A hoarder in Pennsylvania was found with 86 New Guinea Singing Dogs, which are sometimes classified as a distinct species, and do indeed sing. Before Randy A. Hammond and his 24 primitive pens of dogs were found, people thought there were only a couple hundred in captivity–many in zoos–and a disappearing population in the wild.
Like other hoarders, Hammond’s well-meaning. Unlike other hoarders, he’s cooperating and working with the PA game commission and the two big breed groups, the New Guinea Singing Dog Conservation Society (based in Vermont, it’s most worried about keeping the species or breed alive with a breeding plan.) and New Guinea Singing Dog International.
Together they figured out which should be bred or neutered and adopted out. Hammond is keeping 10 because his pack just got out of control when he was dealing with his wife’s cancer. A bonded pair is up for adoption on Petfinder from Helping Hands Rescue in Gainesville, FL. The shelter says: Chester “is fairly trusting of new people and is an absolute love once he gets to know you. He is very much a gentleman to his mate, Miss Kitty…often offering her his treats.”
The dogs are odd pets, not good for families that have kids or lack dog experience or secure yards. Tom Wendt of New Guinea Singing Dog International gave this evaluation of the group in early November. (More pups were born since then):
78 dogs total 1 – lives inside with the owner 9 – are pups (none are old enough to take home) 13 – are living in enclosures too small to evaluate them 4 – rated as a 5. On a 1-5 scale only 4 would be considered completely socalized and would approach any human 2 – rated as a 4. These Singers would quickly adapt and bond with a new adopter 3 – rated as a 3. These Singers would need some time but a patient adopter could socialize them. 7 – rated as a 2. These Singers showed interest in interacting but their instincts kick in. These Singers would need folks with experience or incredible patirnce, 39 – rated as a 1. These Singers either growled, cowared, became nervous, or barked at us protesting our very presence. These Singers could only go to folks that have extensive experience with a wild animal. They want nothing to do with any human other then their current owner.
The debate over whether this a dog, dingo or its own wolf species rages on. Sir Edward Hallstrom found them in New Guinea in 1957. He names them Canis hallstromi. In 1969 they were demoted to a subspecies of dingo, Canis familiaris dingo or Canis lupus dingo. Biologists Janice Koler-Matznick, Bonnie C. Yates, Susan Bulmer and I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr. say “time is running out” to study this rare species or breed, which is getting pushed out its habitat and diluted with domestic dog. They argue that the research classifying it as a domestic animal because it had varied size was mistaken and that it’s genetically distinct from dogs and dingos and recognized by New Guineans as a different creature.
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