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'Who's Your Daddy' DNA Program May Make Shelter Dogs More Adoptable

(CBS SF) -- Some people on the hunt for a new pet are willing to shell out big bucks for designer breed dogs like Labradoodles, Maltipoos and Puggles. To keep up with the trend, DNA tests are helping the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA to invent their own breeds in order to get their mutts adopted.

A new program called "Who's Your Daddy" is using DNA test results to find new homes for dogs like at risk of being overlooked in shelters, like Chihuahuas and Pit Bulls.

Using a simple mouth swab test, staff found one dog that appeared to be a Chihuahua mixed with another breed turned out to be part Australian Sheepdog, part Russell Terrier and part Collie. The PHS and SPCA decided to call this dog a Kiwi Collier.

Other dogs available for adoption include a Cherrier (a Chihuahua and Parson Russel Terrier), a Far Eastern Chinzer (Chinese Crested and Miniature Schnauzer), a Sperrier (Cocker Spaniel and Parson Russell Terrier mix) and a Terridoddle (parents were a terrier and poodle mix).

"We have great dogs as unique as the so-called designer dogs," PHS spokesperson Scott Delucchi said in a written statement. "Odds are, they were bred accidentally, but we aim to turn that into something positive for dogs found stray or surrendered to us by owners unable or unwilling to keep them."

Designer breeds are often sold for about $3,000 each. The adoption fee for shelter adult dogs is $120, which includes a spray/neuter surgery, all vaccinations, a microchip, behavior evaluation and veterinary check.

The fee for puppies under six months is $135, while dogs at least seven years old can be adopted for $75. DNA profiles are included in the selected dogs' adoption fees.

PHS/SPCA spent about $60 per dog on the tests. The organizations say if if a genetic breakdown helps pique interest in the mixed breed dogs and leads to quicker adoptions, the shelter will expand its Who's Your Daddy? program.

Adopters can preview all of the DNA-tested dogs online or meet them at PHS/SPCA's Center for Compassion on 1450 Rollins Rd., Burlingame.


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