Tuesday, January 6, 2015

So you want a pet?


  • check your local shelters and humane societies FIRST. There are so many unwanted pets. Government-run facilities are likely to be kill shelters because space and funding is limited. Small dogs don't stay long so you may need to visit frequently if that is your preference. 
  • check breed-specific rescues if you are looking for a particular dog. 
  • as a last resort, go to a reputable breeder. I'm not talking about "hey let my dog mate with your dog and we can sell the puppies" breeders. As a starting point, search for breed clubs. Research, research, research.
  • get permission from your landlord if you are a renter. All too often animals are return because the adopter didn't follow terms of the lease.
  • realize that a pet is a long term commitment. Cats and dogs can live 10-15 on the average depending on breed, size, and health.
  • find out where the vet and emergency pet hospital is. 
  • follow your local laws on number of pets. In my area, 6 is the limit. 
  • give locally if you can't adopt. I personally tire of the sad kitty and puppy faces on those tv ads. You know the ones. I'm a proud mom of 4 furbabies so I'm giving already. Instead of running those ads, wouldn't that money be better spent on the animals that the ad is asking money for?
  • treat your pet especially dogs as a part of the family. Dogs are pack members. To a dog, pack = family. Dogs aren't meant to be outside unattended and chained to a tree. Cats on the other hand can survive outside since they are not fully domesticated but use your good judgement in deciding to let your cat roam. 
  • microchip and collar / name tag your pet. If Princess gets away from home, this increases the chance that if found, she will be returned.


  • buy from a pet store. First, they are overpriced. Second, most likely they come from puppy mills. Those dogs are treated horribly and when they can't breed anymore, they are thrown out like trash. Fortunately, some end up at shelters where they are adopted into loving homes
  • give a pet as a gift to a child. A pet is a living being, not a toy. 
  • leave your furry family member if you have to move. Yes, things happen. There are child-free rental apartments. Would you leave your kids at Social Services because you want to move there? Of course not. I know, extreme example but you get my point. Find a place that is pet-friendly. Yes, you may have to pay an extra deposit but that's way better than for Sparky to be put back in a shelter.

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