Archive for the ‘Pet Shelters’ Category

The Benefits of Adopting From A Shelter

Monday, November 9th, 2009

When you’re at your local pet shelter looking at the animals, time your visit to watch for the dog’s personality. Get it out of the cage and interact with it and watch how it interacts with other dogs and people. There’s no rule that says you have to adopt today, so take your time to visit a few shelters and spend time with the animals before choosing the one that you will make part of your family. Remember, it’s a long-term commitment to add a pet to your family, so the decision needs to be taken seriously and with care. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the dog of your dreams on your first visit to the shelter. Shelters receive new animals daily and they can put you on a waiting list and can call you when they receive the type of dog that you’re looking for.

Animal shelters have a great selection of both puppies as well as adult dogs, including about 25-30% purebred animals. Some of the reasons pets have been abandoned at the shelter include financial difficulties by the previous owner, a prior owner who didn’t have realistic expectations of the time and effort required to sustain a lifelong relationship with their pet and others. It’s sad, but almost half of the dogs in shelters end up being euthanized rather than adopted because not enough people are opening up their homes for these abandoned animals.

Animal shelters vary in terms of their rules for adoption. They will ask you questions about prior pet history, what type of living arrangements you have (apartment, house with yard, etc.), how long the periods are that you’re gone from home, and so forth. They may even ask you for references or establish a waiting period before you can take the dog home with you.

Your pet, if not already spayed or neutered, will have to have that done before you can take it home with you. Additionally, your new pet will require a complete examination and all required vaccinations before it can be released.

Adoption fees run anywhere from $40 to $125 plus the cost of spaying, neutering, shots, and microchip insertion, if requested. Shelter adoptions are much less expensive than buying a dog from a pet store or breeder. You should exercise some caution if you respond to an advertisement giving away free puppies.

The pet adoption experience varies at different types of shelters, so take the time to search ASPCA and Humane Society of the U.S (HSUS) websites for listings of shelters and humane societies near you. Shelters are generally limited-stay facilities, sometimes government-funded and may have fostering programs. Humane societies are private, non-profit organizations that generally include education, veterinary care, obedience training and other related programs in their mission. If you’re interested in a specific type or breed of dog or cat, consider looking for a rescue group. These groups specialize and often keep animals in foster homes.

Because they want animal adoptions to be permanent and not wind up with animals being abandoned for a second time, shelters often provide adoption counseling. They may even offer other assistance such as obedience training, behavior counseling, and medical services.

If you plan on bringing a dog home from the shelter, prepare your house ahead of time. Sort of like childproofing, you may need to dog-proof your house until your new pet gets settled in. Additionally, you’ll want to bring a collar, leash, and pet carrier with you in order to safely transport your new dog home.

Adopting a dog from an animal shelter can be a rewarding experience.

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Great ways to help support your local animal shelter!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Normally a great cause. Many shelters are understaffed, underfunded, overworked and swamped with an overflow of unwanted, discarded animals and anything will help.

How can you help?

A good place to start is finding out what the local shelter’s policies are concerning volunteers such as; age limits, what the volunteers are allowed to do, hours they need help, signed parental permissions for minors. You can also find out what the material needs of the facility such as: old newspapers, blankets and towels, food and water, dishes, cleaning supplies, toys, over the counter medicines. Many shelters love and welcome fund raising aid, whether it’s manning existing functions and events or helping to create new ones. It is possible that it will take more than one phone call or visit to be able to talk to the person in charge of coordinating volunteers.

While you are looking into volunteer policies, be sure to ask about the shelter’s policies regarding the animals, and make sure their policies are ok with you and your personality. You may want to find out if they have differing practices and rules according to breed. If you have questions as to whether or not their practices and policies are something you can live with, find out more by asking. Either someone will be happy that you are concerned with the wellbeing of the animals and feel an obligation to your own moral compass or you’ll find out it isn’t a good fit for you before you’ve put yourself into an untenable situation.

Also, if the facility is one that euthanizes after a set time limit, be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you are ready to deal with having to come in and find a personal favorite animal is gone — but not adopted, simply because its time was up. Not everyone can handle that, but it is a great gift to give these abandoned animals some last hours of affection is great to give these animals.

Take time and decide if you’re ready to clean up after dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, to sweep kennels, hose down runs, shovel piles out of the yard, scoop litter boxes, disinfect cages and kennels, wash food and water dishes, shake out bedding, all the grunt work, That’s what volunteers are for. Maybe you get to do the walking of dogs and playing with cats. Walking the dogs is another helpful task volunteers perform in many shelters, but know your limits. If you aren’t comfortable with a large, rambunctious dog, don’t get in over your head. Not only can you get hurt, but it’s a situation where it’s possible for the dog to end up being called unadoptable and wind up being put down early.
Keeping an animal groomed and bathed can lead to helping them to find a new home. If you have grooming skills, professional or just learned to groom your own pets; you can make a real difference! If grooming is something you’re interested in doing as a career, it’s a great way to get good practice.

Clean and groomed animals need for people to see them before they can be adopted.

Some shelters have adoption fairs, but if yours doesn’t, maybe you can help get one organized for them, getting different facilities in the community interested in helping such as; any local dog organizations, breed clubs, sporting associations like agility or weight pull groups or businesses owned by pet lovers. Local newspapers are another source for getting the animals out for public to see. They will usually run a few pictures and brief descriptions, on a weekly or possibly a daily basis. If you’ve got a good camera and an eye for getting appealing shots of animals, take the photos, print them out, and go visit the newspaper and see if they will accept them.

And you can always support your local shelter by adopting from them. That’s a win/win situation.

Provided by Travis Parks of www.pet-super-store.com: where you can find great prices on dog bark collars and orthopedic dog beds.

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