Tag: adoption

Wrapping Up 2015

Source: www.decentfilms.com

Source: www.decentfilms.com

How different would your life be if you changed one thing, a seminal moment in your life?  Can you trace your life back to that one moment that forever altered your life?  Imagine yourself in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and you play yourself (unless you really want to be known as George Bailey).  For those who haven’t seen it, the protagonist gets a chance to see what life of those around him would be like if he had never been born (no spoilers here!) thanks to a guardian angel named Clarence.

Take a second now and find that moment.  For me, it was the arrival of my cat Zorro that forever altered my life.  I can’t imagine being anything other than a veterinarian nor would have I been able to touch the lives of so many people & their pets.  In my version of “Wonderful Life,” my guardian angel is my pets and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way.  Whether giving a unique perspective to see life through their eyes or just helping unwind at the end of the day with a fun game of fetch or napping on the couch, our family pets are the one thing we can’t live without and are grateful for all they give us through the year. Continue reading

Date Your Next Pet

You can feel it in your bones….the anticipation of getting that new pet to join the family.  Many people often want to get a young puppy or kitten over adoption of an adult or senior pet.  Believe me, I get that; especially if you have lost a pet you just can’t see yourself going through the heartache of another pet loss so soon again so a younger pet is what you’ve set your heart on.  But don’t rule out a mature pet.

From wormsandgermsblog.com

From wormsandgermsblog.com

Sadly, there is an pet overpopulation epidemic amongst shelters where too often pets are surrendered after some time with their families.  In a few cases, the surrenders may be warranted – family medical issues or a physical or financial inability to care for the pet are two such cases.  The other situations, in which they are not the pets’ fault either, can often be avoided – behavior, time commitments, lifestyle – if the new owners take the time to get informed before adding that new pet.  Not every animal is lucky enough to get out of a shelter and have a home.

If getting a young puppy or kitten, proper breeders will likely screen you before sending the baby home with you.  If some circumstances, they may also have provisions to take the animal back if things aren’t working.  Buying a pet off Kjiji or from a friend of a friend of a friend will not likely grant you that opportunity and you will have to make the decision to work through the issues or re-home the animal.  Shelters may allow you to return an adoption but think about the stress placed on an animal of changing homes by getting adopted and after a couple of weeks getting dumped right back in the shelter.  Older animals (not necessarily senior pets) have a leg up here as often their personalities are already established and known about.

This is where the idea of rescue groups and foster pets can truly shine.  The “adopt don’t shop” movement also gains Adopt_a_Petground here.  If you’re working with a well organized rescue group, they will interview you before an adoption and likely also visit your home and want a letter from your veterinarian.  This may seem like a lot of hurdles but it really is for the best interest of the animal and it also tests your commitment.  The next step may be called fostering to adopt or foster failing.  I like to think of it as dating the potential pet before you make that lifelong commitment.

Just a few weeks of sharing your home with a foster pet allows you to get to know each other.  Does the dog have separation anxiety?  Does kitty destroy furniture and mark everywhere?  Are you able to commit the time to walking, playing, training, and cleaning up after your new pet?  How do your current pets and your potential new furry family member interact?  These things and more can be answered during a trial period.  It’s as much about making sure the pet is right for you as you are a good match for the pet.

Settling in at home

Settling in at home

This is where I’m at now with the little guy Jennifer & I are fostering.  Ti-Loup (soon to officially be Rudy) ended up with Friends of Willow Rescue after his family realized he was too active for their lifestyle.  So far we have noted that the possibility of some separation anxiety exists and we have discovered that he gets along with our cats.  He certainly is an energetic guy and quite the intelligent dog so we are looking forward to getting to know him better and help meet his needs.  In general, he has fit in well and has been very compatible.  I only hope he doesn’t think the Christmas tree is an indoor bathroom!

So before you put a collar on that cat or dog, make sure you take the time to consider all the aspects of adding a pet to your family, no matter where they come from.  Doing this can save them from the stress of changing homes and you from the heartbreak of having to part with an adoring animal.  And don’t forget what a great option fostering a pet or adopting from a group or shelter can be for everyone!

New friends & family!

New friends & family!

Disclaimer: All blog posts are may be opinions and do not reflect those of my current or any former employers.

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Pet Adoptions and the Holidays

Pet Adoptions & the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner and you know what that means…time with your family, holiday traditions, kitten giftawesome food, and crazy shopping madness.  Still looking for that perfect gift?  Why not do a good deed and give two gifts??  Pet adoption is a popular idea at this time of year.  Not only do you find a gift for that special someone but you’re giving an animal, who would otherwise be cooped up in a shelter, a forever home.  Yes, forever…

I’ve got nothing against pet adoption. I’ve done it myself and wish that more people would.  The Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) even has a special program called iAdopt to help raise awareness of the plight of animals in shelters and to increase the numbers who get homes.  Their website has lots of excellent tips to help you in choosing who to add to your family and how to integrate them into your family.  But let us look at “forever”…

OSPCA_iAdopt_Forholidaycat_iadoptbanner

Adopting a pet is a commitment that is not to be taken lightly.  We see high volumes of animals such as rabbits & ducks around Easter get purchased only to be surrendered, abandoned, or released into the wild.  However, around the winter holidays, cats & dogs are often the chosen pets to get adopted.  When you get these pets, they often come with the bonus of already being vaccinated and spayed or neutered which is a great thing for them and a savings for you.

Christmas petsYet, you need to be devoted to them as much as they are devoted to you.  Realize that though they are almost always healthy when you bring them home, accidents do happen and if you adopt an adult or senior pet (highly encouraged!) some problems may rear their ugly head in the years ahead.  It’s this reason that I urge you to consider that into your decision to add a pet to your family.  Pets are wonderful but they deserve all the care you can give and this unfortunately comes with a price….food, toys, veterinary care, leash & collar, etc.

I’ll suggest including an insurance plan or a savings account as part of your gift.  Many shelters give you up to 6 weeks ofmoney dog free insurance for you to try and investigate as an option but I don’t find too many people continuing it.  Another possibility is that your veterinary clinic may offer gift certificates you can purchase to help defray costs for anything the new pet owner may need; this is especially great for college students.

Speaking of kids…for a lot of people, they are enamored with the idea of getting a puppy or kitten for a child.  I would discourage this from happening as small kids often aren’t the ones who end up taking care of the pet.  If they are teenagers, their interests may change and the critter in question may be yours and rather than theirs.  Shelters may often have other options geckosuch as rabbits, rats, or other pocket pets which still require special care and attention but don’t involve walking & bathing such as dogs but still may be a little less maintenance and easier for kids to manage.  It’s still important to know about proper pet care and make sure they have a clean habitat and fresh food.

In short, pet adoption is a wonderful gift for you, the new pet parent, and the animal who gets a home.  All I ask if that you commit to them by giving them the care and love they deserve.  If now is not a good time to get a pet, consider sponsoring one, fostering a rescue, or volunteering at a shelter and in this way you can still give back to them.  I hope you all have a happy and wonderful holiday season!

CharlieTaylor Xmas 2010

Disclaimer: All blog posts are personally written and my opinion and do not reflect those of current or former employers.

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