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Sep 2, 2016

The Little Rat Terrier That Could

UPDATE: Smartheart-Bear has been adopted!

Before they were first brought into our shelter, the 14 little Rat Terrier mixes from the Karnes County hoarding case had spent most of their lives with minimal human contact. They were fearful, shy, and would not approach our staff or volunteers of their own free will--even with a handful of treats.

August 11, 2016

A little over three weeks later and little has changed, although you'd be surprised what a handful of treats can do now. 

Can you guess who has the most treats here?

However, they still mostly avoid the sight of a leash.
If I can't eat it, I don't want it.

They have all come a long way since they were first brought into the shelter, and they all have longer still to go. While they all receive a regular dose of socialization every time our staff comes in to clean and feed their empty bellies, our volunteers also drop in to generously donate their time (and doggie treats) to help get these pooches where they need to be. 

Cheer-Bear knows what's up. (Yes, they're named after Care Bears!)

Introducing: Smartheart-Bear,
the Little Rat Terrier That Could

Of the remaining 13 Rat Terriers, Smartheart has made the furthest and fastest progress. 

Walking on a leash? No Problem!

Gently take a treat? Easy!
We've had a lot of firsts with Smartheart and we're hopeful that it's a promising sign of things to come. Not only for her, but her other Rat Terrier family and friends too.

High-Five? Done.

Although already aware of her treat-taking abilities, Volunteer Dog Trainer Laura (pictured above) was happily surprised when Smartheart-Bear did not shy away from an approaching leash. In fact, Laura found that she was able to gently pick up Smartheart and place it easily over her head. 

Cuddles? Novice-soon-to-be-Pro!

We're so proud of Smartheart's progress, and we readily spoiled her with treats and sweet talk!

Good girl Smartheart!

Of course, like the other Rat Terrier mixes in our care, Smartheart still has her hurdles to overcome.

For example, she's still overly afraid of door frames.

 But we know slow and steady wins the race. 
And we'll get there.

One dog at a time.

Smartheart is 6-years-old and came to us from the hoarding case in Karnes County involving over a dozen other dogs currently awaiting adoption at the San Antonio Humane Society. They have all come a long way since they first came to the shelter, and they have longer still to go. They came to us in early August and we have spent every day since helping them to become more and more socialized. A few have progressed more than others, but they will all need dedicated families (with preferably quiet homes) willing to give their time and patience in continuing their transformation from mistreated victim to happy furry family member. 

For more information on this case, please click here.

Interested in becoming a Guardian Angel for these and other pets? Please click here.


  1. What an amazing job you are doing for these little dogs! Thank you for all of your hard efforts! Lots of patience!

  2. Love ratties...have two myself. What a shame anyone would abuse them in any way!