SNIFF NOTES: A New Year’s Wish from Magpie


I must tell you about an incredibly sweet girl named Magpie.

Magpie came into the shelter in March 2022 as a stray. She is a 3-year-old pitbull mix who had a bit of a rough time when she first came in – she was just so scared. Of pretty much everything.

One thing I’ve discovered over the years about pitbulls is they are some of the most sensitive dogs on the planet. I’d even go so far as to say they seem almost slightly prescient in their ability to pick up on what’s going on around them.

As a result, they can be incredibly reactive.

Magpie was no different when she first came to CVAS. We gave her time and went slow with her and now she has acclimated nicely to shelter life.

In fact, she does remarkably well in her kennel. She doesn’t do terribly well around other dogs, and yet, sometimes, she seems as though she wants to play.

Because she was a stray, it’s always so hard to tell what she may have been through in her life. So many times in the shelter we wish animals could speak in our language so we could know their backgrounds. Magpie was so very frightened that we had to wonder if someone had mistreated her. As a result, it takes a while for the animal’s real personality to come through.

Magpie has a handful of staff at the shelter she absolutely adores. In fact, Carol has said Magpie is loyal to the core. Once she loves you, she loves you and she is the sweetest girl in the world.

It’s getting that trust that can take time.

Magpie will need a fenced in yard for sure because if she would get away from her new adopters, it would be incredibly tough getting her back home. She may not get along with dogs in the home and would have to be watched around cats.

While she seems to be okay with felines, it’s difficult to say what she would do if they ran from her.

New people coming into the house would have to be planned for with Magpie. She is incredibly distrustful of strangers, so potential adopters would have to understand anyone new that came into her world could spin her out.

As a result, anyone who would be interested in adopting Magpie may need to come in numerous times until she gets to know you. She will need to find that special person and once she does, she will be loyal until her final breath.

When staff take her into the outside yard to play, there are times she gets what we call the zoomies. She’ll run around and play just like any other dog. It’s in those moments and the ones where we can give her belly rubs and kisses that we see the dog Magpie will be in the right home.

With the start of 2023, one of the biggest wishes staff at the shelter have is that we could find Magpie’s special someone.

We try to give every animal in our care the space and time they need to find their forever home. As a result, often times the staff gets incredibly attached to some of these four-legged babies. Magpie is most definitely a staff favorite.

We were all so proud of her when Santa and Mrs. Claus visited a few weeks ago and Magpie actually got her picture taken – even though the jolly pair were strangers to her.

We have seen Magpie’s heart. We know it’s likely been broken by humans in the past, but it is so incredibly capable of forgiveness and love.

A very special human will discover that. We know they are out there. Until they find their way to CVAS, Magpie will be waiting.

Could that person be you?

Jennifer Vanderau is the Publications and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at [email protected] The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 263-5791 or visit the website CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.

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