Christina Hunger, a speech-language pathologist, believes everyone has something to say.

Just because we can’t understand it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

She works with a lot of children who cannot communicate verbally, so she lets them communicate with a device. That device has icons, which, when pressed, says the word out loud.

Hunger then applied this technique to her new puppy, a catahoula/blue heeler mix named Stella.

Dogs already demonstrate most of the same communication skills toddlers have before they start talking, Hunger said in her blog, Dogs try to get attention, initiate play, gesture and vocalize.

Now, with this device, Stella can combine words to make phrases, like saying “no eat” when she hasn’t eaten or “help come” when she needs help in another room.

Though the animals at the Animal Welfare League can’t talk, it doesn’t mean they won’t be able to learn.

The shelter currently has 40 adoptable dogs, at least 50 adoptable cats, two rabbits and two pigs.

The Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County is at 3519 Drance St. in Port Charlotte, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The shelter is closed Mondays.

Prior to adoption all animals are microchipped, spayed or neutered, dewormed, tested for heartworm and are current with their shots, including rabies.

Upon adoption, residents can open a fortune cookie available at the front lobby. Inside each cookie is a different discount: $10 off, $20 off, half-price, and a waived adoption fee.

Adoption Fees for Dogs:

Adults larger than 25 pounds: $130

Adults smaller than 25 pounds: $220

Puppies that will be larger than 25 pounds: $160

Puppies that are going to be smaller than 25 pounds: $220

Dogs older than 7 years are half-off

Adoption Fees for Cats:

Older than 6 months: $75

Kittens: $100

FIV and FELV positive: $45

Cats older than 7 years are half-off

To view available pets, visit To learn more information, call 941-625-6720.


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