A scared dog won't behave like himself. He may not get along with other dogs. He may cower. Or resist human touch. It all rings up a less-than-stellar first impression with animal control staff - people who only want to see a dog find his way out of there, but haven't the time to wait.
"If your dog has any sort of behavioral problems where they don't react well to a shelter environment, your dog has very little chance of survival," Skow says. "They can't adopt out dogs that don't show well."
Amy Klein remembers one dog who couldn't get out of his shell. At least not fast enough.
When she met Calhoun, he was just too terrified to walk on his own.
Shelter staff had to carry him to a play area, where Klein was hoping to take his picture for an adoption site. An organization she's affiliated with, Shelter Me, tries to photograph shelter dogs in anything but the unnatural light cast by their stressed-out surroundings.
But Calhoun, the one-and-half-year-old boy, pictured here, wasn't quite ready.