Dog allergies cause many dogs to end up at Hundsstallet

Hundallergi gör att många hundar hamnar på Hundstallet

Over the years, the dog stable has helped thousands of dogs find new homes. About half of the people who want to give up their dog state allergy as the reason, says Jenny Lindahl, who has worked at Hundstallet for over 20 years.

Right now the Kennel in Åkeshov in Stockholm is full. This means that fifty dogs are in place and in need of new homes, or are under investigation by the police and county administration. Sixteen permanent employees work here to take care of the dogs, find new carpets and houses for them and do all the other chores at the Dog Stable. It is partly about dogs that have been taken into care by the police and the county administration, and partly about private individuals who for various reasons want to give dogs away.

Jenny Lindahl has the title of Police Officer/Relocation Officer at the Kennel where she has worked since 1990. She says that her duties involve a lot of administrative work with relocating dogs, including receiving calls from people who want to give up their dog.

dog in the kennel

One of the dogs at Hundstallet who is looking for a new family.

The dog stable helps dogs

The dog kennel primarily houses dogs that have been taken into care by the police or county administrative board in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act, the Lost Property Act and the Supervision Act. It can be about dogs that are on the run, even dogs that have been mistreated or disturbed the public, perhaps have been aggressive or injured other dogs or people. Depending on how many dogs the police and county administration need help with, it is determined how many dogs from private individuals the Kennel can accept. But the requests will come regardless.
- We get around five, six calls a day from people who want to leave their dog with us, says Jenny.

How often does allergy come up as a reason?
- It's probably about five out of ten times. But it's not always easy to know if it's true, because sometimes you understand that it might be used as a pretext, and that the person just wants to get rid of a tricky dog. Some want to rehome their large untrained dogs but keep smaller, lighter dogs. But then there are also those who come with their records to really prove that they are telling the truth and cannot keep the dog because of the allergy.

Jenny herself has a Labrador mix called Elsa. She does not suffer from allergies herself, but has a sister with a dog allergy.
- I had a German shepherd in the past that my sister tolerated very well, but I have also had a spaniel that she could not tolerate at all, says Jenny.

Allergy and allergen profiles can help allergy sufferers choose the right dog

It happens that even people with dog allergies get in touch and want to take care of dogs. The dog kennel then recommends that you test yourself for allergies first, to avoid that the dog has to be returned again in case of problems. But on several occasions the relocations have worked well.

Today, there are various ways to make it easier for people with dog allergies to have a dog, including that special shampoo developed by Medi-Tec. In the future, allergy diagnostics, an analysis method that Medi-Tec's research team at the Karolinska Institutet is developing, could also help allergy sufferers to choose a dog more easily. The goal is to use a simple test to get a map of your dog allergy.

By knowing which specific dog allergens you react to, you can then match your allergy profile to that allergen test on the dog that is already available today. (Read more under: Test of allergy profile ). In this way, allergy sufferers, such as Jenny's sister, could find exactly the dog that suits them best - and at the same time contribute to a dog getting a new home.

Jenny greets some dogs at Hundstallet.

Jenny shows around some of the dogs that are currently admitted to the Kennel. A lot has to be done before the end of the day; it must be walked, fed, given medicine and cleaned in boxes. And of course: hopefully new carpets and houses will be found for the dogs.