed me the most is 4 Paws for Ability. 
They were the first group to start training dogs for 
the specific purpose of assisting Autistic children, 
and in spite of the huge number of calls they 
receive every year, they have never turned down 
a child in need of a canine companion. It must be 
very gratifying to know you are helping a child 
with Autism by training a dog to be their best 

DogWalking & Sitting ServicesSierraMadre, Californiawww.canyoncanine.comchris@canyoncanine.comChris LeclercCanyonCanine626-355-8333 626-533-9536CCConCaCanyonCanineCanineeeieCCChris LeclercChris Leclercae,, CaliforCaalking&SonDogWWalking & Sitting ServicesonCa626-355-8333 62onCayeclercinnia6-533-95362eclerccanine.comanine.comani,CaliforirnanineSittingServiceseaninee

Like a fine wine, dogs get better with 
age! Such is definitely the case with Olive 
(A3902223). Volunteers are sure she was 
a cute puppy, but cannot get over how 
stunning she has become! Olive is an easy-
going 7-year-old black with white spayed 
female Cocker Spaniel mix whose owner 
left her at the Baldwin Park Animal Care 
Center for no known reason on April 22. 
Volunteers cannot imagine why because 
Olive is such a beautiful dog inside and 
out! Weighing 15 pounds (a great size 
for an apartment or condo), Olive walks 
daintily on leash and is curious about 
socializing with other dogs. Olive is a 
lap dog at heart, and happily climbs into 
available laps for snuggles. Olive has 
experienced some neglect, and will benefit 
from a dental cleaning and a good diet. With her 
adorable face and long legs, she is supermodel 
material, once she gets some TLC. Olive will be 
a fantastic best friend to any individual or family 
looking for a loyal, friendly dog to join them on 
walks and evenings on the couch. 

 To meet Olive in person, please see her at the 
Baldwin Park Shelter, located at 4275 N. Elton, 
Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (Phone: 626-430-2378 
or 626-962-3577). She is currently available 
now and is ready to go home with you! For any 
inquiries about Olive, please reference her animal 
ID number: A3902223. The shelter is open seven 
days a week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday and 
10am-5pm Friday-Sunday. This is a high-intake 
shelter with a great need for adoptions. For more 
information about Olive or the adoption process, 
contact United Hope for Animals Volunteer 
Adoption Coordinator Samantha at Samantha@ 

 To learn more about United Hope for Animals’ 
partnership with the Baldwin Park Shelter 
through its Shelter Support Program, as well 
as the many dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes 
available for adoption in local shelters, visit

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: